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Thursday 27 November

Today's news from the web

  • Solar-powered boat wins lottery cash thewestonmercury.co.uk

    The Somerset Waterways Development Trust scheme has won a TV vote for cash towards a solar-powered boat for trips on the River Tone and Bridgwater Canal. ...

Tuesday 25 November

BW 2009 licence fees announced

BW has announced an 8.5% rise in licence fees next year - or a 6.2% increase taking into account yesterday's cut in VAT. 

Controversial plans to charge wide-beam boats and continuous cruisers more have been dropped - but the continuous cruiser 'issue' is still on the table, and BW is now considering a roving mooring permit system. Wide-beam boaters appear to be safe for now.

BW's full announcement runs:

The great majority of those responding to the final phase of consultation (primarily national boating organisations) were opposed to any redistribution of licence fee increases between wide and narrow boats or between those with home moorings and those without.  BW has therefore decided not to accept in their entirety the BWAF proposals.  The decision also has regard to the deteriorating economic climate which could weaken demand for boat licences in 2009.  Fees will therefore rise by less than the 11.2% increase previously outlined for most boaters.

The net (ex VAT) price of BW’s boat licences in England and Wales will increase by the following amounts from 1 April 2009.  Figures in brackets show the effective increase for individual boaters after taking account of the reduction in the VAT rate just announced.  
Leisure business licences: 7.5% 
Gold licences: 8.2% (5.9% taking VAT into account)
All other licences: 8.5% (6.2% taking VAT into account)

Simon Salem, BW’s marketing and customer services director, comments: “We are shelving plans to introduce a higher fee for wide beamed boats and for seeking government support for the abolition of the rivers only licence fee.  However, we continue to support the view expressed by many boaters in the 2007 consultation that it is unfair that continuous cruisers do not make a contribution to the cost of maintaining the waterways that is commensurate with those who take a home mooring.

“We appreciate that this is a difficult issue and not all boaters agree on either the extent of the problem or on the solution.  Sales of continuous cruising licences have been growing significantly and, despite the terms and conditions of the licence, there is evidence that a growing number choose to remain on temporary moorings in relatively narrow geographic areas.  The risk of congestion on particularly popular waterways therefore presents a management challenge that we must address.

“BW is therefore considering workable policies to implement during 09/10 that will encourage the proportion of boaters without a home mooring but who wish to remain within a specific area of the network to choose an appropriate mooring option.  The option of a ‘roving mooring permit’ could cater for those who like to have no fixed base and cruise short distances between temporary moorings within easy reach of their work or other land-based commitment.  By purchasing such a permit, they would no longer be classified as continuous cruisers.”

Alongside proposals for a ‘roving mooring permit’ BW will continue to examine alternative options relating to the structure and pricing of continuous cruising licences.  Any proposals, which will seek to avoid penalising those who genuinely cruise extensively around the network, will be discussed with BWAF and other representatives of national boating organisations. They will also take account of any relevant market research.  No further formal public consultation on the matter is planned.

Boat licence fees for Scotland are currently being consulted upon with a proposed 6.3% licence fee increase from April 2009.  Transit licences are due to be held at 2008 prices.

Richard Fairhurst  | 3.40pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Plan for Leicestershire waterways thisisleicestershire.co.uk

    Leicestershire's waterways could be transformed as part of an ambitious multi-million pound regeneration plan. Officials hope the River Soar and the Grand Union Canal will be unrecognisable from their unkempt state within a decade. ...

  • £2m boost for Prescott Lock boatingbusiness.com

    British Waterways has been given a £2m boost from the government to support environment-friendly water freight in London. ...

Monday 24 November

Today's news from the web

Friday 21 November

Today's news from the web

  • Riverboat project bids for TV windfall somersetcountygazette.co.uk

    Taunton could soon have its own solar-powered riverboat thanks to a TV competition. ...

  • Take me to the river portstrategy.com

    Saab has launched a tracking system for inland waterway craft....

  • New hotel for city? thisisgloucestershire.co.uk

    Gloucester Docks is set to get a new hotel – on the water. The Severn's changing water levels have led the owners of the Oliver Cromwell river cruise boat to seek a permanent mooring to establish her as a restaurant, hotel and jazz venue. ...

  • British Waterways to restart repairing Vale Royal Locks northwichguardian.co.uk

    Work on Vale Royal locks is set to start again after British Waterways secured funding for the project. ...

Thursday 20 November

Today's news from the web

  • Downturn halts £500m development news.bbc.co.uk

    The future of a £500m development to transform a 150-acre canalside site in Falkirk and create 5,000 new jobs is in doubt. ...

  • Boris Johnson wants to grow food on canal banks themovechannel.com

    Flat roofs, canal banks, disused railway yards and other derelict land lots are also being earmarked for this green sensation. ...

  • British Waterways makes improvements to Alrewas lock landing waterscape.com

    British Waterways West Midlands has recently spent £180,000 on rebuilding Alrewas lock landing. The vast improvements to the lock landing will help to alleviate congestion and provide more temporary mooring space for boaters waiting to go through the lock. ...

Wednesday 19 November

Today's news from the web

  • Sustainable clean-up after vandals pollute the Mon & Brec waterscape.com

    “The recent wind and rain helped to retain the pollution within the initial section and it has posed no risk to people or wildlife,” said Mr Birch. “However, I doubt the mindless vandals who did this particularly cared how much damage they were causing,” he added. ...

  • BW delegation joins Dover docks strike socialistworker.co.uk

    A group of French dockers from the CGT union crossed the Channel to march alongside delegations from British Waterways, Medway TUC and the Dover shipping branch of the RMT union. ...

Tuesday 18 November

Today's news from the web

  • New look for dry dock under Wigan Pier Quarter plan waterscape.com

    Wigan’s historic canal dry dock has been given a £55,000 makeover under a grand vision for the town’s Pier Quarter. ...

  • Minister visits hub of waterway renaissance in Wales waterscape.com

    Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones met with senior British Waterways (BW) officials to discuss the future of waterways in Wales – including the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, now well on course to be fully re-opened for the new visitor season in 2009. ...

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