We’re a pos­i­tive as­set

Canal Boat - - Letters - ROB PEAR­SON,

I am writ­ing in re­sponse to a let­ter by Garry Ed­wards ( CB, Nov).

In it Mr Ed­wards sug­gests a higher li­cence fee for con­tin­u­ous cruis­ers, us­ing the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion that: “It would seem le­git­i­mate to me that those who are con­tin­u­ously cruis­ing the sys­tem would cause more main­te­nance and, there­fore, their use of the sys­tem should cost them more in li­cence fees.”

We are one (of the many) con­tin­u­ous cruis­ers and I should like to put Mr Ed­wards straight on a num­ber of points.

Con­tin­u­ous cruis­ers, far from hav­ing a neg­a­tive im­pact on the sys­tem, are a very pow­er­ful pos­i­tive as­set. We keep the sys­tem alive out­side of ‘the sea­son’, oth­er­wise the wa­ter­ways would be dead, other than walk­ers, cy­clists and an­glers. We pos­i­tively en­gage with gon­goo­zlers. We reg­u­larly clear de­bris from locks and ap­proaches, as well as lots of litter tidy­ing when we moor up.

CCrs are also un­paid ‘in­tel­li­gence agents’ for the Canal & River Trust – we re­port any is­sues we find, for ex­am­ple, only re­cently we found the El­san point at Tryely Locks ser­vices would not flush – a CRT worker was on site within a very short time and fixed the prob­lem.

We also re­port is­sues with wa­ter short­ages and where dredg­ing would help. In fact, our move­ments through the win­ter help to stop some of the sys­tem silt­ing up.

Mr Ed­wards and his ilk should be grate­ful for this un­paid in­land ‘navy’ of boats and peo­ple help­ing to keep the sys­tem work­ing.

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