Sunday, 27 September 2009

Moorings Tenders are now Auctions

British Waterways Moorings tenders are no more!

Unfortunately they have not been scrapped but have been replaced by Moorings Auctions!

However in best BW fashion it seems the revised website has not been tested properly before being launched. I can find no instructions as to how to bid for auction lots posted on the site. The link to the information sheet on how to bid was not working this morning (Sunday 27 Sep 09) despite the fact there are twenty berths advertised as available for bids.

Another famous administrative cock up at BW? Doubtless the fact that the auction site that doesn't seem to contain the bidding instructions will simply be dismissed by BW as "teething troubles"?!

I registered as an interested bidder under the old system but have received no communications from BW about the changes to the system! Loathsome as it is to me, it is hardly going to work if those who have registered an interest in bidding for vacancies aren't provided with instructions.

This is one I will keep watching I think!


  1. Hi Simon,
    I'm Paul, who helped to revamp the site over to auctions as part of an initial phase of changes.

    Firstly, you are correct, two of the pdf's were incorrectly linked. No teething troubles, just a mistake, an error - these happen sometimes. They were correctly linked when we first switched over, but a number of visitors wanted to see both sets of T&C's and during the addition, the links were changed which were the two pdf's you were trying to download. That's my fault and my apologise for that if you were inconvenienced - they are available now - I just checked.

    I will put something in place to try and ensure it does not happen again.

    Secondly, on the wider point of receiving no communications from BW about the changes to the system. We have trailed this for some time, both on the home page for the site and also in the Boaters Update that BW provide as a newsletter each month. I think it was also covered in BW Monthly and the local Mooring Officers would have been aware to inform you - not sure if you asked them or not.

    We used the Boaters' Update to garner volunteers to help in the testing of the system as well as on the homepage of the site itself at that time. I'm not sure how regular a visitor you are to the site, but if you'd like to contact me (, then I'll make sure you are added to the testers list if you would like, so you can get a preview of the next phase of changes to the site and you can comment where we might be going wrong or going right. We had circa 100 suggestions and questions submitted in the last round and over 80 were implemented. We appreciate any input given good or bad.

    Finally, as regards for instructions, have you looked over the FAQ area. The three sections are specifically tailored to the new system ( If you feel there is a question (and answer) that is missing, you can email Siobhan (the Mooring Sales administrator - and let her know. She can then find the appropriate answer and we can add it to the FAQ for all to share.

    As always, if you still have queries, either myself or Siobhan will be happy to help where we can.

    All the best,
    Paul Morgan
    Waterscape Webmaster

  2. Paul says - No teething troubles, just a mistake, an error.

    My forty plus years experience of software development suggests that mistakes and errors found early after implementation of changes are called teething troubles!

    Having said that, many thanks to Paul for posting!

    May I ask the costs of developing the tender system and the mooring system that has replaced it? Also the cost of any further developments planned.

    Finally, why are BW not asking for volunteers to develop this system and maintain waterscape?


  3. Hi Allan,
    I posted a wordy response to your questions, only to be greeted with the following error message:

    Your HTML cannot be accepted: Must be at most 4,096 characters.


    Most frustrating considering I didn't use any HTML and you shouldn't be restricted on the amount of words you use IMHO :/

    Anyway, if you drop me a line I'll copy and paste the response I created.

    All the best,