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.