Author Archive

My Reply to Robin Evans Regarding the expansion of hire-boating on Kennet & Avon (West)

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Dear Robin,

thank you so much for your illuminating reply.

I think that the fact that BW have presided over a more than 100% increase in hire-boating between Devizes and Bath in 6 years goes a long way to explaining congestion at locks, and other perceived problems on our otherwise tranquil and beautiful canal.

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Reply from BW Chief Robin Evans providing details of Hire Boat expansion on Kennet & Avon (West)

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Apologies for the delay in replying to your previous e-mail.

The 40% statistic is a national one. The K&A has gone against this trend and you are correct that there has been a significant increase here – a doubling in fact in the number of hireboats based between the bottom of Devizes locks and Bristol from 36 in 2003 to 78 this year.

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Query to BW regarding how to respond to the consultation

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Dear consultation staff,

Query regarding the consultation response form

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My reply to: Reply from Robin Evans Ref my email: Is there a genuine problem with mooring in the Bath to Bradford-on-Avon area?

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Dear Robin,

thank you so much for your prompt reply to my previous email.

I would also like to thank you for your invitation to take part in the consultation. One can only hope that it will result in the preservation of the culture of cruising boats both in the Bath area and nationally. I am sure that the legal framework that is so clearly set out in the 1995 Waterways Act 17 (3) protects those who have chosen to undertake this way of life and that BW have a responsibility to ensure that adequate mooring is accessible to such boaters and their vessels. At the risk of repeating points in my previous e-mail, I think that the vibrant culture you have helped maintain amongst cruising boats is to be commended and will form part of your personal legacy from your tenure at British Waterways.

I am confident you would share my concern that some of the proposals to limit mooring (in the Bath and other trial areas) represent an impractical and immoral attempt to limit legitimately licensed cruising boat’s access to vital services that they have come to rely on over many years.

On your point of the reduction of the hire boat fleet by 40%, I must admit this comes as a surprise to me. The general perception in the Devizes to Bath area is that the fleet has expanded vastly over the last decade.

Amongst those who boat the stretch regularly it is felt that each summer there is a glut of hire boats which are, on occasion crewed by inexperienced and inept parties who cause congestion at locks, are rowdy, speed and leave litter. Experienced cruisers have become tolerant of this phenomena and will even come to the aid of such parties when they get themselves into difficulties.

Can you confirm that the 40% figure you use reflects this area? Is the 40% a national figure? If it does not reflect the growth/decline of the hire boat fleet in the Devizes to Bath area, please could you let me know a figure that does.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Warmest Regards

Reply from Robin Evans Ref my email: Is there a genuine problem with mooring in the Bath to Bradford-on-Avon area?

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Dear xxxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your e-mail of the 3 November.

We have launched a moorings consultation that we hope will result in a consensus on a fair set of rates and regulations for managing moorings on our waterways. If there was universal contentment with the existing arrangements, we would not be seeking a change. The reality is that a lot of people – boaters, neighbours, councils – have all expressed concern about different aspects of the current system on different parts of the network.

It will be important for you to contribute to the consultation and ensure that your view that the current arrangements in Bradford-on-Avon work well. We will also learn whether others agree or disagree.

I assure you, and the consultation document is very clear, that we welcome and encourage cruising boats. I agree boats that are moving are one of the great attractions of the waterways.

I should point out that the hire boat fleet is not growing. There are 40% fewer hire boats than there were 20 years ago. Hire boats play an important role in attracting new people to the waterways and they make a substantial contribution through their licence fees which are much higher than individual licences.

The whole point of our proposed mooring strategies is to establish evidence and create a plan that proves the best balance between differing legitimate interests. I hope you will support this and contribute to the consultation.

Yours sincerely,


Robin Evans
Chief Executive

Email to Robin Evans (Chief Exec of BW) regarding Bath Area Moorings Consultation

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Dear Robin,

I am writing regarding the latest round of consultations and in particular the proposed new arrangements for mooring in the Bath to Bradford-on-Avon areas.

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Psychological Warfare on the Kennet & Avon Canal

Sunday, November 1st, 2009


1. The Psychology of British Waterway’s Attacks on the Boating Community

Initially, I would like to briefly address how BW’s now almost annual attacks on the boating community can affect us and our mindset.

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Letter to Mark Stephens (new waterway manager) regarding maintenance of adequate water levels on the canal

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Email sent to BW Gloucester 24 October 2009

Dear Mark,

firstly I would like to welcome you to your new position as waterway manager for the Kennet & Avon Canal.

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