Victor: The licence con

Published: Sunday, 15 April 2018

I WONDER how many of you boaters realise that Cart is increasing your yearly licence cost by around 10%?

Yes, my friends, you are being conned by its stated small increase, as it has worked a fiddle by chopping what it calls the 'early payment discount'.

Under British Waterways this was not an early payment discount at all but a late payment penalty, but Cart craftily changed it to a discount, so that it can be cut, as it has been, meaning that in addition to the yearly increase in the licence fee it gets another slice of payment by reducing the money you save from its 'early payment discount'.

All in all you will be paying around 10% more.  And there is little doubt that there will be a temptation for another cut in the 'discount' next year... 

You 'forgot' something

I for one was pleased to learn that Cart had cut its boat licence evasion and had removed so many boats that were either unlicenced or flouting the rules, the owners believing it was all for free.

But there was no mention at all of the actual number of boats on the waterways, though we are only too often told that 'boating is more popular than ever before'. Many tell us however, as we too have realised, there are far fewer boats about these days, and most of builders of the heyday of boat building have gone out of business.

Looking back a few years I see that a figure of 38,000 was stated.  It is certainly nowhere near that now.

Not this year

A couple of boaters have remarked on the photograph of the breach on the Middlewich Branch, and that there is no sign of any work being undertaken.

But it is unlikely there will be any done this year—there is no money, don't you know.

Would make more sense

But of course there is no money, not with a million or so now being spent by Cart on re-branding itself.

There is little doubt that it will also want a new logo that will need to be plastered on everything. And I wonder about the colour of the new uniforms, will they go back to green?

The name Canal & River Trust was a bad choice as all too often it is being reduced to 'CaRT' or 'Cart' resulting in too many jokes.  Now that the old Waterways Trust is redundant, I wonder if there is to be a name change too,,,

What a stupid waste.  What's it for anyway? It will make no difference to anyone.  Would make a damn sight more sense spending it on the Middlewich breach. But alas, sense is not a thing in great supply at the moment.

Victor Swift