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.