Wide­beams are hardly a new invention

Canal Boat - - Letters -

As a reg­u­lar hire boater for the past 12 years, with an in­ten­tion to even­tu­ally pur­chase our own boat in 2018, I was quite in­ter­ested in Steve Hay­wood’s ar­ti­cle in the De­cem­ber is­sue re­gard­ing the on-go­ing li­cens­ing re­view be­ing un­der­taken by the CRT. Among other things Steve points out ‘it seems very ob­vi­ous that the CRT in­tends to change the li­cens­ing fee for wider beam boats’.

I should point out that I don’t have a vested in­ter­est as I won’t be able to af­ford a wide­beam and in any case I want to be free ex­plore as much of the sys­tem as pos­si­ble, but this part of the re­view can only be a good thing.

Let’s re­mem­ber that wide­beams are not a new invention, but un­for­tu­nately they can use only the canals that were built to full spec­i­fi­ca­tion and not restricted by the cost-cut­ting in­stal­la­tion of nar­row locks and bridges. So un­less the CRT is in­tend­ing to up­grade the whole net­work to full width locks and bridges, then surely any re­view of the li­cens­ing sys­tem that con­sid­ers width, will come to the con­clu­sion that those un­fairly restricted to only the canals with wide locks and bridges (less than half?) should get a re­bate off the li­cence fee. Well done CRT.

How­ever I’m not so sure of the in­ten­tion to re­move the dis­count for prompt pay­ment of the li­cence fee. Maybe in this case I’m be­ing cyn­i­cal, but surely this won’t be re­placed with an ad­min­is­tra­tion fee to cover the ‘costs’ in­curred by late pay­ment. JOHN via email

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