Li­cens­ing work­shops un­der­way

Canal Boat - - News -

THE CANAL & RIVER TRUST’S boat li­cens­ing re­view has en­tered its sec­ond stage, a se­ries of re­gional work­shop meet­ings, fol­low­ing the ini­tial di­a­logues be­tween in­de­pen­dent char­ity In­volve and 14 boat­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Boat Own­ers, In­land Water­ways As­so­ci­a­tion, Na­tional Bargee Trav­ellers As­so­ci­a­tion and Res­i­den­tial Boat Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

There did seem to be a gen­eral con­sen­sus among these bod­ies that the func­tions of li­cens­ing were to pay to­wards the main­te­nance of the water­ways and to give per­mis­sion for use of the sys­tem (although one re­spon­dent said it was a way of pay­ing se­nior CRT staff). But when it came to the need for change, there was more doubt with sev­eral bod­ies ques­tion­ing whether there was any­thing wrong with the ex­ist­ing sys­tem – and one sug­gest­ing that CRT had al­ready made up its mind what it would do.

Oth­ers did see a need to change, to meet challenges in­clud­ing in­creases in con­ges­tion, res­i­den­tial boats, craft with­out home moor­ings, length and width of craft and rent­ing out of ves­sels.

When it came to what changes were needed, pro­pos­als in­cluded: higher fees for wide boats; or charg­ing ex­tra for boats with­out home moor­ing, or find­ing some way of en­cour­ag­ing them to cruise fur­ther (such as a dis­count for trav­el­ling a cer­tain dis­tance, or a li­cence type al­low­ing stop­ping for only a cou­ple of days).

Oth­ers sug­gested that this would only mean the canals would use more wa­ter; or that the sys­tem should be sim­pli­fied by re­duc­ing the num­ber of length-based charg­ing bands. Ideas which re­ceived the thumbs-down were charg­ing based on the value of a boat, pric­ing by dis­tance trav­elled and zonal li­cences – although some sup­ported a Lon­don ‘con­ges­tion charge’.

The sec­ond stage is al­ready un­der­way: over 900 boaters re­sponded to an in­vi­ta­tion to ap­ply to join one of a num­ber of re­gional work­shop meet­ings. A team from In­volve se­lected 135 of these (on the ba­sis of a bal­ance of boater types and views) to at­tend the work­shops on 18 May to 29 June, which aim to ‘im­prove, re­fine or dis­card op­tions’. From these meet­ings CRT will de­velop op­tions for a third stage con­sul­ta­tion open to all boaters, be­fore the pro­pos­als are fi­nalised in the au­tumn.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.