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Alan de Enfield

London Boaters - Government Review

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On a summer day, canals can seem like an oasis of calm in busy city centres, but tensions are rising on British waterways.

Boaters are battling to influence a new Govenrment review set up to find solutions to increasing congestion on Britain's waterways.

Canal life in London is fast becoming dominated by younger boaters as they avoid high property prices in the city.

A new working group set up by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which includes representatives from navigation authorities and the Ministry of Housing, held its first meeting in December last year.

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But several groups claim they have been shut out of the discussions, setting up a clash of generations on the water.

Pamela Smith is not happy.

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/10/boaters-battling-influence-government-review-ease-congestion/

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As far as I can see from the Telegraph article and postings by NABO no boating organisation has yet been invited, not even the IWA. 

 

And, NBTA doesn't represent all continuous cruisers. 

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4 minutes ago, pearley said:

 

 

And, NBTA doesn't represent all continuous cruisers. 

...and not even all the continuous moorers....

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22 minutes ago, pearley said:

As far as I can see from the Telegraph article and postings by NABO no boating organisation has yet been invited, not even the IWA.

I struggle these days to see the IWA as a "boating organisation".

 

It is certainly never going to fairly represent London live-aboards, being largely completely totally hostile to them.

 

That said, even the RBOA don't seem at all supportive either, unless they have a permanent mooring.

 

On the other hand, despite often obviously passionate views, the NBTA have consistently failed to impress me as well. (I'm not keen on an organisation where one of their officers says to my face "Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?")

 

I'm not an active member of any right now, (there than the Historic Narrow Boat Club), but actually I do believe NABO are the only ones that come close to having a platform that considers all boaters, not just a small subset.

 

That said CRT seem to have marginalised even NABO, and often don't seem keen to meet with them directly, or really take their views into consideration.

 

(All "in my opinion" of course - other views of course exist in large numbers!).

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NABO got an email enquiry  from the freelance journalist involved but he seemed to want someone to write the article for him and we declined , beyond givin* some facts. As far as I’m aware no boating associations are currently involved and this is a Defra local government initiative. NABO has written to Defra for details but to date has not received a reply. 

 

Given CRTs insistance in including a comment regarding reviewing/tackling congestion, specifically London,as part of the licensing consultation press release.  Together with the subsequent disbanding of the NAG (licensing and mooring group) who at least had some oversight it is perhaps not surprising that they are not including boaters or associations until they have agreed a strategy amongst their own group.

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What happened to ACC (?)

The group that Cotswold man started.

 

Bod

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Are the IWA seriously suggesting a cruising range of 300 miles?   I just checked (cos I wasn't sure) and even doing the full length of the GU wouldn't even do half of that !!

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15 minutes ago, KevMc said:

Are the IWA seriously suggesting a cruising range of 300 miles?   I just checked (cos I wasn't sure) and even doing the full length of the GU wouldn't even do half of that !!

But surely any continuous cruiser who is genuinely continuously cruising and not bridge hopping would comfortably exceed that?

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28 minutes ago, KevMc said:

Are the IWA seriously suggesting a cruising range of 300 miles?   I just checked (cos I wasn't sure) and even doing the full length of the GU wouldn't even do half of that !!

Spend the second half of the year going back again? At just over 5 miles per week it doesn't really sound unreasonable.

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35 minutes ago, Bod said:

What happened to ACC (?)

The group that Cotswold man started.

 

Bod

I heard that it became a cult, and then imploded...

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43 minutes ago, KevMc said:

Are the IWA seriously suggesting a cruising range of 300 miles?   I just checked (cos I wasn't sure) and even doing the full length of the GU wouldn't even do half of that !!

The writer of the article is not using the correct terminology (a lot of folks get confused with it)

 

A range is a distance from a starting point, so a 20 mile range would be 20 miles from A-B, or even back to A then A-C in the opposite direction (ie a 'radius') Achieving this is what C&RT have been accepting (suggesting) would not result in licence revocation. Not saying it is acceptable, just not likely to lead to Enforcement.

 

The IWA are suggesting :

The Inland Waterway Association (IWA), a canal and river conservation group, wants to see this minimum distance travelled increased to 300 miles.

 

Note "DISTANCE TRAVELLED"  of 300 miles in a year - so it could be doing  6 miles per week, 'up the canal' and then a further 6 miles ' ............… repeatedly, easily achieving the desired 300 miles, if they turned around after 3 months and did the repeat journey, then turned again …………….

 

If someone cannot travel 6 miles per week then they are not continuous cruisers.

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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I predict lots of talking followed by lots of meetings with lots more talking followed by..... well you get the picture. People will use whatever means available to get a home and short of draining the canals there will be boats with people living on them in London (and Bristol / Bath / Oxford etc etc)

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37 minutes ago, WotEver said:

But surely any continuous cruiser who is genuinely continuously cruising and not bridge hopping would comfortably exceed that?

Ive done more than that since march already this year. I think the word continuous is the clue. Though we do stop to sleep. I know many many liveaboards and the VAST majority of them are members of non of the clubs such as the bargee thingy or the RBOA or nabo etc etc.

Edited by mrsmelly
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1 hour ago, Bod said:

What happened to ACC (?)

The group that Cotswold man started.

 

Bod

 

I think, from memory, it is a Jenyln and CWM initiative.

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2 hours ago, Bod said:

What happened to ACC (?)

The group that Cotswold man started.

 

Bod

 

1 hour ago, mark99 said:

 

I think, from memory, it is a Jenyln and CWM initiative.

 

Wrong tense, I think....... "it was a Jenlyn and CWM initiative".

 

Other than a few residual stickers in boat windows that people have not bothered to remove, it is long since defunct.

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23 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:


But several groups claim they have been shut out of the discussions, setting up a clash of generations on the water.

Pamela Smith is not happy.

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/10/boaters-battling-influence-government-review-ease-congestion/

Why would they invite boating groups at this stage? They haven't even set the terms of reference yet. Pamela Smith not happy? it's the piss-takers that have caused the government to look at the problem.

Edited by Midnight
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22 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

I struggle these days to see the IWA as a "boating organisation".

 

It is certainly never going to fairly represent London live-aboards, being largely completely totally hostile to them.

 

That said, even the RBOA don't seem at all supportive either, unless they have a permanent mooring.

 

On the other hand, despite often obviously passionate views, the NBTA have consistently failed to impress me as well. (I'm not keen on an organisation where one of their officers says to my face "Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?")

 

I'm not an active member of any right now, (there than the Historic Narrow Boat Club), but actually I do believe NABO are the only ones that come close to having a platform that considers all boaters, not just a small subset.

 

That said CRT seem to have marginalised even NABO, and often don't seem keen to meet with them directly, or really take their views into consideration.

 

(All "in my opinion" of course - other views of course exist in large numbers!).

I'd be interested to see how long the IWA can sustain itself. Younger people, in particular in London, are in no way going to join up especially seeing as the IWA's policies would have a negative affect on their boating lifestyles.

 

I was at an NBTA meeting earlier this year, which where one of IWAs chiefs were there to explain their policies, in particular the 300 mile minimum distance. policy Got to say, they didn't sell themselves or their 300 mile policy, which by and large was simply a figure plucked out of the air with no basis in anything.

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21 hours ago, WotEver said:

But surely any continuous cruiser who is genuinely continuously cruising and not bridge hopping would comfortably exceed that?

I realise that London boaters are a particular target group for many people on here and boaters in general, for both good reason and bad. But I think if not sympathy, a little bit of understanding of why the "London situation" is different to perhaps the rest of the country. There is no doubt that many boaters in London are in it for cheap accommodation, although I'm sure they get a wake-up call pretty quickly that it isn't the cheap living they expected. But I think that is probably quite an indication of the housing situation in London. And by all call boaters here continuous moorers or bridge hoppers or whatever, but by and large people are doing the minimum that the CRT ask of them. There are absolutely piss takers and plenty of them but they're still very much in the minority.

 

While I'm not exploring the entire waterways or close to it at this point in time, I do my miles fortnightly and not just the minimum expected by the CRT. I enjoy the cruising, it's not just a chore that I have to do every week. In a year or so when my boat is mostly paid for, you won't see me for dust (or at least the gentle lapping of my wake behind me). But at the end of the day, as much as I love boats and boating, I still have work to get to every morning and it's simply not practical for me to be cruising for long distances outside the M25 and spending time on the K&A or further up the GU, much that I'd love to.

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The cruising range suggested by the IWA is 100 miles.  I work in Oldbury, West Midlands.  To exceed the minimum range, I would need to go as far as Macclesfield in the North, Northhampton in the East, Sharpness in the South and Llangollen in the West.  This effectively rules out any chance of commuting to a specific place of work, which, I suspect, is the whole point.  I'd also wager that the majority of IWA members are retired.

 

When I'm away from my mooring for a length of time, my cruising range is around 50 miles, Worcester, Stratford, Tamworth, Stafford, Gnosall etc.

 

This keeps my commuting time to around 1 hour, which is reasonable for me.

Edited by Dave_P

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2 minutes ago, Dave_P said:

This effectively rules out any chance of commuting to a specific place of work...

No it doesn’t. It means that you’ll have to pay for a mooring. 

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1 minute ago, WotEver said:

No it doesn’t. It means that you’ll have to pay for a mooring. 

Thanks for the pedantry.  I was (obviously) referring to continuous cruisers.  

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Just now, WotEver said:

No it doesn’t. It means that you’ll have to pay for a mooring. 

Which, certainly here in the Old Smoke, is impossible on my budget. Thankfully the CRT seem to be happy enough with my cruising pattern over the past four years that they've not suggested I should get a mooring.

 

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Just now, Dave_P said:

Thanks for the pedantry.  I was (obviously) referring to continuous cruisers.  

No you weren’t. You were referring to someone who wants to avoid paying for a mooring and thereby declaring himself to be a continuous cruiser when in fact he wishes to remain in one particular area and not cruise at all. 

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