Mooring Strategy: BW’s Loss Leader?

According to BW figures obtained by a London boater in a Freedom of Information Act request, the Lee and Stort Mooring Strategy will make a loss. At a time when BW’s grant from DEFRA has just been cut by around 10%, do they honestly think it is reasonable to embark on a policy that is not only unlawful and unjust, but is financially unsound as well? Here are BW’s income and cost projections:

Extended stay charges – the assumptions

There will be about 150 continuous cruisers regularly paying extended stay charges.

There will be about 3,450 extended stay charges generated per annum (pa).

About one fifth will be paid retrospectively.

Four data collectors are required at a £15,250pa (including on costs)

In the land-based car parking context, pay by mobile companies take, approximately, 10% of each transaction. The figure varies depending on frequency and value of transaction. For this purpose a 15% estimate is used.

Based on this the following figures, enabling us to cover the cost of extra data collectors and the provision of payment facilities, are arrived at:

Costs (pa):

£61,000 Data Collectors x 4 (on a pro rata contract)

15% transaction cost (dependent on price of extended stay charge, but based on figures below it would be £11,250)

Total costs = £72,250

Income (pa):

150 boaters paying 15 extended stay charges pa @ £20 = £45,000

150 boaters paying 4 extended stay charges pa @ £40 = £24,000

Total income = £69,000

This would give us a nominal deficit of £3,250.

Boater costs.

If the price per charge above is used (and the average boater fits the prediction) this will equate to £460 pa in extended stay charges per boat.

The maximum number of days a boater can extend their stay by in any 12 month period is 182. This is because of the movement rules – in particular the one which says a CC’er must be in a different neighbourhood every 14 days. If a they wanted to, a boater could extend their stay in a seven day zone by seven days (thereby using up their 14 day-in-one-go entitlement), in theory they could do this all year long – they would still have to move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and not spend more than 61 days in any single one (over a 12 month period). If they did do this it would cost them £3,640 if paid on the day @ £20 per day.

Other BW costs:

Boating co-ordinator will have to spend time, on a weekly basis, checking a report produced by the new boat sighting system that is under-development. The boating co-ordinator will use the report to verify who has accrued a charge and who has/hasn’t paid for it on the day. For those unpaid charges an invoice will have to be raised.

In the event of non-payment, credit control will be initiated by SSC.

Capital investment in back office systems, onsite signage and marcomms.

Contractor management.

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