Not unreasonable

Published: Wednesday, 17 October 2018

MY READING of the various press releases about the proposed Islington eco-zone seems to be somewhat at odds with the interpretations posted on narrowboatworld, writes Neil Quarmby.

It should also be noted that these aren’t new moorings. They are already in use by liveaboard boaters. However the proposal is to make these moorings an eco-zone from October 2019.

Stop engines and generators

The primary aim, at the end of a two years transition period, is to stop boaters using their engines or generators to provide electricity. If there is electric hook-up, they won’t need to. This is no bad thing because the location where the eco-zone moorings will be is a bit like an echo-chamber with sound bouncing off the adjacent buildings or the cutting sides at the east end of Islington tunnel. It will certainly reduce noise and evening power generation from the 25-30 liveaboards currently using this section of towpath moorings. It should also reduce fumes.

The secondary aim is to discourage, not ban, the use of solid fuels. The press release goes on to say that this is to encourage boaters to switch to electricity for heating and cooking. This is the part of the press release that is unrealistic. Liveaboard boaters are unlikely to switch to electric cooking or heating.

Not unreasonable

Most use gas for cooking and solid fuel for heating. In reality the restrictions imposed at the end of the two years transition period in October 2021 are likely to restrict the burning of solid fuel to smokeless fuels. After all it’s not unreasonable to have to use smokeless fuel in built-up areas. Local residents have to so why shouldn’t boaters.