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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Recent exchanges with C.& R. T. Serious reading with no pictures.

I do not usually e mail any authority be it press, government, BBC(disgruntled Tunbridge Wells) etc. you get the picture. Anyway maybe the coming of age  -have you noticed how quick the countdown on the right has gone-  has stirred something and as i was so pis  annoyed by the mooring notice on the Wendover that I e mailed Canal and River Trust.
Notice I don`t actually state how long was our pleasant time although it was hinted in the 3rd line although for the record we admit nothing.
Date: 07/03/2013 19:31:39


I have recently spent a pleasant time on the Wendover Arm. The only suitable place to moor is at the present end of navigation along the concrete edging. I noticed it was 48hrs!! Why?

This is a very quiet spot and merits at least 72 hrs and more in winter. Variations of time allowed happens on parts of the system at different times of year. Braunston comes to mind and look how popular that area is yet you allow 14 days over the winter back to 48hrs in summer. Understandable and very sensible.

While on the Wendover no other boat tuned up so if busy Braunston has 14 days why not allow more on the Wendover in winter.

Another point is I notice in your S E mooring consultation you state an intention of;
2 days in any one visit; 8 days in any one month.

So my question is; How does allowing a return to the same mooring 4 times a month encourage continuous moorers to become continuous cruisers?

Perhaps if a boat went back and forth between Berkhamsted (7 days, 14 days per month) with a short hop either south or north of the 2 places a continuous moorer would be following your guidlines.

2 days Wendover
down to Berko say 3 days
down to Bourne end 11 days on a 14 day mooring
back to Berko 7 days
back to Wendover 2 days
back to Berko for the last 4 days of the months allowance
back to Wendover for the 3rd of 4 allowable visits in the month

The month has gone and it all starts again for the folowing months allowance and all within 9 miles.

Les Biggs
Nb Valerie 513386 It might be of interest to the readers.
Now ok we all know the rules for a continuous cruiser re an ongoing journey passing into a new district etc. but I was annoyed that CRT are giving a reason/excuse for the `non compliant continuous cruisers` or as we call them continuous moorers to spend their time going up and down a small stretch. "well guv i`m just using up my mooring allowance"
I know of boaters that spread their cruising over a good many miles returning to the same area after a decent absence because that is what they need to do. Personally I see no problem there, what gets me is seeing the same boat and pile of junk on the towpath sat in the same place for months on end.
From: Customer Services []
Sent: 08 March 2013 12:12
Cc: Julia Moore
Subject: RE: S E visitor moorings

Dear Mr Biggs

Thank you for your email. I have forwarded your enquiry to Julia Moore who is dealing with the Mooring Consultation so should be able to respond to your questions.

Kind regards
Customer Service Advisor
Canal & River Trust
Ok sounds good, it`s being forwarded on for an answer.

Subject: RE: S E visitor moorings
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2013 15:13:19 +0000
Mr Biggs
Thank you for your e-mail. As you will be aware, we are currently holding a consultation regarding South East visitor mooring sites. The closing date for responses has now passed, but I have asked if your comments could be added to the feedback for review at our workshops next week.
Many thanks
Julia Moore
On behalf of the Canal & River Trust
No No. I am not asking for a late entry to be accepted via the back door.
Date: 12/03/2013 17:23:54

Hello CRT

I really would rather have an answer to my concerns rather than them being reviewed at your workshop.

My e mail was not a direct response to your mooring consultation but a concern of what might happen if certain parts of it were instigated and I feel it warrants an answer from someone of a managerial position.

I have made a serious point and would rather it not risk being cast aside by a workshop of volunteers unless of course volunteers are now deciding CRT guidelines to cruising.

With respect,
L Biggs
Maybe that will get an answer.
Dear Mr Biggs,
Further to your query below:-
- The 2 days stay was put forward by Wendover Arm Trust as a proposal. It does look somewhat ‘tight’ and I suspect that 7 days is more what is ultimately implemented
- The return frequencies have been constructed recognising the potential revisit behaviours from a range of boaters – hire boaters could revisit every week, leisure boaters differently etc
Given that we have not got return protocols in place at all currently we now have a framework that looks like it could work fairly for the majority of boaters
The existing behaviours of the worst non movers is certainly not accommodated by these thresholds – also the continuous cruising rules are not only defined by revisit to any one particular location.
They are defined more by a ‘locality’, which , by definition would cover a wider range
- The consultation will be an opportunity to take account of broad based feedback on these issues – this will inevitably result in some adjustments being made
- We are also receiving support for the visitor mooring proposals to only cover summer months as opposed to all year round – this might well be a way we progress a) it recognises the concerns you raise, b) it opens up the possibility of Winter moorings better and c) it avoids the need to monitor out of season (which we would struggle to do)
All of the above comments are subject to how we assess our situation in the next few weeks following the analysis of the consultation feedback. We have received much comment to the consultation & we will need to take a representative amount of time to consider the best way forward as a result
I hope my comments help in answering your questions below
Jeff Whyatt
Snr Waterway Manager
South East
So if the Wendover Arm trust have proposed the 48hrs and Mr. Whyatt thinks 7 days will be implemented why are the mooring proposals listed in the wording below by CRT?

The second paragraph puzzles me.
Holiday boaters are usually on a mission, as far and as quick as possible in their 1/2week break so will not be making multiple visits.
How does a leisure boater use his 4 times in a month allowance without breaking the C/cruising rules?

Reading down further it appears they are looking to do less monitoring during the winter.(point C)
Point B i`m not sure of. Does it mean that visitor moorings will be less time restricted and therefore CRT can fill them with winter moorings? or is the age thing kicking in again and I`m getting paranoid.
No Mooring from Br 1 to Tringford Pumping Station Narrows. 2 day moorings from Pumping Station to the winding hole west of Br 3 (towpath side only). No Mooring offside from Pumping Station to beyond the winding hole. Improved visitor mooring information required at junction with Grand Union mainline. 2 days in any one visit; 8 days in any one month

Anyway peoples as I have said on here in the past and also on waterway forums the way other boaters read the rules and therefore cruise or not is of no concern of mine. I have been fortunate to have retired early and have no problem complying with the rules. Some may say i`m wrong and should report things from non licensed boats to overstaying but I strongly believe in the saying " there but for the grace of God go i".

I know of many folk in circumstances that dictate their cruising habits(work etc.) and I could have been any one of them if my path in life had been different. We have a landlord from whom we rent the use of the waterways from and I believe they should be the ones to enforce the rules. I don`t stand at the side of the road with a speed camera so why should I patrol the towpath?

So why then did I bother with the e mail in the first place? Perhaps as I said earlier just an age thing or because I could. Although as I sit moored on a muddy towpath with traffic across the field going by, with housing although set back still not as nice a view as fields. It`s near to a busy town centre, 5 mins walk to pubs and restaurants and the same distance to a train station into London. A very busy place and because of the facilities it`s popular with many boats wishing to moor. So what do they do (CRT) yes correct it`s a 14 day mooring! So even during this time of year you are lucky to find a space and all the moorers are just boaters like us moving within the limits.

As always comments welcome even if you think i`m wrong. Just say so politely and as firm as you wish and I will publish your words.


Alan Fincher said...


Just a point on your comments.

If CRT get the SE Visitor Mooring proposal in in its entirety there really will not be any 7 day moorings in what can really be considered as Berkhamsted proper. The proposal makes everything from "Gas 2" to Ravens Lane only 2 days, and actually removes any mooring from Ravens Lane to the footbridge South of the riser.

As you probably realise mooring above "Gas 2" is poor, and once that far below the Riser it is barely still Berkhamsted.

It will be fine if nobody ever wants to stay more than 2 days, though, of course, (although I would suggest if actively enforced will result in the town being largely boat free for much of the year).

Not your original point, I know, but the proposals for Berko seem overkill, and very expensive to Police if in for 365 days a year.

Anonymous said...


The big problem with the the moorings at the end of the Wendover Arm was the lenght of time some moorers were staying. In some cases creating gardens etc.

To overcome this problem the WAT suggested 48 hour moorings.


Davidss said...

The point about leisure boaters (hirers) which I think you have missed is that it is the boat that is monitored, not the people living on board. Thus a hire boat may visit the same spot many times, but rarely with the same occupants.

Carol said...

Good on you Les! I think that 48 hours in the ‘honey-pot’ spots like you describe is not sufficient. If you’ve cruised you probably won’t arrive till say mid afternoon with not enough time to do any more than moor up etc and eat. It leaves you then with only the following day to all the sightseeing, shopping, appointments, etc. If you took the whole 48 hours you would need to move mid afternoon the following day which is a bit impractical as that is the time you’re usually thinking about finding a mooring for the night. I think that 36 hours would be reasonable provided of course that it is regulated.

Carol said...

Hi Les, re my previous comment - just realised my silly mistake - I meant to say 3 day (not 36 hours) i.e. 72 hours!

Les Biggs said...

Hi Alan
I do agree what you say about Berko and it is very short sighted. Alas I fear in the end they will do as they see fit.
Oh well at least it only affects us now and again as it has been over a year since our last visit so perhaps we will in future stay outside and use the bus.

Les Biggs said...

Hi M
Ok but it is just a matter of strong enforcement. Why should certain boaters dictate conditions for the rest of us.

Les Biggs said...

Good point but CRT would realise this and ignore the multiple sightings. So the 4x rule is not needed.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Carol
Agree 100%.
Hope you are both well. see you along the way.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs