Monday, 31 October 2011

British Waterways bans people with Children or who work from Continuously Cruising?

Now I have seen a few pretty weird things from BW over the years but I have to say this tops the list: Just noticed what on the face of it seem to be a rather sinister statement on their Waterscape website:
continuously cruising
You will not usually be issued with a licence unless you have a permanent mooring. However, if you have no ties (such as jobs or children at school), you can opt to cruise canals continuously, never staying at the same place for more than a fortnight. British Waterways has a special set of guidelines for such boaters.

The message seem to be, if you are a Continuous Cruiser don't let BW know if you work or have children: they might revoke your Licence?

Credit when due

In response to my complaint last week BW have corrected their licencing pages on the issue of eligiblity to apply for a Houseboat Certificate.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

British Waterways is still misleading residential mooring customers

Despite my successful complaint and the Ombudsman's involvement, British Waterways it seems still persists in deceiving Residential Boaters. Their web page as of today says:

If the boat is a houseboat (see General Licence Conditions - Definitions 1.4) which is not used for navigation, and ...
If you use the boat for navigation, you should purchase a Standard Boat Licence.


As I have pointed out you are allowed to cruise just on a Houseboat licence and moving your boat should not exclude you from enjoying the additional protection you should be entitled through by having a Houseboat Certificate.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

British Waterways prefer to forego income rather than lose face?

Another boater and I were laughing about this earlier this week and a good joke is always worth sharing: BW's residential moorings at Engineer's Wharf.

Anyone who knows London Canals will know that the moorings in question are sited near Yeading on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Like many good jokes however the underlying truth is less comfortable and again goes to question the honesty or lack thereof with which the BW system of Moorings auctions is implemented.

Message for Anton

Just to say hi to Anton who posted a personal boating question as a comment last week. I won't answer that through the blog but you can contact me through NABO if you still want to discuss that.

Friday, 7 October 2011

New Name for Britain’s New Waterways Charity

Away from the official launch, waterways campaigners were celebrating their new name for the proposed waterways charity which will replace British Waterways and planned to come into being next April Fool’s day. After many months consulting it has been confirmed that the new waterways charity will be known as Canals and Rivers Are Privatised (CRAP).

A spokesman commented that “we consulted widely on the correct name to adopt and after speaking to many stakeholders and other waterways users we feel we have found a solution that will work going forward.” The chairman of the transition trustees is reported as confirming his view that, “The new name represents what our waterways mean to so many people.”

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Waiting for the train that never comes

Going through old paperwork today I discovered that next week will be the ninth anniversary of my first serious questioning of British Waterways about terms and conditions for their residential mooring customers. As of today the question is still open. Along the way:

  • Several Ombudsman Complaints in my favour.
  • A Government Public Consultation
  • A Select Committee
  • BW unilaterally abandoning the Working Group supposed to address these issues
  • Files full of correspondence and broken promises from BW starting with the Chairman Tony Hales
  • Government Departments ducking the question and passing the buck between themselves
Still British Waterways seem unwilling to provide me with and other residential customers with the full written terms and conditions that a previous Ombudsman said I was entitled to.

I wonder if BW can string it out another year and make double figures?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

London Mushrooms

You would not know that there is a local User Group meeting in London next week from the British Waterways website if you look today. I noticed this point while looking into something in advance of the meeting. So much to involvement and openness if one of the supposed few public lines of accountability into BW is not being publicly advertised. Given that BW may shortly correct this omission I have taken a copy...* As you can see: no mention that I can find that there is an upcoming meeting.

For those who might be interested the meeting is due to be held on Weds 05 October at the Pirate Club in Camden at 7 pm.