Will have unwanted and unforseen consequences

Published: Monday, 20 February 2023

I CAN see this proposal by CaRT having unwanted and unforeseen consequences for marina based boaters, writes John Coxon.

Cause conflict

I hope the marina based boaters realise that if a differential is imposed where we continuous cruisers are required to pay more than marina based boaters then we continuous cruisers will assume priority at all points on the network and expect all marina based boats to give way to us at places like locks, water points, services and moorings? It will, as a minimum, cause a certain amount of conflict and upset!

By continuous cruisers, I mean those of us who cruise the network 52 weeks of the year and not the faction who buy a continuous cruiser licence and only move a mile or two every month or so citing all kinds of excuses like work, school, hospitals etc for not moving. Yes, charge them a hefty mooring fee by all means—that could generate a sizeable income for CaRT.

Before the marina based boaters fill in their consultation comments they might like to reflect that choosing a differential will ensure that they will be treated with contempt on the network by those of us who are paying more and they will be looked upon and treated as inferior and less privileged?

Spot a marina moorer a mile off

Turning up to a popular mooring and finding that a marina based boat has moored in the middle of a space (middle moorers) and left large gaps 'git gaps' that are too small to allow other boats to get in and washing boats whilst tied to busy water points etc will certainly generate more conflict! Make no mistake about it, us continuous cruisers can spot a marina based boat a mile off so will know!

How are CaRT going to differentiate anyway? Are they going to say that as you are on the canals 52 weeks of the year you have to pay more than others who, if they wish, can also be on the canals 52 weeks of the year? Or, is it going to impose a time limit on marina based boats and restrict them to a limited amount of days that they can be out of their marina? Make no mistake about it, things like this, and worse, will be a result of differential licencing.

CaRT have squandered their resources to the point that now they are struggling to make make ends meet. Its answer is to try and get a small amount of boaters to pay more to fill the gap!

Reducing high paid staff

Just another ill thought out illogical proposal by CaRT. Perhaps in the first place, they need to look at reducing its high paid staff and accompanying expensive teams? If they have no money what are these teams doing and how are they being paid?

A major result of imposing higher tariffs on a small faction of boaters will be to create animosity towards CaRT and their staff and more unlicenced boats and uncooperative boaters on the system that will result in more expenditure for CaRT?

Also, is it proposing to compensate us continuous cruisers every time there is an unplanned stoppage due to lack of maintenance that prevents us from using the network we are being charged a premium for? Just think how much of the system has been unusable in the last few years, even so, I wouldn't hold breath on getting any compensation!

Smoke screen

I think this proposal by CaRT is just another deliberate attempt divide the boating community and put boater against boater!

Assuming this consultation is not a smoke screen for a decision that has already been made and that the full results will be made public, boaters need to think before they put their tick in the box or whatever, as they just might not like the consequences?