Monday, April 23, 2007

Moorings For All

Perhaps this blog should be entitled "Moorings Not for All". How many of you have picked up the latest idea from BW (British Waterways)? It seems they have a proposal for auctioning canal moorings in the future. There is an article on narrowboatworld in its breaking news section, so have a look at this for details.

As we are moving on to the water, (Kennet and Avon canal) this obviously concerns us. There seems to be a trend to price low to middle income boaters out of the market. Hardly non - discriminatory! Our so-called "market economy" is causing a marked divide in the population, let alone the boaters.

Needless to say BJ has added our "voice" to the debate, writing to the RBOA and BW about our concerns. How can BW penalise the very people who are campaigning to help them keep the canals maintained and who are minority users of a very public asset?

Here is just a flavour of his letter.
"Eugene Baston says that "the trial is viewed as an independent (from British Waterways) means of setting prices and prices will be determined by the level of demand for a mooring in a particular location and the value that boaters are prepared to attach to having a particular mooring." I would replace "are prepared to attach" with "can afford to attach". Thankfully he says that the auction process is /still being discussed/ with boating-related interest groups, so I am writing to strengthen your voice, (if possible)."

"Is it necessary to repeat the fact that boaters are statistically a minority group of canal users, yet one of their highest value assets? Capping mooring inflation and increasing the supply of moorings is one way BW can help boaters, and therefore themselves. For the good of the canals, and therefore in their best business interests, BW cannot afford to squeeze us indefinitely."

"So I say to British Waterways, and I hope the RBOA will say it too, let's forget this proposed divisive trial completely. Save the money that it would take to administer it, let alone consult on it. Increase mooring fees only in line with inflation. Find other ways to increase your income and *maintain* the canals."

So dear readers get your fingers typing - yet again!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Fiona and John
    Regarding your comment on Harefield, yes we have been there but only cruising through, we must make a point of visiting the memorial next time, thanks for that. Keep up with the packing its worth it in the end.
    Regards Dot and Derek


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