Visitor moorings need scrutiny now
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.