NBTA London proposes a solution for ‘pop up’ trade moorings which it believes could benefit roving trade boats without negative effects on other boaters, and support the ideal that that towpath is for all boaters to use.
In the Canal and River Trust’s (CRT) London Mooring Strategy, CRT proposes pre-bookable ‘pop up’ moorings for trade boats for a ‘short time’ on the towpath at Kings Cross. It isn’t clear if other boaters would be able to use the mooring space when it’s not being used by trade boats, nor is it made clear how long a ‘short time’ is. CRT hasn’t indicated if they are planning to charge for these ‘pop up’ moorings.
If a charge is levied on trade boats for the use of the mooring this will disadvantage poorer traders and give CRT a great incentive to turn yet more towpath into permanent business moorings. It would give an elitism of mooring with people paying the trade premium to access desirable moorings whether they trade or not.
If other boaters cannot use the moorings when they are not being used by trade boats, or if the moorings are more than 14 days, this would disadvantage other waterways users and make them no different from any other business mooring.
NBTA London believes that all waterways users should be able to use the towpath, be it for living, leisure or trade. We are therefore proposing that
where pre-bookable ‘pop up’ trade moorings are proposed by CRT, they are no longer than 14 days, not chargeable, and allow other boaters to use them
when not being used by trading boats. Trade boats should have priority on the ‘pop up’ moorings, so they could ask someone who is already there to move but it must be reasonable. A trade boater shouldn’t be able to just turn up late in the day and tell someone to move on, for example; clear signs at the mooring space would be good to give prior warning of the booking.
NBTA London vows to fight all business moorings which disadvantage other waterways users, particularly permanent towpath business moorings. We are therefore organising a march to CRT’s London offices, rally, party and flotilla on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th of May.
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