NABO has sent the following to the Private Bill Office in the Lords:
We are advised that a debate on the Report Stage for the Middle Level Bill has now been scheduled for Wed 28th February. We note also that the Third Reading may also take place that day, and if it passes, the Bill will go to the Lords the next day, which will trigger the start of the petitioning period in the Lords.
The National Inland Navigation Forum, NINF, met at the St Pancras Cruising Club on Saturday 10th February 2018. 8 of its member bodies were represented, together with the General Secretary, Michael Stimpson. This Forum continues to be a useful meeting point bringing together navigational bodies involved in CRT, EA and other waterways – especially important at this time given the on-going saga about the relationship between EA and CRT.
On 20 November 2001, the National Association of Boat Owners(NABO) reported a press release confirming that the Government had decided that the Environment Agency (EA) should retain responsibility for navigation on the rivers under its control and not transfer them to British Waterways.
Some 16 years later, NABO again wrote to MPs that sit on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Waterways, expressing concern and opposition to the Canal and River Trust’s (CRT) proposal to take over responsibility for EA navigations.
NABO is pleased to learn that in January 2018 the Government has again decided not to proceed with this transfer. Hopefully, both the CRT and EA management teams will now be exclusively focussed on improving the navigations under their control to benefit all users, as recommended by NABO.
Over the past few years we’ve had fruitful and positive discussions with the Canal & River Trust and Government about whether, and if so under what terms, the Environment Agency’s navigation responsibilities might be transferred to the Trust.
CRT recently submitted their proposed terms for taking over our navigation responsibilities to Government. Ministers have considered the proposals and decided not to proceed with any transfer at the present time; however, they wish to keep the option open and return to it when they feel the time is right.
We in the Environment Agency will continue to concentrate on ensuring we run our navigations as efficiently as possible, including looking at new ways to raise revenue and engaging with our boating customers over our charges review. We and CRT will continue to cooperate actively in the running of our respective navigations to ensure the best possible experience for all river and canal users.