Recently BW has proposed changes in rules and regulations that affect roving canal traders such as coal and diesel boats and travelling shops. The main change BW wants to make is to increase their licence fee.
The present situation is that most of these traders pay £30-£40 over and above a normal boat licence fee on the basis that their business is what BW call ‘low intensity’ – they only make a small amount of profit. The new fee will see their business licence replaced with a normal licence and a new permit, and lots of extra regulations. This will see the fee increase to £156 above the normal licence fee. Their ability to trade and make a living on the waterways will be affected.
A new web site has been set up with the aim of giving a voice to the small traders on the canals of the United Kingdom.
It’s at http://www.canaltraders.org.uk/
There are many traders on the canal selling a diverse range of products such as traditional canalware, ropes, fenders, cheese, groceries, jewellery, fudge , cratch covers, boat names and embroidery. The many trades afloat serve the boating community, bring diversity and enhance the public’s enjoyment of the waterways. We wish them the best of luck in challenging this licence fee increase.