On 14th February 2017 the Waterways Ombudsman stated in a case report (Case no 933) that CRT intended in the coming weeks to publish “illustrative cruising patterns” for liveaboard boaters with school age children. In the Navigation Advisory Group meeting of 13th February 2017, former Head of Boating Mike Grimes stated: “We’re looking at putting together and publish soon some example compliant movement patterns that boaters with children could look at to help inform their movement patterns”.
Following a complaint to K&A Manager Mark Evans, CRT has reduced the 48-hour visitor moorings below Seend bottom lock (lock 17) to the length recommended by the Kennet and Avon Visitor Mooring Review – Bath to Foxhangers in March 2015.
Despite a number of boaters contacting CRT about this, it took more than 7 months for the error to be corrected. The error was first reported to CRT in July 2016.
Earlier in 2016, CRT put up signs at the visitor moorings below lock 17 that extended these 48-hour visitor moorings by approximately 200 metres westward from the western end of the purpose-built length of visitor moorings right up to the culvert.
This was contrary to the Visitor Mooring Review, which recommended that this length of visitor mooring should be shortened so that it only covered the stretch with mooring rings. The remaining space should have reverted to 14 days in July 2015 for a trial period until September 2015.
This was done without any consultation with users which is contrary to CRT’s Short Term Moorings Framework for Change dated March 2015, which states on page 1 that before making any changes to visitor moorings, waterway managers should:
“Conduct quantitative monitoring of craft that use the mooring and local area over a length of time, taking into account various factors including time of day, time of year, weather and other such influencing factors
Consult with all those potentially affected by any changes, from local & visiting boaters to local retailers including marina operators and the hire boat industry
Pilot the potential changes over a period of time gathering data and feedback, allowing the proposals to be amended as required
Inform visitors and those affected of any changes in a meaningful, clear and consistent way that ensures confusion is avoided”.
There was no evidence that any of the above steps had been followed by CRT before making the change.
Although the complaint has been remedied, CRT has yet to explain either why the Short Term Moorings Framework for Change was not followed or provided proof that these steps were followed and that the evidence gathered justified the change that was made last year.
Documents obtained by a Freedom of Information request to BaNES Council, and the response to a recent complaint about proposals to restrict mooring at Mead Lane, Saltford, show that BaNES and CRT are planning a mooring strategy for the River Avon and the K&A Canal between Hanham and Limpley Stoke.
Nick Brown of NBTA met with CRT yesterday. This is his summary of that meeting.
“Meeting with CRT in MK: Head of Legal (Jackie Lewis), another of the Legal Team (Tom Deards), Head of Boating (Mike Grimes) and Matthew Symonds.
The K&A boaters action group has obtained an assurance from CRT that it will not take enforcement action against boaters who are trapped between Lock 11 in Bath and Seend (Semington for 70′ boats) because of the stoppage at Seend Wharf Bridge. CRT has placed certain conditions on this assurance. The stoppage runs until 11th March. This is the letter from CRT Head of Boating Mike Grimes:
In a vindictive move reminiscent of the totalitarian regimes of Stalin and Pinochet, CRT is threatening to seize and destroy the belongings of boaters including bicycles and childrens’ toys if they have been left, however temporarily, on the towpath. This draconian act is typical of CRT’s harassment of liveaboard boaters, and it shows that CRT will go to any lengths to pressurise liveaboards without home moorings to leave the waterways.