BW West Midlands get tough

Published: Wednesday, 05 August 2009

I have heard reports that BW West Midlands has a new mooring patrol officer walking the towpaths. The 'white shirt' in question has ruffled a few feathers of the continuous mooring brigade in the Fradley area in particular, I understand, writes Ralph Freeman.

I know of three boats on the Trent & Mersey Canal that used to moor for months on end at their chosen location or 'bridge hopped', that now moor off line following warnings from BW that their licences would not be renewed next time. This would have meant that their boats would have had to be removed from the canal in due course or proceedings under Section 8 would have been instigated one assumes. These boaters have responded by finding suitable (official) moorings, not necessarily in marinas I might add.

Until recently BW's hands were tied to some extent as these people could defend their 'continuous moorer' status by claiming (quite reasonably) that there were no moorings available in the area. However, this is no longer the case on the lower Trent & Mersey Canal. I understand there are berths available in all the marinas from Stone to Willington. In October the new marina at Stone is due to open adding a further 180 berths to the moorings already available on this stretch. I suspect some boaters that used to moor on online moorings have moved into marinas during the past 12 months, so one assumes there are (cheaper?) online moorings available too.

So the message being sent out by BW West Midlands is this: If you have a continuous cruiser licence then your options are to (genuinely) cruise continuously, or find a mooring. I am sure the vast majority of boaters in the area mentioned will not have a problem with that policy?