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C&RT's most useless signs and money wasted


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6 minutes ago, MtB said:

Re-balancing the fee structure might be a better way forward. Base license fees on boat value, like Council Tax on houses perhaps. Mr and Mrs Moneybags with their £150k or £250k new builds who could easily afford £10k or £15k a year would then start contributing proportionally. It does seem iniquitous to me that a young couple in an old 60ft ex hire boat they paid £18k for, have to pay nearly the same licrense as a widebeam worth ten times as much and taking up almost twice as much canal 'real estate'. 

 

It's definitely one approach that could work. Whether it does becomes a question of left- vs right-leaning economics. I take a generally pessimistic view of these kinds of suggestions because they tend to create inefficiencies and perverse incentives that sometimes aren't obvious at first. For example, perhaps an annual boat valuation becomes a racket that ends up increasing costs for boaters without actually providing funds to upkeep the canals. Or perhaps boaters are disincentivised to maintain their boats to a high standard in order to reduce their value, leading to more accidents, environmental hazards or visual disappeal. Or perhaps the income projections for the switch cause boat buying and building behaviour to change (fewer people buy the expensive boats the new scheme plans to make money from) and the total income doesn't actually increase. Or, maybe, just maybe, government/cart come up with a really good scheme that doesn't cost much to administrate, is fair and well supported by the boating community, and brings in significantly more money to pay for the waterways - but looking at their past record, I am skeptical. Though it's unpopular, I tend to lean towards the most efficient and equitable system being "user pays".

 

 

10 minutes ago, Higgs said:

The cost of a boat should have no bearing on its licencing value. I can understand the equation of size (footprint). 

 

Why not?

 

 

17 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

I disagree.  Boaters are the Mickey and Minnie characters for CRT's Disneyland - we are the entertainment.

 

I think this is correct up to a point, but to a much smaller degree than boaters like to think. I agree that boaters-as-entertainment justifies SOME public expenditure to fund our hobby/housing, but not to the degree of subsidisation that it does today.

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31 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Yet new boaters are flooding onto the canals in droves with their monster £250k brand new widebeams. You suggest raising the license fee would put people off, but it looks to me as though that might not be a bad thing as the canals are markedly rammed full of boats these days in many areas that were once quite unpopulated.

 

Re-balancing the fee structure might be a better way forward. Base license fees on boat value, like Council Tax on houses perhaps. Mr and Mrs Moneybags with their £150k or £250k new builds who could easily afford £10k or £15k a year would then start contributing proportionally. It does seem iniquitous to me that a young couple in an old 60ft ex hire boat they paid £18k for, have to pay nearly the same licrense as a widebeam worth ten times as much and taking up almost twice as much canal 'real estate'. 

 

Just an idea for everyone to shoot down...

 

I don't think it should be shot down, but I think something in-between makes more sense. Right now the fee is based purely on boat size (should be area?) on the idea that bigger boats "use" more of the canal, but as you say this ignores the difference between the poor young couple and the rich retiree. On the other hand moving purely to boat value means said couple in an old 72' x 14' fatboat would pay less than somebody in a new 36' x 7' narrowboat, which also doesn't seem fair.

 

What would be fairer overall would be to have both elements as part of the license fee, one related to width*length and one related to estimated value -- though I'm not sure how this would be proved. Maybe set this so that a "typical" boat -- perhaps 57' x 7', worth maybe £60k (fill in your own figures) pays a similar amount (£1200?) to now, something like £1.5/sq.ft (£600) for size and £10/k (£600) for value. Poorer boaters in old boats would effectively get a discount, the couple in the 60' £20k boat would pay about £800. Well-off people in expensive new narrowboats would pay considerably more (e.g. £2000), and ones in huge widebeams a lot more (e.g. £3500). The overall take to CART would go up considerably because the fee increases on the high side (who by definition can afford them) are much bigger than the fee decreases on the low side.

 

I'm sure there would be screams of protest from those whose fees would go up, but it would be difficult to justify these if the charging scheme was devised to be much fairer than it is today -- which I think most people would say this is, it balances out charging by need/use and charging by ability to pay.

 

I await comments with bated breath... 😉

Edited by IanD
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1 minute ago, jetzi said:

I think this is correct up to a point, but to a much smaller degree than boaters like to think. I agree that boaters-as-entertainment justifies SOME public expenditure to fund our hobby/housing, but not to the degree of subsidisation that it does today.

 

We do a lot of boating on underused bits of the canal system, and we quite often get people stopping what they are doing to come and look at the novel spectacle of a boat going past.

 

Our best one this year was the Dee Branch of the Shroppie, where a dozen people came out of the flats to take photos because they'd never seen boats on that bit - some of them have lived there for ten years or more.

 

One woman was really disappointed she'd missed seeing the lift bridge opened so we shared our photos with her.  She wanted to send the pictures to family in Quatar and New Zealand because they'd never seen boats there either.

 

At the last BCN challenge we had similar on Walsall locks - people who'd lived there for ages and didn't know the canal was open for boats.  Maybe if more of them saw boats going past less rubbish would get thrown in the canal there!

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10 minutes ago, IanD said:

I'm sure there would be screams of protest from those whose fees would go up, but it would be difficult to justify these if the charging scheme was devised to be much fairer than it is today -- which I think most people would say this is, it balances out charging by need/use and charging by ability to pay.

 

I like the idea; it introduces the idea of subsidy for poor boaters - like free licences. 

 

 

Edited by Higgs
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1 hour ago, Higgs said:

 

The cost of a boat should have no bearing on its licensing value. I can understand the equation of size (footprint). 

 

 

There's also a significant administrative overhead in valuing boats and maintaining a register of boat values (including resolving disputes) - akin to council tax bands. Size is at least a fixed quantity and already recorded used for licencing purposes.

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1 minute ago, David Mack said:

There's also a significant administrative overhead in valuing boats and maintaining a register of boat values (including resolving disputes) - akin to council tax bands. Size is at least a fixed quantity and already recorded used for licencing purposes.

 

True. If only it were used to calculate licence fees proportionally, the flooding of our canals with massive boats might slow down. Or if it didn't, at least CRT's coffers would fill up a bit. 

 

At the moment, a boat twice the width and therefore twice the size, only pays 20% more.  

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1 hour ago, MtB said:

 

 

 

Re-balancing the fee structure might be a better way forward. Base license fees on boat value, like Council Tax on houses perhaps.

 

it wouldn't work Mike.

 

Council Tax is based on the price or value assessed on a certain date in the past - and as Zoopla shows, the value of a home is quite easy to get (roughly) right, especially where 90% of homes are on a street of similar homes.   Unless folk all buy boats at an advertised or registered price there is no way that I can think of to assess the value of a boat unless you employ an army of boat surveyor/valuers (who would never get permission to access to the inside of most boats).  Few boats (even new ones) are sold at a fixed price, unlike cars (well, that is before the onset of on-line car dealers anyqay)

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7 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

At the moment, a boat twice the width and therefore twice the size, only pays 20% more.  

There's definitely a case for increasing the wide boat premium.

I also wonder if a case could be made for having a lower wide boat premium for boats with a home mooring on the wider northeast waterways, where they are appropriate, and a higher wide boat premium for boats based on the 14ft waterways. Widebeam continuous cruisers would also have to pay the higher premium since their location is variable.

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8 minutes ago, MtB said:

At the moment, a boat twice the width and therefore twice the size, only pays 20% more.  

 

Yeah, I really don't see this being fair, especially since widebeams (even slightly wide) can't share locks, can't breast up when mooring, and likely cause disproportionate wear on infrastructure. Paying per square metre (like you do on the Norfolk Broads) seems appropriate, more in line with "user pays" since they are "using" more of the canal, dead easy to calculate, and is actually a reasonably good proxy for boat value anyway, so no need to get into the debate about whether broke homeless people in inner cities should have their floating housing subsidised by leisure boaters (and the general public).

And as a plus, I have a narrowbeam, so I'm alright Jack!

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3 minutes ago, David Mack said:

There's definitely a case for increasing the wide boat premium.

I also wonder if a case could be made for having a lower wide boat premium for boats with a home mooring on the wider northeast waterways, where they are appropriate, and a higher wide boat premium for boats based on the 14ft waterways. Widebeam continuous cruisers would also have to pay the higher premium since their location is variable.

 

So for example, @DRP should pay quite a bit more for using L&L shortboat Ribble on the L&L canal?

 

That seems a bit odd, as she's exactly the size of boat the canal was designed to take.

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31 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

Boaters are only poor because they are boaters 

The poor boaters are the ones that thought they would be “living the dream” cruising the Cut, then reality kicked in when they realised they needed money to pay for things like license, diesel, gas and maintenance. 

13 hours ago, DanielnDorothy said:

I agree

You joined the forum just to say that, well welcome and hopefully in the future you can produce longer informative contributions.

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3 hours ago, Grassman said:

.....when  90+ percent of canal users are using their towpaths free of charge and not paying a penny towards their upkeep? It's crazy that CRT should have to fight so hard and waste so much money on signs and other 'awareness' measures. Our canals provide an amenity for people to enjoy and should therefore always have a significant contribution from either local or national government. 

 

The reason that C&RT is not allowed to charge for tow-path usage is 'legal'.

 

When C&RT was formed and the transfer (BW to C&RT) documents were drawn up it was a condition of transfer that C&RT could never charge for access to the tow-paths, without an application to, and written approval from the Secretary Of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

 

Some months ago I read a document from the 'cycling authorities' suggesting that they would support the issuing of a licence and charging for it, should C&RT wish to introduce it. C&RT are not allowed to unless the above application is made and permission is given

 

The Tow-Path must remain free of charge for all users.

 

From the Transfer documents :

 

2.4 The Trustee must obtain the Settlor’s prior written consent before:

 

2.4.3 restricting pedestrian access to any part of the towpaths within the Infrastructure Property; for example by charging a fee for access, save that consent will not be needed for any temporary restrictions either to allow maintenance/repair works or to protect persons from risks to their safety;

 

2.4.4 diverting the route of any towpath or part of a towpath, other than as permitted at Clause 3.5.1

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5 hours ago, jetzi said:

 

Everyone should be able to do everything, whether they can afford it or not.

Please can I have an E Type in showroom condition complete with insurance, I can afford the road tax myself

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6 hours ago, IanD said:

 

I don't think it should be shot down, but I think something in-between makes more sense. Right now the fee is based purely on boat size (should be area?) on the idea that bigger boats "use" more of the canal, but as you say this ignores the difference between the poor young couple and the rich retiree. On the other hand moving purely to boat value means said couple in an old 72' x 14' fatboat would pay less than somebody in a new 36' x 7' narrowboat, which also doesn't seem fair.

 

What would be fairer overall would be to have both elements as part of the license fee, one related to width*length and one related to estimated value -- though I'm not sure how this would be proved. Maybe set this so that a "typical" boat -- perhaps 57' x 7', worth maybe £60k (fill in your own figures) pays a similar amount (£1200?) to now, something like £1.5/sq.ft (£600) for size and £10/k (£600) for value. Poorer boaters in old boats would effectively get a discount, the couple in the 60' £20k boat would pay about £800. Well-off people in expensive new narrowboats would pay considerably more (e.g. £2000), and ones in huge widebeams a lot more (e.g. £3500). The overall take to CART would go up considerably because the fee increases on the high side (who by definition can afford them) are much bigger than the fee decreases on the low side.

 

I'm sure there would be screams of protest from those whose fees would go up, but it would be difficult to justify these if the charging scheme was devised to be much fairer than it is today -- which I think most people would say this is, it balances out charging by need/use and charging by ability to pay.

 

I await comments with bated breath... 😉

Even easier width × length plus additional charge for boats without a home mooring. Afterall they (should) use the canals and facilities more. Then we could have a surcharge for those who want to overstay. Called the 14 day plus license. 😝😝😝

 

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4 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

The reason that C&RT is not allowed to charge for tow-path usage is 'legal'.

 

When C&RT was formed and the transfer (BW to C&RT) documents were drawn up it was a condition of transfer that C&RT could never charge for access to the tow-paths, without an application to, and written approval from the Secretary Of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

 

Some months ago I read a document from the 'cycling authorities' suggesting that they would support the issuing of a licence and charging for it, should C&RT wish to introduce it. C&RT are not allowed to unless the above application is made and permission is given

 

The Tow-Path must remain free of charge for all users.

 

From the Transfer documents :

 

2.4 The Trustee must obtain the Settlor’s prior written consent before:

 

2.4.3 restricting pedestrian access to any part of the towpaths within the Infrastructure Property; for example by charging a fee for access, save that consent will not be needed for any temporary restrictions either to allow maintenance/repair works or to protect persons from risks to their safety;

 

2.4.4 diverting the route of any towpath or part of a towpath, other than as permitted at Clause 3.5.1

That seems to mention only pedestrians, not cyclists bikes etc etc. Not sure about anglers, they are supposed to be licenced  are they not? Or were there other clauses just for them?

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2 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Please can I have an E Type in showroom condition complete with insurance, I can afford the road tax myself

 

E types for everyone paid for by the public. The government spending will stimulate the economy. Anyways it is hardly fair that only the very lucky - or people who have worked their whole life, saving and forgoing other pleasures - can have a nice car. It makes sense that the public should pay for my car anyway, because the gongoozlers like to see a road with nice cars on it! 😁

 

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32 minutes ago, jetzi said:

 

E types for everyone paid for by the public. The government spending will stimulate the economy. Anyways it is hardly fair that only the very lucky - or people who have worked their whole life, saving and forgoing other pleasures - can have a nice car. It makes sense that the public should pay for my car anyway, because the gongoozlers like to see a road with nice cars on it! 😁

 

De tomaso pantera GT5 for me please. 1980s model.

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I took this photo in 2017 on the Rochdale. Was our GSD Lily (sadly now in her dog kennel in the sky) meant to swim in the canal, or was she classed as a pedestrian?

 

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