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Licence increase announced 2024-25


adam1uk

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1 minute ago, magnetman said:

If you were to read my posts you will see that I did say it should be a weekly licence. 

That would be great, but is completely impractical and unenforceable without compulsory (and enforced!) automated boat tracking/charging -- and any time this is mentioned there is a howl of protest...

Edited by IanD
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It would just need all boat locations to be logged once a week by spotters. They do this anyway maybe it is once every two weeks. 

 

The customer (most people are basically honest) logs in to their account and pays for the week depending on where they are. If they are found to be circumventing then warnings issued and eventually compulsion to remove the vessel from the waterways. 

 

People would comply. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, magnetman said:

People would comply. 

I'm probably not one of them. Not due to malice or anything, but sheer laziness and a tendency to forget things, and I doubt I'd be the only one. Having to fill out a form on a weekly basis for where you are, and update your license would be forgotten/not gotten round to by so many people unless CRT *also* drastically stepped up their enforcement - which I doubt they have the resources or people to do effectively.

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5 minutes ago, magnetman said:

It would just need all boat locations to be logged once a week by spotters. They do this anyway maybe it is once every two weeks. 

 

The customer (most people are basically honest) logs in to their account and pays for the week depending on where they are. If they are found to be circumventing then warnings issued and eventually compulsion to remove the vessel from the waterways. 

 

People would comply. 

 

 

We've had this debate before. First you have to get all boats to be uniquely identifiable, then you have to have an absolute army of spotters compared to today -- all of who need paying, and people are expensive! -- who reliably track and log all boats, then you need a charging mechanism that doesn't get clogged up with disputes, and "honest" boaters, and a fast/cheap/effective enforcement mechanism to penalise evaders.

 

The last in particular simply doesn't exist, S8 is effectively toothless (look how long it took and how much it cost to get George Ward off the canals), which is why so many boaters simple ignore lots of the rules today, they know the penalty is effectively zero and the benefit (free mooring where they want) is great.

 

Complicated schemes often end up costing more to run and enforce than simple ones which don't look so good on paper. Without enforced automatic boat tracking and charging, region-based licenses are one of these.

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3 minutes ago, IanD said:

Without enforced automatic boat tracking and charging, region-based licenses are one of these.

Employing full-time staff at the border of each region would possibly be cheaper than employing thousands more spotters. But then without reintroducing/maintaining stoplocks at those borders (which would create massive boat jams at peak times as well), there's not much to stop an unlabelled boat cheerily flipping off the border guard as they cruise past into pastures new. Not sure if that'd end up cheaper, monetarily, than an automated tracking and charging solution but it'd definitely be cheaper politically. I would not comply to being tracked (I track myself thank you very much), and it'd be an absolute political nightmare as well as likely running into the failures/struggles of any large-scale IT project

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4 minutes ago, sigsegv said:

Employing full-time staff at the border of each region would possibly be cheaper than employing thousands more spotters. But then without reintroducing/maintaining stoplocks at those borders (which would create massive boat jams at peak times as well), there's not much to stop an unlabelled boat cheerily flipping off the border guard as they cruise past into pastures new. Not sure if that'd end up cheaper, monetarily, than an automated tracking and charging solution but it'd definitely be cheaper politically. I would not comply to being tracked (I track myself thank you very much), and it'd be an absolute political nightmare as well as likely running into the failures/struggles of any large-scale IT project

 

Boat tracking is hardly large-scale or difficult or even expensive to do given modern technology, there are only 35000 boats out there compared to 85M smartphones which can already do this.

 

The issues are not political as such so much as resistance from boaters refusing to be tracked -- all it needs is a few thousand to do this (very likely, especially anyone in the NBTA!) and the whole thing is dead in the water, there would be no possible way to enforce any effective sanction on the refuseniks.

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37 minutes ago, magnetman said:

Maybe gradual decline and eventual closure of canals is not such a bad idea after all.

 

 

It's exactly what is going to happen.

 

Pricing new boaters (who tend to start with smaller cheaper boats) off the water will eventually lead to the less and less boaters on the water, no "new blood" to replace those leaving due to ill health and old age.

 

Why maintain the waterways for a diminishing number of old folks in narrowboats? 

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4 minutes ago, Naughty Cal said:

It's exactly what is going to happen.

 

Pricing new boaters (who tend to start with smaller cheaper boats) off the water will eventually lead to the less and less boaters on the water, no "new blood" to replace those leaving due to ill health and old age.

 

Why maintain the waterways for a diminishing number of old folks in narrowboats? 

 

Because unlike you (IIRC no longer on the canals), some people think it's a national asset worth keeping/preserving/maintaining?

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5 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

Because unlike you (IIRC no longer on the canals), some people think it's a national asset worth keeping/preserving/maintaining?

 

Well there is an argument that the canals don't need boats on them in order to be an asset. Parry himself has indicated closure of at least some waterways is a possibility.

 

 

Edited by M_JG
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Just now, M_JG said:

 

Well there is an argument that the canals don't need boats on them in order to be an asset. 

 

I keep coming back to this like a broken record. Not a lot of boats there. 

 

CANAL & RIVER TRUST

Company number 07807276

 

 

....

 

 

Nature of business (SIC)

  • 36000 - Water collection, treatment and supply
  • 52220 - Service activities incidental to water transportation
  • 91020 - Museums activities
  • 91030 - Operation of historical sites and buildings and similar visitor attractions

 

 

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/07807276

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, magnetman said:

 

I keep coming back to this like a broken record. Not a lot of boats there. 

 

CANAL & RIVER TRUST

Company number 07807276

Nature of business (SIC)

  • 36000 - Water collection, treatment and supply
  • 52220 - Service activities incidental to water transportation
  • 91020 - Museums activities
  • 91030 - Operation of historical sites and buildings and similar visitor attractions

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/07807276

 

 

 

From their negative posts it's almost as if some posters positively *want* the canals to go to rack and ruin and boats to be driven off them... 😞

 

Possibly in some cases because they've moved (or plan to...) off the canals -- onto other waters, or motorhomes -- and want to see confirmation that they were right to do this, then they can say "I told you so..." 😉

Edited by IanD
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18 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

It's not a list written by CRT!

 

I bet it is (or BW before them).

I have had to declare (decide on) the SIC number for each of my companies, it is a requirement on the Companies House registration documents.

 

Companies House only report the numbers provided to them.

 

From 'registering your company' :

 

When incorporating your company in the UK, you will need to provide one or more Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes. SIC codes provide a way for Companies House to classify your business activities in the UK. By using a standard set of codes, Companies House can ensure the consistency of the information they hold on all UK companies. It also makes it possible for Companies House and other agencies to track and report on the different types of UK businesses. SIC codes contain five digits representing every type of business activity in the UK. For example, the first code on the list is “01110” for “Growing of cereals (except rice), leguminous crops and oil seeds”. In this article, we will explain more about what SIC codes are used for, how SIC codes are grouped, when SIC codes are used, and the requirements for SIC codes.

 

For example :

C&RT say one of their SIC codes is 36000.

 

List of activities classified inside the UK SIC Code 36000

Collection of rain water

Water company

Water collection, purification and distribution

Water authority (headquarters and water supply)

Treatment of water for industrial and other purposes

Sea water desalination

River management

Operation of irrigation canals

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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36 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

From their negative posts it's almost as if some posters positively *want* the canals to go to rack and ruin and boats to be driven off them... 😞

 

Possibly in some cases because they've moved (or plan to...) off the canals -- onto other waters, or motorhomes -- and want to see confirmation that they were right to do this, then they can say "I told you so..." 😉

 

You may think that and I do see the use of the word 'almost' .

No one has suggested that they have a wish for the inland waterways to go to rack and ruin or become non navigable.

 

I would like to see costs that are affordable and 50% increases in license fees over 3 years with further 11% increases following years coupled with declining standards  will deter some people whether you think it will or not. 

I think it is clear that some narrowboaters would like to see reduced numbers of boats, especially those who don't follow the rules.

 

I can't say I want to see boat numbers decline since  from my own observation there has been a decline in boats moving in our locality in the last couple of years when a post Covid recovery might have been expected.

 

I would like to see boating that is more affordable but all seems to be moving in the wrong direction.

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, MartynG said:

 

You may think that and I do see the use of the word 'almost' .

No one has suggested that they have a wish for the inland waterways to go to rack and ruin or become non navigable.

 

I would like to see costs that are affordable and 50% increases in license fees over 3 years with further 11% increases following years coupled with declining standards  will deter some people whether you think it will or not. 

I think it is clear that some narrowboaters would like to see reduced numbers of boats, especially those who don't follow the rules.

 

I can't say I want to see boat numbers decline since  from my own observation there has been a decline in boats moving in our locality in the last couple of years when a post Covid recovery might have been expected.

 

I would like to see boating that is more affordable but all seems to be moving in the wrong direction.

 

 

 

I think the post Covid effect is likely to be a decline rather than a boom. Boating went up while foreign holidays were either banned or difficult, and some people bought boats in a burst of enthusiasm, probably dampened by English weather and water shortage/breakdown stoppages.

As you say, none of us want to see the system failing, but whatever we want, that's what's been happening for years, and it's only going to accelerate.

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2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

I bet it is (or BW before them).

 

No, I'm fairly sure the list of SIC codes wasn't written by CRT or BW.  They will indeed have chosen the ones that describe their activities though.

 

The only ones on the list that match "boat" are:

 

30120    Building of pleasure and sporting boats


33150    Repair and maintenance of ships and boats


47640    Retail sale of sports goods, fishing gear, camping goods, boats and bicycles

 

None of which seem particularly relevant to CRT.

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On 29/11/2023 at 17:30, Arthur Marshall said:

I think that's what the original debate re this was about. If it's a registration, there would be no need to pass it on to HMRC, so CRT could just pocket it, which you could argue would be fraudulent . The logical thing to do would be to ask someone at HMRC (or CRT) if it was being paid over but as far as I know nobody ever bothered. I suspect it is and HMRC just assume they deserve it.

Only illegal if they issued a VAT receipt that included it, I guess. More likely they just tell you what the fee is . . .

18 hours ago, M_JG said:

 

Yes, but I wasn't talking about waterways that were not suitable. As in the width, even though they may have originally been constructed as such.

 

CRT could easily define waterways not felt to be suitable and charge a supplement for wide beams that venture there. There are loads of waterways up North where width is not in any way shape or form an issue.

 

As ever we are getting a very southern/nb centric slant.

If you are referring to the Grand Union, my undeetsaatymdiong is that it was only built for wide boats up to Ricky, above that it was expanded later for narrowboat pairs. But I guess some folk like to rely on later publications of nominal dimensions.

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3 hours ago, MartynG said:

 

I would like to see boating that is more affordable but all seems to be moving in the wrong direction.

 

 

I expect you'd like to see a reduction in taxes and more spending on public services, too...

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, magnetman said:

The Trent is a lot bigger than some other CRT managed river waterways. 

 

 

When we were transiting the Thames in August, occasionally not all waiting boats could fit into one lock turn - although some of that was because of Self Service and some boaters not knowing how to fit everyone in, unlike an experienced lock keeper.

7 hours ago, IanD said:

<sigh> Regardless of where a boat is used -- narrow or wide canals, marinas, harbours, estuaries, at sea -- the fairest way of making a charge such as a licensing fee is width*length/area/displacement. This is the normal and accepted of way of doing this pretty much everywhere in the world except on CART waters and in your head... 😉

 

What am I ignoring?

 

What is your *valid* objection to this?

 

("I don't want to pay more because I didn't in the past" is *not* valid, any more than objecting to closing tax loopholes is...)

'Fairness' in any charging or taxation style system is never absolute and it is only possible to seek to devise a scheme that maximises the support for it - or rather, minimises the outright opposition with unintended consequences. There will alays be people whose circumstances lead them to object on the grounds of fairness.

6 hours ago, magnetman said:

If you were to read my posts you will see that I did say it should be a weekly licence. 

But it is grossly unfair to charge me the same or a one day transit as for others who get a whole seven days for the amount.

 

You might think I am being facetious but actually the NT agree on the Wey!

5 hours ago, magnetman said:

It would just need all boat locations to be logged once a week by spotters. They do this anyway maybe it is once every two weeks. 

 

The customer (most people are basically honest) logs in to their account and pays for the week depending on where they are. If they are found to be circumventing then warnings issued and eventually compulsion to remove the vessel from the waterways. 

 

People would comply. 

 

 

I guess it would not take much effort to demonstrate that such a plan has more holes in it than the average colander.

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3 hours ago, MartynG said:

 

You may think that and I do see the use of the word 'almost' .

No one has suggested that they have a wish for the inland waterways to go to rack and ruin or become non navigable.

 

I would like to see costs that are affordable and 50% increases in license fees over 3 years with further 11% increases following years coupled with declining standards  will deter some people whether you think it will or not. 

I think it is clear that some narrowboaters would like to see reduced numbers of boats, especially those who don't follow the rules.

 

I can't say I want to see boat numbers decline since  from my own observation there has been a decline in boats moving in our locality in the last couple of years when a post Covid recovery might have been expected.

 

I would like to see boating that is more affordable but all seems to be moving in the wrong direction.

 

 

Again, you're suggesting others think what they probably don't... 😞

 

There's no doubt that big increases in license fees will deter some people, especially those who have historically been paying less than is "fair" who are seeing the biggest increases. But I think this is inevitable given the state of CARTs finances, and the numbers leaving are unlikely to be as apocalyptic as some are making out, since even a 50% increase in license fee only represents something like a 10% increase in the total annual cost of running a boat. Same with declining standards, it will push some people away but I very much doubt there will be a major collapse in numbers -- where else are they going to go?

 

To correct your version, I think it's clear than some (many?) boaters (not just narrowboaters) would like to see reduced numbers of boats who don't follow the rules (not all boats) -- your comment is pretty much anti-narrowboater, don't you think?

 

Everyone would like to see everything being more affordable but that's pie-in-the-sky, especially given CART finances... 😞

 

You seem to think that boaters -- especially you -- should pay less (or at least, not the latest surcharges), and that at the same time CART should improve maintenance standards. How is this possible? In the real world, not the one you'd like to live in?

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5 hours ago, IanD said:

 

Boat tracking is hardly large-scale or difficult or even expensive to do given modern technology, there are only 35000 boats out there compared to 85M smartphones which can already do this.

 

The issues are not political as such so much as resistance from boaters refusing to be tracked -- all it needs is a few thousand to do this (very likely, especially anyone in the NBTA!) and the whole thing is dead in the water, there would be no possible way to enforce any effective sanction on the refuseniks.

But it would have to be built into each boat such that it could not be tampered with nor allow the boat to be used when out of credit.

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