Editor, Peter Fellows, has news of other developments, even though little is happening on the waterways.
The ramifications of the Coronavirus lockdown have dominated the waterway news for nearly eight weeks at the time of writing and these are widely reflected in this issue. CRT’s decision not to close towpaths to visitors initially caused an intensely negative response on social media by some liveaboard boaters. NABO’s support for CRT’s decision is explained by Mike Rodd in his Chair’s column. NABO also welcomes CRT’s support: for high-risk liveaboard boaters who are self-isolating; for the extra month’s licence offered to all leisure boaters; and its support for trade and hire-boat businesses, each reported upon in this issue. In his regional rep’s report, Ken Hylins, who is self-isolating on his boat, describes the assistance he is being offered by CRT volunteers and local residents. However, many small waterway businesses do not qualify for the Government assistance on offer and there is a request for members to contact their MPs to rectify this with additional financial support measures. If nothing is done, there is a real risk that many boatyards, marinas, chandleries and hire companies will go out of business.