Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Flogging a dead mooring (Not!)

Well I never. Just searched Moorings Vacancies again and now all five vacancies which I pointed out back in September are showing as still vacant, at Engineer's Wharf. How long does this farce have to continue?

Despite having failed to fill these berths for literally years now, BW/CRT have steadfastly refused to drop the reserve price. It just confirms my view that their claim to set market prices is a total lie and it disappoints me that the new Canal and River Trust Trustees are apparently prepared to let this lie perpetuate?

These decisions not to reduce the reserve price have of course also cost the Waterways perhaps £40 000 in lost rental income, it seems to me solely in order to artificially inflate average prices in London for other boaters.

Of course we don't know if they are playing the same game with other moorings round the country too? Is this really just a one off? How much more money is going into ripping off mooring customers by holding berths empty in this way?


  1. Simon, I agree, other than I don't really understand.....
    "Of course we don't know if they are playing the same game with other moorings round the country too? Is this really just a one off?"
    because of course the CRT (formerly BW) auctions system is sufficiently transparent to allow us to query what is, and is not letting, and at what prices.
    As far as premium London moorings go, they regularly fail to let Brentford ones, and are now struggling at Willow Wren Wharf, (although very usually they have reduced "reserve" there after initially getting no takers.)
    For straight tow-path moorings, I track the GU ones, and at one point perhaps 50% of all vacancies went unlet.
    Far from letting the market set a real rate, they have progressively pushed the "reserve" on tow-path moorings up from 75%, through 80%, and (since it became CRT) now 90% of guide, If something failed to let at 75% or 80% of guide it is hard to imagine why it might do so at 90% of guide. I have tackled CRT's Director of Property on this matter, but broadly still get the same old excuse that they cannot economically let moorings at lower reserves. I consider that a nonsense, because CRT collecting 50% of "guide" has to be better for them than leaving moorings empty, and hence getting ZERO percent of guide.
    I think the moorings auctions are one of the most flawed things BW ever did, but CRT have no stomach to change it, and John Dodwell writes regularly in continued support that it is the right way to go.

  2. Hi Alan - Nice to hear from you. When I said I didn't know, I hadn't done the detailed checking on other sites but seems you have and no surprises! BW/CRT have a habit of getting letigous with those who speak too strongly! I therefore have what some find to be a quaint habit of trying to check before I publish!
    Regards and hope you enjoy my ravings here!