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National inland navigation forum meeting

NINF met at the St. Pancras Cruising Club in February with all but one of the member bodies represented. This forum continues to be a useful meeting point, bringing together navigational bodies involved with CRT, EA and other navigation authorities. There was much discussion surrounding issues relating to the possibility of the EA’s navigational responsibilities being taken over by CRT. Feedback was that, within CRT, it was believed that any future funding from Government would depend on the Trust taking on the EA’s navigational responsibilities. It was felt that the best NINF could do at this stage was to use all its political contacts to attempt to ensure an acceptable outcome. It was also felt that all bodies should ensure that they were invited to future meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways, as it appeared that most had not been invited to recent meetings.

Issues relating to threats to ban boats from using various so-called polluting fuels in their stoves were discussed. It was agreed to monitor the situation closely as the consequences would be very serious for many users. Likewise, issues relating to future developments on the availability/charging for red diesel need to be monitored carefully.

One interesting point was that, as valuable as the BSS scheme is, it is often interpreted as ensuring that people buying boats with BSS certification are guaranteed that the boat is fully inspected in terms of its operation. Maybe a slightly different name for the scheme might be considered so as to truly reflect what it is?

Mike Rodd