Recently Canal & River Trust (CRT) announced a proposed change to visitor mooring times or the introduction of overstaying fines in three locations on the southern Grand Union canal: Berkhamsted, Braunston and Marsworth. A fourth location, Batchworth, has since been abandoned due to an error in CRT’s information collection.
These proposals will limit the stay time on moorings that are now available for the full 14 days to 7 days or 48 hours. CRT is holding a public consultation which does not allow users to give constructive feedback. The consultation ends on February 29th 2016.
In one area, a partner organisation in the CRT consultation process has taken the proposal as set in stone before the consultation time frame is over and has made derogatory comments toward Bargee Travellers wanting to stay in their town.
Reducing these time limits, as seen in previous changes in other areas, has had a detrimental effect on the local community, canal-side businesses, canal traders and boaters both with and without a home mooring.
The proposals will further concentrate boaters to ever decreasing areas therefore causing more issues for CRT enforcement and those boaters who wish to stay in these areas for 14 days. This will allow CRT to restrict more licences and evict more Bargee Travellers from their waterways.
These proposals will have a detrimental effect on the boater community in respect of access to medical care, schooling, employment and town services.
The National Bargee Travellers Association is opposed to any reduction in mooring time limits of less than 14 days.
Please ill in the consultation survey below to say that moorings at Berkhamsted, Marsworth and Braunston should not be reduced to less than 14 days:
The online survey is on this page https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SE_visitormoorings but anyone can make their own written response to the consultation. Send it to Mike Grimes, Head of Boating, Canal & River Trust, First Floor North, 500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes MK9 1BB, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please sign the petition to ask CRT to stop these reductions:
An NBTA member who will be affected by these changes comments: “This isn’t just a couple of spots being freed up next to Waitrose. This is almost the entire central Berkhamsted pound, with its water point, being converted to 48 hour mooring only, with the two pounds below being reduced to 7 days. Meanwhile 300 metres at Marsworth are also to become 48 hour. At least one stretch below the Berkhamsted pound will become ‘no mooring’.
The pound above Berkhamsted is unmoorable. There are a lot of boats in Berkhamsted, so there will be a lot of displacement, and it will turn Berkhamsted and Marsworth into no-go zones for continuous cruisers, who will have to traverse several pounds before they get to a place they can moor for two weeks, which will be already full of boats. Presumably Rickmansworth and Watford will be next, then Uxbridge and Cowley and then London. We successfully overturned CRT’s plans to do all this in 2012, with a petition. Now they’re trying to sneak the same changes in again, on a piecemeal basis.”