Listening to boat owners, Speaking out for boat owners, Representing boat owners.


Evaluation of the Performance of the Canal & River Trust

TENDERS are being invited by DEFRA to evaluate the performance of the Canal and River Trust.  The tender notice is inviting suppliers for the evaluation of the performance of the Canal & River Trust Project, see:

The aim to undertake a 'backward looking' socio-economic evaluation, to collect and synthesise evidence in order to answer the following questions:

1. Assess the trust's performance of its obligations arising under the Grant Agreement and other founding documentation.

2. What public benefits have the trust delivered?

3. Estimate the economic value of benefits.

4. Identify a baseline and variation from the baseline.

The evaluation will focus on the period from creation of the Trust in 2012 up to the current period 2020/21. The four months contract will be at a cost of between £80,000 and £150,000.


NABO supports NBTA seeking to fund legal advice

NABO is supporting the National Bargee Travellers Association in its’ crowdfunding appeal to raise funds for obtaining a Legal Opinion regarding the proposed changes to the CRT Boat Licence Terms and Conditions. This appeal is now open for donations:

Mike Rodd

NABO response to CRT’s consultation on congestion in London

In this paper, NABO is responding to CRT’s recent consultation and Zoom meetings, seeking suggestions from boaters to further address congestion, principally in the London area.

For several years, CRT sought views via the Boater Relationship Group and subsequently, when this collapsed, it facilitated meetings that resulted in the publication of its London Strategy document in June 2018. This document outlined the actions that CRT would take to address congestion in London.

We are concerned that CRT is seeking to repeat this exercise without first implementing a significant number of the promised outcomes. Surely, after all the effort that went into the 2018 strategy document, it would make sense to implement it in full and then carry out a review of where the strategy had worked or failed, before seeking to repeat the exercise. By CRT’s own figures  the numbers of boats have not risen substantially since the strategy was published. The effects of the current pandemic have seen boats spread out further and the longer-term implications are as yet unclear.

Changes to six month CRT licence requirements.

There has recently been clarification from CRT regarding the distance CRT expects boaters to travel during the term of a six month licence and NABO notes that the guidance has changed. It used to be CRT’s policy that boaters issued with a reduced licence were still expected to cruise the 20 mile plus range that full licence holders are expected to do and indeed this is what NABO advised its members. CRT has now confirmed that this has changed and that boaters who have been issued with a six month licence are expected to cruise a pro rata distance of 10 miles (16km) within the time period of their licence.  

For more information regarding CRT’s expectations around the issuing of reduced licences, please read on as Matthew Aymes, CRT’s Customer Support Manager has responded very fully to a query raised by CRT Council Boaters Rep Dave da Costa via this email:

Virtual news from CRT

At a short, combined CRT Council and AGM in November, last year’s annual report and accounts were accepted. Topics of particular note included:

  • Application for renewal of the Defra Grant – which accounts for about a quarter of CRT’s income – will be submitted on 6th December; whilst the Government is under no obligation to extend the grant beyond 2026/7, CRT feels that a solid case is being made for increased funding. A decision is expected in July 2022.
  • Covid-19 continues to throw up challenges but winter works should proceed unhindered and the impact on income is estimated at -10%. A special fundraising appeal, launched the previous day, drew 450 responses in the first few hours. However, Friends numbers have fallen nearly 7% over the year.
  • T&Cs consultation: CRT reports a ‘net positive’ result so far, whilst acknowledging some proposals need more clarity ..... that doesn’t seem to chime with what we see and hear!