Oh dear, people really are getting their knickers in a twist over licence fees. continuous cruisers are repeatedly being lumped in with continuous moorers
and now Granny Buttons
has come up with a mad idea - increase the fees for continuous moorers
, but also increase their benefits. One such benefit being that they can stay in one place for 14 days instead of 48 hours, and another suggesting they can use, free of charge, marina berths that become available when their occupants take their boats on holidays. I am not sure what people think a continuous cruiser is, but I certainly don't know any that would revel in the opportunity to stay in a marina, nor be in one place for longer than 48hours. The keywords in their licence fee are "continuous" and "cruiser". Where on earth do people get the idea that continuous cruisers want to moor for longer in places? Continuous Cruisers seem to be perfectly happy with their continuous cruising, the facilities and their options. Indeed, they rather like having to move on all the time. What is more they don't seem to be wanting benefits.
The problem is that continuous moorers
are hogging the moorings for free, they have a mooring and the convenience
of a mooring, without actually having to pay for it. What we fail to ask ourselves is why. All BW
need to do is pop along, and make more linear moorings in the areas where demand is necessary and charge for them. This obviously isn't going to happen because people get their knickers in a twist over linear moorers
and having to 'slow down' for them.
Another radical idea (gasp gasp) is for BW to do what they say they will do and charge boaters for overstaying on a mooring. I suppose that would be too sensible.
No-one seems to want to do anything about mooring fee's - I wonder why that is? It seems that the words cruiser and moorer
are too similar for the population to notice the difference, and licence fee and mooring fee seem to be perceived as the same as well. Why is there a complete blindness to the English language when it comes to money?
So, what is the alternative? BW
need to generate more cash, and to be quite frank they can't even manage what they have already. Narrowboat World
ran an interesting feature yesterday about the new tendering trials that are taking place, and how BW
are actually losing money as boaters work out how to get around fee's and some have managed to save themselves 1700 pounds over the three years by doing so. The problem is, much like most of BWs
dreary plans, they are not well thought out, and are launched before anyone has really ironed out the problems - those glaringly obvious ones.
track record seem to suggest they only ever make money by accident. It is true that BW
are clamping down on boats without a licence at all, and this has made people pay up - fantastic... but can they really only do one thing at a time?
I am a fan of BW
, I am not a fan of certain people within it - sometimes I wonder whether they went to the 'lets preserve the chocolate teapot by putting it in the sun' school of management.
At least the ombudsman is top dollar, but I suspect she is getting more business than is necessary.
Why are people so busy telling BW
how to structure their licence fee's when it is none of their business. What IS peoples business is making sure the waterways are managed efficiently and effectively, and just because BW
don't police their own waters, it doesn't mean we can't police them.