Vis­i­tor moor­ings need scru­tiny now

Canal Boat - - Letters - Colin

Hav­ing just ac­com­plished a re­turn trip along the Ken­net & Avon canal it was a great sur­prise that progress was so very slow on this nav­i­ga­tion due to the num­ber of live­aboard/con­tin­u­ous cruis­ers.

Ad­di­tion­ally, vis­i­tor moor­ings were also more of­ten oc­cu­pied by this cat­e­gory of user than any other canal I’ve vis­ited.

Vis­i­tor moor­ing clearly needs to be ac­tively man­aged by the CRT. How they can al­low a con­tin­u­ous cruiser to lay out a gar­den area, com­plete with paved pa­tio, fence and so­lar-pow­ered lights on a 24-hour moor­ing space, de­fies un­der­stand­ing. On river sec­tions be­yond Bath there are few float­ing pon­toons, so to al­low 75 per­cent of this moor­ing space to be per­ma­nently oc­cu­pied is noth­ing short of a fail­ure by CRT to man­age and en­force com­pli­ance. Come on CRT get work­ing on your moor­ing man­age­ment along the K&A.

Whilst dawdling car­ingly past boats that haven’t moved for a very long time (the un­li­censed ten­der full of wa­ter bot­tles is a real give­away) I had the thought that we can all unite to­gether to im­prove our valu­able canal net­work. So here is my three-year plan: 2019 - pass craft that are not moored at vis­i­tor or long term per­ma­nent moor­ings at a third of cruis­ing speed ap­pro­pri­ate to the nav­i­ga­tion 2020 - pass craft that are not moored at vis­i­tor or long term per­ma­nent moor­ings at two thirds of cruis­ing speed ap­pro­pri­ate to the nav­i­ga­tion 2021 - pass craft that are not moored at vis­i­tor or long term per­ma­nent moor­ings at cruis­ing speed ap­pro­pri­ate to the nav­i­ga­tion.

But at all times re­spect­ing those tem­po­rar­ily moored in more ru­ral set­tings (reg­u­lar movers are pretty ob­vi­ous).

This would then see an in­creased de­mand be­ing placed upon CRT to cre­ate more long term per­ma­nent moor­ings and a sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity to in­crease rev­enue from those who ac­tu­ally do spend more time on the wa­ter­ways. The con­tin­u­ous cruis­ers who do move along ev­ery two weeks and those that plant no­tices of en­gine break­down and parts coming in their win­dows can also be set­tled and en­joy their space.

Re­spect is be­ing right­fully en­cour­aged on our canals so surely those that want to travel the net­work have the right to do so at a rea­son­able speed too. Pass­ing the end­less roughly painted ‘slow down’ bits of board does noth­ing to en­hance our nat­u­ral space and the need to pro­lif­er­ate such sig­nage can be com­pletely erad­i­cated by des­ig­nat­ing per­ma­nent moor­ing ar­eas.

I, and I’m sure other re­spon­si­ble nav­i­ga­tors, re­spect the pro­fes­sional sig­nage placed by CRT and group­ing moored boats to­gether al­lows the true con­tin­u­ous cruis­ers to im­prove their en­joy­ment of cruis­ing the net­work.

I’m not com­pe­tent on so­cial me­dia but I do hope some­one will read my idea and get some mo­men­tum be­hind im­prov­ing the pace along our wa­ter­ways and in turn gen­er­at­ing in­come for CRT; it’s a ‘win win’ in my book.

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