Wednesday 15 February 2023

Offical announcement! Back on land after 30 years or so.

Hi everyone. Most people who need to know this, but I am no longer a boat dweller.

Sold my boat on back in Novemember and for better or worse I am glad to have moved on. 

It would be easy to write a proper 'bitter and twisted' piece about it all, mostly about the puinishing rent increasees CRT are imposing on London Moorers. About all the lets call it what it is, crap, I and others have suffered at the hands of CRT...

Anyhow I'm glad that the mooring has passed on to other established boaters and hopefully my contributions to the debate about how poorly CRT has performed still hold.

But apart from CRT I see a scary future for inland boating so my love and respect to all those continuing to campaign to defend it all.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Hello, after a long break

So I've just come back here after a long time away.

Not anything really new to say. In some ways CRT seem to be keeping their heads down a bit on the boating front. Or maybe they are just being more surreptitious! That and I'm not on the case in the way I used to be in the past, which is certainly making me happy.

As a "customer" its just more of the same. Poor responses to repairs and maintainance issues versus huge hikes in mooring fees.

Anyway, I am well in spite of them! Hoping you are too!

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Happy New Year boaters

It may be a bit late but I'm going to suggest that CRT needs to make a New Years resolution: Be nicer to boaters. (Now stop laughing in the back!) Seriously, how are things going to be between boaters and CRT in 2018?

We wait with baited breathe CRT's decisions following the national Boat Licencing consultation. For me at least the whole exercise says a lot: CRT have spent tens of thousands of pounds fiddling around with talk about changing something which it appears to most of us wasn't broken in the first place. In so doing they have of course re-opened a can of worms that they have looked into so many times before. It seems either that they have forgotten from the last time that all that is in the can is worms, or maybe they are just opening it again on purpose?

If nothing else what we have seen from all the om-line comment on the consultation is pretty much any change CRT choose to make is going to make someone unhappy. Why oh why did they go there in the first case?

Of course the favourite theory is they want to have yet another go at increasing licence charges for continuous cruisers despite the fact that the usual suspects like NABO and NBTA keep pointing out that this would most likely be ultra vires.

So why do CRT persist in this repeated self flagellation exercise?

Wednesday 22 November 2017

What to say?

I'm not writing here half as often as I used to. I made a very conscious decision to be less involved in the politics a while ago At the risk of sounding a bit bitter and twisted, one gets worn out by the battering of broken promises and obfuscation from CRT.

On the other hand CRT seem to be acting a bit more cautiously about making changes on the boating front during the last year or so. Don't take that the wrong way! It's not that they are doing better; they are just messing up less often. Not sure if that counts as progress or not? Cos the problem is still that even when they do get round to doing things, on whole it doesn't seem to be done any more effectively than it ever was.

Monday 28 August 2017

Quiet before the storm 2017

Still here but not had a lot to say. Given the failure to communicate, anyone would think I was undertaking a licence consultation!

Like many I await the next stage of CRT's boat licence consultation exercise with a mixture of suspicion and resignation. It seems not even CRT's Navigation Advisory Committee are sure what is coming! (See answer to q3 in this FOI request). As indicated in the last post no-one seems quite sure what is wrong or why CRT are doing this exercise. NBTA has written an excoriating critique of the process so far which makes for good sport! And no-one really believes that CRT are going to spend all that time and effort for a "revenue neutral" review when they are struggling for funds.

True to form CRT have also imposed a major change to licence structure, while the consultation is going on; They have introduced a new licence for private renting boats with a particularly tight restriction on having a residential mooring, all apparently with no consultation. Again true to form they have had a reasonable idea and then executed it with all the subtlety of a Donald Trump tweet!

Sunday 23 April 2017

CRT's admits that its (latest!) Boat Licencing Consultation is based on hearsay

Many of us have said over the years that it is BW, and now CRT, policy to create problems where none exist.

I was therefore particularly struck by a Facebook thread from a boater with a long term mooring who was uncertain about the terms and conditions on which they could take their boat out cruising and was worried about getting ticketed by a patrol officer or even getting a restricted licence. Other postings in that thread quickly clarified things but it says a lot about how confused matters are getting when this sort of thing comes up, when a boating customer is so baffled by the bullshit that they are afraid to take their boat out.

I suppose someone in CRT thinks this is a good thing; Those bloody boaters, taking their boat out on the canal and sailing them up and down! Such a nuisance!

Anyway just to confuse thing a little more, as most people are aware, CRT are undertaking yet another licencing review and one has the feeling that this also fits into the 'lets look like we are doing something' modus operandi.

Saturday 11 March 2017

Lost in their own Bulshxxx

Just a short observation on the stupidity of CRT's PR and a sort of related follow on to some of what I said in the last post. I was just looking at one of their press releases reproduced on Facebook. It was clearly a full cut and paste from the original. What's funny about that?

The Press release was from Fran Read, who's CRT's National Press Officer. If you read the footers on the message you find the following: In particular I like the bit at the end (which I've highlighted in red) which suggest that CRT's National Press Officer is not necessarily trusted to speak on behalf of CRT!

Fran Read
National Press Officer
M 07796 610 427
Canal & River Trust, Toll House, Delamere Terrace, London, W2 6ND
Twitter: @CRTComms
This email and its attachments are intended solely for the use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of this email and its attachments, you must take no action based upon them; please delete without copying or forwarding and inform the sender that you received them in error. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Canal & River Trust.

I'd also love to know what the Data Commissioner's Office would make of the preceding warnings to an unintended recipient: Do CRT regularly send stuff to the wrong recipients?

PS : How do you know if you are not the intended recipient if they have sent it to you in the first place?

This is better than made up!

Sunday 5 March 2017

CRT still means Can't Really Trust'em?

Happy 2017 everyone.

Not been here for some time and that sort of reflects my general plan over the last year or two to stand back from Waterways politics a bit. On the NABO front I am now proud to be no more than another paid-up member.

I guess if you read this, you already get it, but the fact is most waterways reps are volunteers, doing stuff in their own time and often at their own expense too. The truth is you get little thanks and often lots of hostility when you try to get involved, especially from the armchair trolls and the like. Eventually the 'why do I bother' voice wins out?

Well it's not just that. The forum trolls and the like generally get called out. A much more serious problem  is that in my experience CRT are too often no less incompetent, just as evasive, argumentative and down right difficult to deal with as the old BW, and I think for many of us that is what eventually wears you down.