Boaters may have received two letters from CRT recently, posted direct to their boats. One, dated 8 August 2014, states “The canals and rivers in London have seen a 36% rise in boat numbers over the last five years to 2,964 boats in March 2014. In the past year alone, overall numbers have increased by 14%, while numbers of continuous cruisers in East London has [sic] increased by 85%.”
It goes on to say “To make sure everyone has a fair chance of mooring it’s important that boaters respect the mooring requirements. This month we’re starting an initiative of text messaging boaters in London when they’ve reached the maximum stay time on a 14-day towpath mooring as a gentle reminder to move on.” CRT then explain they have “recently recruited a new enforcement supervisor and an additional enforcement officer, and are in the process of looking for another enforcement officer.”
The second letter, dated simply August 2014, explains changes in mooring times at Victoria Park, Broadway Market and Little Venice, to be implemented from 1 September 2014. At Victoria Park, the stay time on the “eastern half” will be reduced from 14 to 7 days; at Broadway Market there will apparently be “a new 7-day visitor mooring located at the western end of Andrew’s Road”; and at Little Venice the “eastern half” will be reduced from 14 to 7 days.
These changes to mooring times ignore continuous cruisers’ legal right to a fortnight – a right spelt out in the 8 August 2014 letter. CRT make no mention of plans to install mooring rings or new grass verges along the long stretches of canal that could easily accommodate boats but currently sit unoccupied. The reduction in mooring times and the fact they are being introduced at the end of the summer and in time for the winter seems to be designed to make liveaboard boaters’ lives in London harder.
(post blatantly stolen from the forthcoming edition of the Floater – sorry, Andrew!)