We’re a positive asset
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.