Subject: Friends of Regent's Canal - News about BW's Proposals for Managing Continuous Cruisers

Dear Friends,

I am sure that some of you will be interested in some draft proposals that British Waterways have devised for enforcing boat movements along the River Lea and the Hertford Union Canal. These are designed to prevent boat dwellers from staying in one place for more than 14 days. They do not apply to the Regent's Canal, but sooner or later a similar scheme will be proposed for our own area.

We are a diverse group, with differing priorities, so I am expecting some of you to be in favour of the proposals, some of you to be against them, while others will need a better understanding of the issues before forming an opinion.

I am sending this to everybody who has been involved in our meetings during the last 6 months and if there is sufficient interest then I will also put some information on our website.

The main issue is mooring space and many visitors are deterred from staying in London because a disproportionate number of moorings have been claimed by users who rarely move. I think that British Waterways are quite right to address this issue but the perception is that their approach is too rushed and insensitive. There are few signs of compromise in their draft proposals, but judging by the number and nature of the responses they have received so far, and their decision to extend the consultation period to 9th May, it looks likely that they will rethink their original plans and find a more flexible approach. For example, they might decide to relax the rules during winter months or redefine the zones where cruisers are expected to move between. They might also entertain the concept of affordable long-term moorings, which would allow boaters on different budgets to co-exist while maintaining a level of continuity in the boating community.

If you would like more information (for example, if you want to take part in the public consultation) or if you want to comment on the above then please reply to this e-mail. Please also refer to some of the links below if you want a broader understanding of this issue.


Ian Shacklock

Related Links

Hackney Citizen, 9th March 2011
River Lea boaters unite against British Waterways ‘crackdown’

BW Mooring Guidance For Continuous Cruisers

Petition organised by the London Boaters community

Wikipedia article

BW proposals for the management of moorings on the Rivers Lee & Stort, Hertford Union and Regent's Canals