Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Still Here, quietly fuming away!

Hello everyone. Still here if a little silent on the blog. Lots going on as ever but where to start? Probably the latest BW Consultation Con?

The BW River Lee Consultation results = how to re-invent the wheel c/o BW: Having been assured by BW that Roving Moorings permits were off the table they are now back on.

BW also seem to be doing the old emotional blackmail thing on the side.The implication of their responses to the consultation seems to indicate that that they will only improve facilities in the area if everyone agrees to accept Roving Moorings permits?

For me this is a major step backwards because it goes back to the underlying prejudice that it is people without home moorings = Continuous Cruisers, who 'should' be the ones targeted by introducing charges for mooring in ways which are presently entirely free and lawful. Is the converse true?

If as BW propose improved facilities will only be funded by anyone who takes out a roving moorings permits, does that mean that those with moorings will not be allowed to use the facilities so provided, as they have not paid for them?

All this just goes to re-confirming my prejudice that the whole thing is much more about raising new revenue than managing moorings better dealing with overstaying. It also seem to go to an old bugbear of mine, that BW have an on-going underlying startegy that turns on turning boaters against each other and creating conforntation where none need exist.

This also begs the question what are you buying if you do ever decide to pay for a Roving Moorings Permit?
I tried to put this question another way round on Canal World forum a little while back:

My proposition:

BW's primary motivation in trying to introduce tighter regulation of continuous cruising is not about better management of the waterways for all, but about finding routes for generating additional income for BW from boaters.

Proposals for Roving Mooring Permits (or whatever name they are called by) support this: if you are prepared to pay a fee, BW will temporarily waive the rules.

If you pay any overstaying charges we set before you ren-ew you licence each year, we will continue to renew your licence for another year.


It was instructive how many respondents just wanted to rant about how Continuous cruisers were the source of all problems rather than whether you should be allowed to buy your way out of the situation. To be fair there were some more reasonable comments dotted in among there. However the results confirm my prejudice that many forums are not the best place to have a rational or factually informed debate of the issue.

Now you may not expect this but a small partial word in defence of Sally Ash. On Narrowboatworld an e-mail has a right go at our Sally. While she may not be blameless in all this, I would point out that the consultation response and press releases I have seen are signed off by her boss, Simon Salem. It's too easy just to have a go at Sally and I hope people will remember that the Directors and Board of BW have a role and responsibility in all this too

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