Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Continuous Cruisers Should Pay

Continuous cruisers should pay more should they? Well, bravo for narrowboatworld for bringing our attention to the somewhat biased data of the “influential Association of Pleasure Craft Operators” survey APCO is the 'main trade body for Inland Waterway Businesses'. Isn’t that a surprise – I wonder what proportion of Pleasure Craft members are continuous cruisers themselves, or even live aboard? I don’t suppose we will ever know that. Didn't BW say themselves that the inland waterways are more about pleasure and leisure than business' these days?

Narrowboatworld also tell us that “during 2006 narrowboatworld ran a similar petition, which showed a high percentage believing that continuous cruisers owners should pay more, though wide beam boats were not included.” I wonder what else they didn’t include. Surely ANY survey should include all boats and boaters? I wonder how many people ticked the box that said ‘we should do more to promote our waterways in our area so local councils pitch in financially’ or wasn’t that question there?

What I am interested in is why British Waterways are constantly reviewing licenses, especially those of continuous cruisers, surely they should be looking at where their revenue is coming from. At this rate they will need to increase our license fee’s just to pay for the manpower to review our licenses.

Radio 4 and even the Church Times have run articles on the canals telling us they are more popular than they have ever been, not only with boaters but with cyclists, anglers and walkers, and indeed everyone. OF COURSE THEY ARE!!!!, as IWA say in their adverts every month in our boating magazines, Britain's inland waterways are thousands and thousands of miles of nature reserve. That is a lot of miles, and a lot of nature. Who pays the upkeep for this – boaters! Who is expected to pay for the upkeep – boaters. Who can’t afford to pay for the upkeep – boaters! Surely the math isn’t that hard?!

Why is there endless discussion about license increases, and which boaters should pay more, and which should pay less. How about making the government pay, and what about the council doing something to maintain the ‘up and coming’ leisure centers in their areas.

Come on British Waterways, surely you can’t expect boaters to pay for the running of a waterway system in the UK? Surely it is clear that 29,000 boaters cannot pay for the upkeep of waterways visited by Millions of people.

If our waterways are increasingly popular, then there should be revenue coming from all areas, not just boaters. At this rate there won’t be any waterways. Maintenance is increasingly difficult, and with the tendering system of moorings, and reduction of linear moorings there will be fewer liveaboard boaters along the towpaths and that means a decrease in safety and security. Our waterways may be becoming increasingly popular, but if the money doesn’t come from somewhere it will be an increasingly popular area for crime – murders, rapes and muggings.


Anonymous Allan said...

Well 14bn in rev from car users is what the gov make out of us but not put back in to roads so the same must be with the boater you pay your money and then they spend it were they feel fit and thats not on the waterways its a no win for us and a big win for the gov and VAT is just a joke VALUE ADDED TAX where is the added value in TAX you just pay more and get less

1:50 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

Boaters contribute only ten per cent of the cost of running the waterways. A much, much larger sum is the government grant, which comes from taxpayers (who may or may not use the waterways).

But on the issue of whether continuous cruisers should pay more, I really don't see why they should, and I haven't heard a good argument in favour of the view.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allan - you are an idiot.

9:41 PM  

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