Time for a rethink?

Editor, Peter Fellows, considers an alternative to
the present CRT structure

Two aspects have dominated NABO’s work since the last issue: CRT’s new licence terms and conditions and the threats to the waterway heritage. The T&Cs continue to exercise people who realise the significance of the changes – unfortunately not the majority of boaters. I’ve included correspondence between Mike Rodd and CRT’s Head of Customer Service Support, and David Fletcher gives a ‘blow-by-blow’ account of events over the weeks from the end of May. Anne Husar has written a letter to members, outlining the four areas where NABO is unhappy and asking for your feedback. The new T&Cs made Mark Tizard look back over changes in CRT’s enforcement policy for movement of boats without a home mooring, concluding that the vast majority of continuous cruisers are boating below CRT’s enforcement radar.

I’ve been banging on about the loss of historic buildings from the CRT portfolio for years. In this issue, Anne Husar calls on CRT to better care for our historic canal system and its structures. Several members share their disquiet at the loss of heritage: Mark Sullivan and Peter Caswell write letters concerning the Toll House at Pontymoile and the multiple small losses that go unnoticed until their cumulative effect hits you by their absence, and Allan Richards clarifies what is a protected operational asset. The two most recent proposed sales – Pontymoile’s toll house and the Stop House at Braunston – seem different: CRT withdrew the former from auction and is looking for a tenant for the latter. Let’s hope this is some sort of epiphany for CRT and from now on it will take its heritage responsibilities more seriously.

Elsewhere, Ken Hylins recalls his own experiences of needing help from medical and care providers while living on a boat and he looks at the impact of moving around on finding care. Matthew Symonds, National Boating Manager, has written to clarify CRT’s support for disabled boaters and those with access requirements. In Techies’ Corner, John Devonald looks at some of the reasons that boaters give for not installing solar panels on their roofs. David has updated his article from last year on CRT’s mowing regimes, asking you to use mowing maps when out on the cut so that we can recommend improvements to specific areas. Ian Hutson also offers some views on towpath vegetation in his own idiosyncratic style and a letter from Ann Street describes the lack of vegetation management on the Llangollen. This month’s Rewind recalls that, despite BW’s ‘veg pledge’, lack of vegetation management was still a problem 15 years ago. Howard Anguish also finds that in 2006 the world was in the grips of the highly contagious Bird Flu disease, triggering fears of a pandemic – plus ça change!

Finally, I’ve included nomination forms for the autumn AGM – if you want to keep your paper copy of NN intact they can be downloaded from the NABO website.

Happy summer boating.