NABO’s regular meeting with CRT
On 7th February 2022, Mike Rodd and Anne Husar had their regular meeting with CRT’s Matthew Symonds and Rachel Howard and, on this occasion, Sean McGinley, who covered the situation regarding the Ferrybridge fish deaths and suspension of freight movement.
Concerns over facility closures: the facility block at Sutton Cheney has expensive problems with fly tipping, costing nearly £100,000 to service this site. CRT is proposing to relocate the services to Market Bosworth. In Marple, the development of the site started sooner than expected and the facilities were closed at short notice. The regional team is working to put alternative provision in place. At Barbridge, the bridge has been damaged and bins can’t be serviced while it is being repaired. A review of facilities is currently taking place, which will result in an agreed standard and best use of the budget for service facilities (e.g. replacing buildings which are vulnerable to vandalism with more robust open-air facilities). NABO raised complaints by London boaters about the facilities (closed bin sites, broken Elsans, distance between facilities, rubbish not collected at Little Venice). CRT replied that it has issued an update to the London Mooring Strategy proposals, which includes details on more sites for additional facilities and it will consult on specific proposals for additional facilities at Steel Road. In response to a question about future sites allowing recycling, CRT replied that Biffa has some segregated waste at source, but it normally separates waste off-site.
The Commonwealth Games are coming to Birmingham this summer and there are many events taking place. As part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, celebrating the people, history and stories of our canals, CRT, the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society (BCNS ) and the IWA are organising a parade of boats on the weekend of 24th – 26th June in the City Centre to celebrate boating and the canal heritage of the city. On Friday 24th, boats will gather at a rally organised by BCNS at Smethwick Locks in Galton Valley, where moorings will be available. The following day, boaters will travel into the city and the boat parade will form between Birmingham Roundhouse and Icknield Port. It will then pass through the heart of the city to the Mailbox, returning to moor for the night between the Roundhouse and Icknield Port. The parade will be repeated on the Sunday morning. Entry is free of charge for boaters taking part and each boat will receive a commemorative plaque. Boaters are being asked to showcase and celebrate their crafts and the waterways ‘in the most fun way possible’. Entry forms are available from https://bcnsociety.com/event/commonwealthgamescruise.
A not a very well-attended meeting with only some 24 folk present (including numerous CRT people) but still a useful and well-structured session. The Regional Director, Mark Evans, gave a slick summary of the past year and of course highlighted the difficulties caused by the storms etc. He also emphasised the significant amount of non-boater outreach activities which have been taking place.
Boat Safety Scheme consultation
In March, the BSS began consulting boaters on proposals contained in its Examination Checking Procedures. The revisions apply to checks used in examinations of privately owned boats, managed boats in private use, and boats subject to the 2017 Hire Boat Requirements. The consultation concerns the introduction of two mandatory BSS requirements by amendments to existing BSS checks. The two increased requirements are:
1. On boats with petrol propulsion engines, requiring evidence of recent servicing for any Wilderness Boats conversion of an Electrolux RM 212 refrigerator, BSS Check 8.2.2R
2. Clarification that ferrous or cast iron fittings, joints and components used in LPG pipework, are not compliant with BSS Check 7.8.3R.
It is also proposed to introduce 20 relaxations by reducing some requirements or allowing additional compliance options. Details of these are provided in the consultation. The BSS considers that the improvements are necessary and proportionate means of risk control that will improve the consistency of applying BSS checks by examiners. Send comments on the amendments to the BSS by Tuesday 31st May 2022. The consultation is available at www.boatsafetyscheme.org/ECPconsultation and a summary of the views expressed and the BSS response will be published in the summer.
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