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BW changes Olympics mooring policy

BW has announced significant concessions to continuously cruising boats on the London canals during the Olympic Games.  Up to 250 new ‘summer mooring licences’ are being offered at £360, allowing the 'London boaters' to stay in one place in the north London Controlled Zone, for the entire ten-week period it operates, 3rd July to 19th September.

The Controlled Zone comprises the Regent’s Canal from Little Venice to Commercial Road Lock, the whole of the Hertford Union Canal, the Lee Navigation south of Lea Bridge Road, Limehouse Cut and Limehouse Basin.  

Previously the Olympic moorings for this zone were all being sold at premium prices. In some locations (for example, Victoria Park in Hackney) the £360 would have bought a only a single week for a full-length narrowboat. Take-up of these premium licences has been limited: by late April, a year after the automatic bookings website was opened, BW said it had sold only half of the 700 spaces on offer. 

At time of writing BW had still not announced what services were being offered to the boats, although it has also announced a 'Floating Market' of boat-based businesses at concessionary rates. 

“Given the economic situation and the potential water resource issues we are happy with this level of booking,” said Jason Leach, head of the Olympic Programmes team.

Immediately outside the Controlled Zone, continuous cruising rules will be relaxed in two areas  – on the Paddington Arm and on the Lee between Lea Bridge Road and Enfield Lock.  Here, boats can moor for free for the whole 10-week period.

However only boats recorded as being in the London area during the last national boat check are eligible for the £360 summer licence or the free 10-week licence. Continuous cruisers from outside London who want to come for the games will be refused the latest concession, and must pay for any of the remaining premium moorings. 

In the meantime, BW has taken down the bookings web site; boaters wishing to book the remaining spaces will need to call the Olympics Moorings office direct on 020 7985 7200.   

BW said that boaters who had already booked and paid for the premium moorings were being given the opportunity to downgrade to the Summer Licence if they wished, or given a complete refund if they changed their mind and did not wish to come.  

Friday 4 May  | Andrew Denny  | 2.57pm, Friday 4 May 2012

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