'No licence—no cash' agrees Victor!

Published: Saturday, 19 August 2023

ONE thing is definitely for sure—those with no boat licences are going to be upset, very upset.

Our feature at the moment tells that the government is paying out support in the form of a single £600 voucher to be sent out to all continuous cruisers in the coming weeksbut not for those with no licence!

This combines the £400 Energy Support Scheme  and the £200 Alternative Fuel Scheme with no need to supply receipts for alternative fuel use.

But those continuous cruisers with no licence will get nowt! For Canal & River Trust is liaising with the government to ensure recipients have a boat licence before any money is released.

Anyway those genuine continuous cruisers have the trust to thank for getting the payment, for though many boating organisations attempted, they only caused confusion and it was left to Canal & River Trust to sort it all out—which it did very well indeed. Praise where praise due—eh?

Wood EndWood End packs up again

For the fifth time this season Wood End Lift Bridge on the Peak Forest Canal has packed up.

And I just can't help wondering why, for after all, this is a dead end canal and all too often is short of water or something or other closing access to the waterway, as the closure at Lock 7 on the Peak Forest is doing so now! Resulting in it getting very little use.

So! What is the stoppage of the bridge all about now? What does CaRT tell us?

It tells us that it has 'identified several issues that are making the bridge inoperable'. What these issues are we are alas not told.

Only that it continues to liaise with those making replacement parts—and here comes the bad newswhich has an approximate lead time of six weeks, but hope to do remedial repairs which will take two weeks to perhaps undertake a controlled passage.But don't hold your you know what.

That will get rid of a few

After much hassle we managed to get the application form for our licence, with the expected rise in cost to  now £1,102 for a 54ft.

But the sheer hassle of undertaking this over the web is little short of ludicrous with page after page needed to be completed.

Anyway, with the state of of cash at the moment with boat owners, I reckon there are going to be many more second hand boats for sale.

But it seems not many new ones, as I hear of another big company biting the dust—I'll let you know.

Getting in touch with those who deal in boats, I learn that there are more than the usual number of boats now coming up for sale, that incidently perhaps make the bit of a mockery of the telling of 'more boats than ever' on the waterways.

More money gone

I notice something else the trust is spending money on—the 'Write2Speak' Theatre Co that is part of a Canal & River Trust-led Art and Community project.

It has arranged a performance during the end of the month, that will upset the boaters mooring nearby as they are closed!

These are on the Lee Navigation above Stonebridge Lock, immediately south of the services and close to the Waterside Cafe.

What's it all about?

I must admit to being somewhat confused with Fund Britain's Waterways—the name suggests getting people to raise cash to pour into CaRT's coffers.

I just cannot see this happening, based on its non-waterways spending. (Does it still have five lawyers and all those other people holding weird positions?)

Or perhaps it is hoping to persuade those holding the purse strings to give more?

This was the National Association of Boat Owners idea, but before it had chance to progress it, it appears that the Inland Waterways Association is taking it over, with people being led to believe it is part of its own Protect our Waterways campaign.

A bit of a difference

I do like the comparisons that Allan Richards keeps making between the figures from CaRT compared with those gleaned from a Freedom of Information requests.

It would appear that the exaggeration of its number of people using the towpaths also applies to other matters!

Towpath use has leaped up to CaRT tells of 885,000,000 millions, come rain or shine, getting near to it's target—think I—of a billion!  But 885,000,000 millionsI notice they did what I suggested and put a odd number in to make it more believablebut alas. it certainly hasn't. For believe that if you will. I certainly don't.

Victor Swift—telling tales for 23 years