Wednesday, 8 October 2014

CRT blatantly refuses to reconsider the 'merits' of selling moorings to the highest bidder

As I said to some friends when I saw this, in the words of Brick Top, 'Are you taking the piss?'.

The latest consultation from CRT will let you discuss just about anything you want about their much hated moorings auctions process except whether it should exist at all.

Narrowboatworld has already reported this and columnist Allan Richards has had a go and I have decided to join in with something I rarely do, starting a petition.

I've written many times here about the farcical unfairness of this as I see it completely rigged auction system, but of course it come as no surprise that CRT continue in denial about it's fundamental flaws. In their own words 'We are therefore not proposing to go back to a waiting list arrangement for allocating moorings, nor open up the debate about the merits or otherwise of the auction system - we still believe that using an open auction generates independent, transparent data on the market’s willingness to pay for our moorings.'

As I have indicated in the petition text, many people disagree with this analysis and think the system should be fundamentally reviewed. Any claims that CRT are starting to listen to the wider public are in this case completely laughable. Instead it's the same arrogant blinkered 'we know best' approach that many of us have come to know from CRT.

Of course they will not countenance the fundamental question of whether only selling moorings to the highest bidder is a fair and good idea, because they know they will lose the argument; so let's not have the argument at all.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I sent a response taking into account that the CRT is not actually consulting on whether to abolish the auctions, although I don't approve of them. Here's the text:

    I am writing in response to your consultation on the sale of moorings.

    Selling to the highest bidder is quite the worse system you could have devised. Not only are moorings in short supply, but they are allocated on the basis of highest income. On land, where there is also a shortage of housing, there are always schemes to enable those with lower incomes to have somewhere to live.

    What you don't want to do is create some moorings sites allocated on the basis of needs and others using the straight auction scheme. That way you will create poor and rich areas. Mixed communities has to be a one of the aims of the CRT.

    The second question to ask is whether same size berths on the same moorings should go for different amounts. This is usual in streets - people in identical houses pay different amounts, but there is a market of sorts in housing on land. There isn't a true market for moorings because of the shortage of berths compared to the number of boat owners needing one. If one mooring is too expensive, it is unlikely that you can trade down to another in the same area or region, which means changing jobs, schools, GPs etc.

    I think the CRT should have a good, defendable reason for selling the same item for different amounts and I don't see one at the moment.

    I can't see why there shouldn't be flexibility in mooring periods. If a boatowner needs to relocate 1 year into a 3-year term they should be able to do so without penalties. It goes against the employment market to do anything else; people also move to be nearer to relatives who require daily care or hospitalisation. Fixed terms is symptomatic of the problem with all navigation authorities: needless rules that would never have been allowed to continue if they applied to a majority instead of a minority of the population.

    Introduce flexibility as soon as possible.

    Yours faithfully

    1. Thanks for those thoughts Judith.