Banning diesel and petrol is not an option for boaters

Published: Friday, 20 November 2020

SO NOW the powers that be have said that petrol and diesel cars will not be available in about ten years so how is this going to affect us boaters? Writes Keith Gudgin.

There is a vast amount of questions that need answers over this!  Banning petrol and diesel is not an option for boaters!

Will we go all electric?

Will we have to go all electric as well?  Will we still be able to get diesel for our engines, heating and domestic power? Who's going to pay for all our boats to be converted?

What about petrol for our generators?  Will it still be available as widely as it is now or will all the petrol stations be closed down and force us to travel vast distances to get it, if it's still available at all that is?  Will lorries have to go electric or will diesel still be available for them and if so will boaters have access to it?

How do we charge batteries?

If we are to forced to go all electric, how will we charge our batteries?  Solar will not be feasible as the power requirement to charge large banks of batteries is beyond the daily capability of the amount of panels we can generally fit on our boats, especially in the winter months.

That means we will need vast quantities of charging points all along the canals and rivers!  Who will pay for these to be fitted.  Can't see CaRT or the EA coughing up to fit them?  How much will we be charged to use them?

Relatively high powered electric points will be needed so multiple hire boats can be charged overnight.

Will marinas fit charge points?

Will marinas fit and maintain charge points?  I don't think so as the return on the initial investment would not be paid back quickly enough!

There is a lot more to this than just banning oil based fuels.  The powers that be want the country to go green then effectively prevent the greenest group of people in the country from continuing viz: canal boaters and I don't just mean the continuous cruisers!

Lobbying MPs

We need to start lobbying our MPs over this before it's too late to get changes or exemptions in the proposals or legislation!  All boaters need to get in touch with their MPs immediately to explain the problems a petrol and diesel ban, either total or partial, will have on their life-styles.

MPs need to be made aware that canal boats do not use anything like the amount of diesel that a car does in a year! They need to understand that petrol is not a luxury but a necessity for boaters, especially during the winter months!

Need to act now

When I say we, I mean YOU as well.  YOU need to act now or it will be too late. Don't say you were not warned!  Don't leave it to others because if everybody does that then no-one does anything.

Sit on your hands and do nothing and you will lose the option to go boating or live on the canals, if that's what you want then okay, but if not you need to act, and act now!  Get in touch with your MP and make them see sense.