THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BOAT OWNERS

Friday, December 15, 2017

Canal & River Trust

What should CRT’s priorities be for 2016?

Mark Tizard summarises the members’ discussions at the AGM

The consensus was that members were very supportive of NABO continuing to hold CRT to account on areas of strategic policy such as enforcement, moorings, BSS and the legality of the terms and conditions.

However from the perspective of day-to-day boater experience, the real concern was that CRT’s focus should be to concentrate on the fundamental requirements of boating (i.e. to ensure that the basic canal infrastructure is maintained). It was felt that, despite PR to the contrary, this was failing. It was noted that CRT’s Head of Engineering is not a director-level role, which is unusual for any organisation where engineering is such an important component. Instead of concentrating on the failing canal infrastructure, it was felt that CRT’s recent focus had been on attracting volunteers and non-boating canal users. It is all very well having volunteers painting lock gates and railings, or cutting the grass, but gates are still leaking, paddles remain broken or difficult to operate, gates are badly balanced etc. Dredging and vegetation management is required to enable boats to moor against the towpath, even on some visitor moorings. Because this requirement is a given, we perhaps have not focussed on it recently as much as we might have. Your Council will take this on board and ensure that CRT is made aware of this at our meetings. Let us know if you have other thoughts on these subjects.