Archive for October, 2012

New Waterways Ombudsman

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

The current Waterways Ombudsman, Hilary Bainbridge, will step down at the end of this month. A new Ombudsman has been appointed who will start work on 1st November 2012.

Read more…

BaNES seeks to prevent CRT taking ‘draconian’ action against liveaboard boaters

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

When making arrangements for a meeting between BaNES Council and Sally Ash and Damian Kemp of BW in December 2011, one of the Council’s housing officers said in an email that “We .. have on-going concerns regarding their appreciation of the potential impact of the proposed moorings strategy (ie homelessness, access to education/services etc).”

Read more…

CRT press release signals continued attack on boaters without home moorings

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Just hours before the K and A  Local Waterway Partnership (LWP) was due to hold its first moorings sub-group meeting to review the local mooring strategy proposals, CRT issued a press release detailing its plans to continue eroding the rights of CRT licence holders to use the waterways without a home mooring under Section 17 3 c ii of the 1995 British Waterways Act.

Read more…

Review of local mooring strategy proposals to begin on 26th October

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The K and A Local Waterway Partnership (LWP) is to hold the first meeting of its Moorings Sub-Group on 26th October, it was announced yesterday.

Read more…

Libel threat: Editor offers to remove articles in return for change in enforcement

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

The Editor of this web site has offered to remove the articles that CRT alleges are defamatory, in return for CRT making certain binding undertakings to change the way that it enforces s.17(3)(c)(ii) of the 1995 British Waterways Act.

Read more…

Quiet mooring zone kicks off at Honey Street

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Read more…

Boaters take ‘No Abuse’ message to CRT Annual Meeting

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Three liveaboard boaters attended the CRT Annual Meeting in Birmingham on 27 September to register their objection to the joint CRT and IWA attack on the rights of boaters without home moorings.

Read more…

K and A User Group meeting 24th October

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The next Kennet and Avon Canal User Group Meeting will take place on Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 7pm to 9pm at the Wessex Room, Corn Exchange, Market Place, Devizes SN10 1HS (beside the Bear Hotel).

Read more…

London Calling

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

London has an entirely different canal community to ours but there is considerable crossover in pressure on the infrastructure and attitudes of CRT and a small minority of the local population.

On the Canalworld discussion forum a London Boater recently posted this. I thought it so pertinent and a worthy message so here it is quoted in entirety. Thanks to Neil T


Causes more prejudice than any other word on [CanalWorld Forum].

There are too many boats for the moorings available here whether visitors or residential continuous cruisers. You have to moor double. You can’t come to town and expect a nice bit of towpath everywhere. You have to moor up outside strangers and expect to be moored against if you have towpath.

Yes there are a sizeable minority of continuous cruisers whose boats are untidy enough to allow prejudice in at the drop of a hat.

The Waterways officials simply do not have the staff or the balls to address the multiplicity of problems that are common in London whether on or off the water.

300 mooring spaces in the Olympic park would solve the problem BUT only if the charges acknowledged that residential / continuous cruisers simply do not have the money to pay £7000 a year for a mooring. Making them available at that kind of price ios not making them available.

Where is the intense lobbying by Waterways officials to solve all of these problems by harnessing the commitment to an Olympic legacy and securing mooring rights along the MILES of available space? Once in a lifetime possibility here. Where is the lobbying from on high?

You have to get used to compromise in London. I have just paid more that £2000 for six months winter mooring, been forced off the best moorings in the area which have been made visitor moorings and now watch non-payers staying where everybody would like to be, next to the facilities, and paid up winter moorers shifted up to a concrete wall, no access to water and disposal, long walk to get off towpath.

This w/e I wanted to cruise up to Islington to go to the Barbican with friends and their kids to a concert. Beautiful day, easy mooring at Islington. Great concert. Come back to the residential mooring area that I’ve paid for around 6pm and all full, space gone. So now me and my £2000 receipt are on a bit of towpath outside of any visitor or winter mooring designation at all. That’s compromise.

The easiest way to tidy up boats moored along the canal is to enact a law which says nothing on a boat’s roof whatsoever except the gangplank / boathook / punting pole on the usual bracket and as many solar panels as you like. NOTHING else on the roof OR on the towpath. Some people would find this very hard but it is possible and would shut the door to that prejudice that liveaboards in London are a bunch of scrofulous freeloading polluters. When you meet any individuals on boats in London they are almost universally great people.

But look along the pall of smoke through the humming generators and throbbing engines, the overflowing disposal point, the big black rats in the rubbish bins, endless cans of old engine oil etc. etc and you don’t see great people.

But you are not looking at scrofulous freeloading polluters either. Boaters have made large areas of London towpath safe for whole communities to walk /jog/ bicycle along and generally reclaim from being no-go areas. You are looking at a system under intense pressure, run by an organisation that has had a large part of its budget stolen as part of a political project and which is staffed by people so entrenched in their way of doing things that they cannot see far enough to think out of the box.

Mooring problems and prejudice could be addressed in London but it needs real imagination and some political clout across many borough boundaries. The salaries of top waterways staff should and could be buying that imagination.

Firewood available

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

There’s a pile of wood left over from a house renovation on the towpath near Limpley Stoke. It needs to be cleared so please take it for firewood! It’s in the wooded stretch between Limpley Stoke bridge and Sunset Strip.