Canal mooring rule hits Rickmansworth boat owners

Watford Observer: Canal mooring rule affects Rickmansworth boat owners Canal mooring rule affects Rickmansworth boat owners

Residents of canal boats in Rickmansworth say proposed new mooring rules will "destroy their way of life".

Proposals currently being looked into by the Canal and River Trust include imposing mooring restrictions and a £25 a day charge on popular stopping places on the Grand Union Canal between Stockers Lock and Batchworth Lock.

The consultation involving 22 sites across the south east is intended to make it easier for leisure boaters to visit the most popular areas, the trust says.

Currently, all licensed boats using the canal are allowed by law to stop and moor by the towpath for 14 days.

But live-aboard boaters believe the proposals could result in popular areas being abandoned by the community.

Mike Doherty, who lives on his boat which is currently moored near Batchworth lock, said: "We live on our boats all year round, some of us have children in school, others work nearby or, like myself, work in London and others need to access healthcare and other local amenities.

"This is all do-able while still sticking to the 14 day rule. It will not be do-able if the trust’s new proposals come into force. These proposals will destroy our way of life."

Steve Jay from South East Boaters added: "The Canal and River Trust says it has a problem with boats over-staying, but they already have the 14 day rule.

"They need to enforce that, not impose these draconian new mooring restrictions that will make boating difficult for everyone who uses the canal."

Other boat residents say the proposed changes could prove disruptive for their children if it prevents them securing places at local schools.

"As fully paid up licence holders, we move around all the time and have been trying to get a secure mooring for seven years now. I was trying to get a local school place for my two year old daughter in the next few months, but these ridiculous and unfair proposals will effectively ban me from ever mooring in Rickmansworth, because to move every 2 days I would have to move a 34 ton boat on my own with my daughter being unsupervised and that would be dangerous," says Evania Inward.

"As a mum with two children aged two and nine, I am disgusted with CRTs proposals to charge us £25 a day if we stop for over a day in certain areas. I am lawfully entitled to moor for 14 days at a time in areas where we can access basic facilities like water, doctors and shops. Many of the areas these not covered by the restricted mooring proposals are unfit to moor, poorly maintained and dangerous," says Laura Parkhouse.

A Canal and River Trust spokesman said: "There are more boats on the canal network than at any time in history - more even than at the height of the industrial revolution. "The canals are in Trust for the nation and it is the boats that help make them special places - reasons why people want to visit, want to volunteer and want to donate money to help look after their local canal or river.

"As the charity that looks after the waterways, from time to time there are ideas and decisions to make where we want to get input from the people that use and visit the canals. That’s why we ask people to take part in consultations on certain issues and that is what’s taking place in this instance.

"We’re asking boaters for their views on the idea of changing how long boats can moor in 22 of the busiest places in the South East (specifically on the Grand Union Canal and the Oxford Canal). The reasoning behind the consultation is that the suggested changes could make it easier for leisure boaters, as well as those living on their boats, to visit the most popular places."

Comments (9)

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9:06am Tue 26 Feb 13

OAC Bailiff says...

mooreoney everything you do moore money greed greed greed
mooreoney everything you do moore money greed greed greed OAC Bailiff

9:24am Tue 26 Feb 13

TRT says...

They should maintain the status quo, or they will suddenly find a lot more traffic, a lot more wash damage, and people falling foul of the law during the winter stoppage periods.
They should maintain the status quo, or they will suddenly find a lot more traffic, a lot more wash damage, and people falling foul of the law during the winter stoppage periods. TRT

9:53am Tue 26 Feb 13

millend resident says...

The fact is this will be a disaster for the Canal system and the town of Rickmansworth as a boater that pays for a mooring, pasys a licence that has gone up 400% in 10 years, if I move from my mooring as i work in the week you cannot travel far and it is normal to leave in a place, or my home town? Rickmansworth then move on a week later to the next stop and move around the system slowly. If a toen becomes a stop over point the shops and restaurants benefit as booters use this during the weekend and maybe the friday night before they move on the next weekend, but this canot happen if you have to pay £25 a night mooring! in fact it costs a lot of money to insure, boat safety certificate, home mooring, boat licence, plus Diesel as cheap diesel for marine has been stopped a few years ago! so to pay for stopping is unaffordable, on the already hard pressed boaters that are not the same community as the people who own boats in Poole harbour, we are just about surviving, but feel passionatley about the heritage and history of the canal system. The booters should not be the ones that foot the bill for looking after the system it is used by cyclists, walkers, families we all use it! lets spread the load! The C&RT is a charity yet they are turning the very people that pay into the canals and help them against them! this is know way a charity should treat the people that pay anything! They should just enforce the existing rules not send out the baillifs to people who should be supporting them.
The fact is this will be a disaster for the Canal system and the town of Rickmansworth as a boater that pays for a mooring, pasys a licence that has gone up 400% in 10 years, if I move from my mooring as i work in the week you cannot travel far and it is normal to leave in a place, or my home town? Rickmansworth then move on a week later to the next stop and move around the system slowly. If a toen becomes a stop over point the shops and restaurants benefit as booters use this during the weekend and maybe the friday night before they move on the next weekend, but this canot happen if you have to pay £25 a night mooring! in fact it costs a lot of money to insure, boat safety certificate, home mooring, boat licence, plus Diesel as cheap diesel for marine has been stopped a few years ago! so to pay for stopping is unaffordable, on the already hard pressed boaters that are not the same community as the people who own boats in Poole harbour, we are just about surviving, but feel passionatley about the heritage and history of the canal system. The booters should not be the ones that foot the bill for looking after the system it is used by cyclists, walkers, families we all use it! lets spread the load! The C&RT is a charity yet they are turning the very people that pay into the canals and help them against them! this is know way a charity should treat the people that pay anything! They should just enforce the existing rules not send out the baillifs to people who should be supporting them. millend resident

9:59am Tue 26 Feb 13

millend resident says...

I seem to have my boats and boots mixed up LOL must use spell check!!
I seem to have my boats and boots mixed up LOL must use spell check!! millend resident

1:19pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Andrew1963 says...

Looks like the old nationalised British Waterways Board was not so bad after all!
Looks like the old nationalised British Waterways Board was not so bad after all! Andrew1963

2:49pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Allan Richards says...

I am one of the leisure boater and also a volunteer helmsman for a community boat (that provides holidays for disadvantaged children). I have moored regularly and without problem at two of the 22 sites where Canal & River Trust (CaRT) claim they have complaints because arriving boats can not find space moor.

When I made a freedom of information act request asking for details of complaints, CaRT admitted that no complaints had been received at the two sites I most frequently use.

It would seem that we have a solution looking for a problem. Why should I be restricted by draconian mooring limits and fines to solve a problem that does not exist?

Of course the problems that I will suffer are minor compared to those that live on their boats.

Is CaRT attempting social cleansing because they don't want liveaboard boaters?
I am one of the leisure boater and also a volunteer helmsman for a community boat (that provides holidays for disadvantaged children). I have moored regularly and without problem at two of the 22 sites where Canal & River Trust (CaRT) claim they have complaints because arriving boats can not find space moor. When I made a freedom of information act request asking for details of complaints, CaRT admitted that no complaints had been received at the two sites I most frequently use. It would seem that we have a solution looking for a problem. Why should I be restricted by draconian mooring limits and fines to solve a problem that does not exist? Of course the problems that I will suffer are minor compared to those that live on their boats. Is CaRT attempting social cleansing because they don't want liveaboard boaters? Allan Richards

2:50pm Tue 26 Feb 13

TRT says...

I think it's 'new broom' syndrome. When there's a new broom in town, it has to be seen to sweep.
I think it's 'new broom' syndrome. When there's a new broom in town, it has to be seen to sweep. TRT

3:25pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Daryl Rowe says...

CaRT assert that these draconian proposals "could make it easier for leisure boaters, as well as those living on their boats, to visit the most popular places." They couldn't and wouldn't.

What they would do is make life extremely difficult for liveaboard boaters, the vast majority of whom already comply fully with existing legislation, and for leisure and holiday boaters.

They would also waste a phenomonal amount of water by forcing boats to move unnecessarily through locks, create congestion at locks and put more pressure on the infrastructure of the canal network.

The fact that CaRT has apparently not thought about the impact of their radical proposals worries me greatly.

They have been asked on several occasions to provide substantive evidence to support their proposals, but as they have not to date I can only assume they have none and are working to an hidden agenda.

Head of Boating, Sally Ash, stated in a radio interview with 3 Counties Radio last week that the proposals had come about because of "murmurings" from the canal, particularly from hire boat operators. It's interesting to note that Sally Ash is also a Director and Marketing manager for a company selling hire boat holidays.

In summary, we have a radical proposal with no supportive evidence of its need that will drastically affect the lives of boaters and damage the canal itself and one of its proponents who appears to have a clear conflict of interest.

I too am extremeley suspicious of CaRT's motives and social cleansing appears a distinct possibility to me.
CaRT assert that these draconian proposals "could make it easier for leisure boaters, as well as those living on their boats, to visit the most popular places." They couldn't and wouldn't. What they would do is make life extremely difficult for liveaboard boaters, the vast majority of whom already comply fully with existing legislation, and for leisure and holiday boaters. They would also waste a phenomonal amount of water by forcing boats to move unnecessarily through locks, create congestion at locks and put more pressure on the infrastructure of the canal network. The fact that CaRT has apparently not thought about the impact of their radical proposals worries me greatly. They have been asked on several occasions to provide substantive evidence to support their proposals, but as they have not to date I can only assume they have none and are working to an hidden agenda. Head of Boating, Sally Ash, stated in a radio interview with 3 Counties Radio last week that the proposals had come about because of "murmurings" from the canal, particularly from hire boat operators. It's interesting to note that Sally Ash is also a Director and Marketing manager for a company selling hire boat holidays. In summary, we have a radical proposal with no supportive evidence of its need that will drastically affect the lives of boaters and damage the canal itself and one of its proponents who appears to have a clear conflict of interest. I too am extremeley suspicious of CaRT's motives and social cleansing appears a distinct possibility to me. Daryl Rowe

3:46pm Tue 26 Feb 13

TRT says...

Well, it can't be for making money, then, given the cost of pumping the water back into the top locks!
Well, it can't be for making money, then, given the cost of pumping the water back into the top locks! TRT

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