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Navigating and living on the waterways of Great Britain & Ireland and news of canal developments.

TOPIC: UK Widebeam Licence cost increases

UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 20 Apr 2018 11:04 #97969

  • Joe Bourke
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Sorry Mike, I haven't seen it, I'm usually pretty prompt. Will have a look.

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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 20 Apr 2018 10:59 #97968

Hi Joe

I sent you a PM after the first post but I don't think you've replied. Could you take a look please? I'd like to discuss the points about DBA membership and your several mentions about ex-members and what DBA does or doesn't do for them.

There are two DBA Facebook presences - the Group for DBA members and the Page for wider outreach. Worth a look, I hope!

Best wishes

Mike Gibbons
Chair

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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 20:23 #97915

Joe Bourke wrote: Cathy, you've unsettled me.


Why, just because I agreed with you? Is that something you are not used to?
I have even asked to join the Facebook group.

Cathy
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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 20:03 #97913

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Cathy, you've unsettled me.

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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 19:40 #97912

Joe Bourke wrote: Hello there Cathy, you've raised some good points.
The reason that many widebeamers are so angry about these licence increases is because the CRT consultations were obviously out to increase licence revenue and wide beam boats were the easy target. They stated from the outset that it would be fair, and revenue neutral. According to the freedom of information request I made there are 5847 widebeam boats that will pay the higher fees. I think there's more. A lot more. When I asked how much extra revenue they were going to raise, they answered 500,000 pounds yearly by 2023. Again I think they are being economical with the truth. If revenue from licence fees is about 20 million a year, how can cutting the Prompt Payment Discount to a large proportion of the 35,000 boaters, and increasing licence fees for nigh on 6000 boaters only equate to 500,000 pounds per year? Revenue neutral?
As for widebeam boats not moving much, you are certainly correct. So why are they having their licences increased by up to 20% more than narrowboats. If CRT wanted to deter more wide beam boats from coming onto the waterways why not introduce even higher licence fees for new boats coming onto the waterways from a certain date? Or introduce size limits for new boats.
If it's about congestion of the waterways down South, how will penalising boats nationally help, if it's not about revenue raising. A regional problem should be tackled with a regional solution.
Please remember that it isn't just the 60 foot long 14ft fat narrowboat or Dutch Barge that is effected. Boats 25ft long can have a beam wider than a narrowboat, I would be fuming if I had a 30ft x 11ft GRP cruiser and my licence is increased by 20%, and a 70ft Narrowboat has no increase.
I feel the licence fee increases are here to stay, but that doesn't mean we have to just roll over and keep quiet, particularly when other scheme's may be in the pipeline.


Joe, I totally agree with you.
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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 19:26 #97911

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At the risk of being boring, I have just had a look at the Facebook Groups I am on. I served in the RN as a Communicator. I am on Facebook Groups such as HMS Mercury (communicators and navigation establishment), a Sparkers (Radio) group, HMS Eskimo Group, HMS Arethusa group, HMS Yarmouth group, and also a Leander Class frigates group. I am on a Facebook group concerned with the River Ouse and Goole Boathouse Marina where I am moored. Tugs on the Humber group, Workboats of the Humber group. Humber Barges group.
Why would I avoid Facebook?

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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 18:20 #97909

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Paul Hayes wrote: Hi Joe
Don't want to be a wet blanket, but a lot of people (even more after recent events) will have nothing to do with Facebook in any form.
Paul


Hello Paul,
I agree that there are people who for whatever reason dislike Facebook, but there are helluva lot who do. Does the DBA have a Facebook presence?
I am a Facebook fan, primarily because of the various boating groups. Off hand I must be a member of at least 6 boating related groups, ranging from
Humber Barges and Workboats, to boat fitting out, liveaboards, widebeams and so on. You name it, I bet there's a group for it.
What may be of interest to the DBA is that there are an awful lot of ex DBA members on these groups. Guess what a lot of them say about the DBA?
What would you say is the average daily post count on the DBA forums? I can have weeks off , and upon returning , a quick scan, and off again.
Regards Joe

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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 18:03 #97908

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Hello there Cathy, you've raised some good points.
The reason that many widebeamers are so angry about these licence increases is because the CRT consultations were obviously out to increase licence revenue and wide beam boats were the easy target. They stated from the outset that it would be fair, and revenue neutral. According to the freedom of information request I made there are 5847 widebeam boats that will pay the higher fees. I think there's more. A lot more. When I asked how much extra revenue they were going to raise, they answered 500,000 pounds yearly by 2023. Again I think they are being economical with the truth. If revenue from licence fees is about 20 million a year, how can cutting the Prompt Payment Discount to a large proportion of the 35,000 boaters, and increasing licence fees for nigh on 6000 boaters only equate to 500,000 pounds per year? Revenue neutral?
As for widebeam boats not moving much, you are certainly correct. So why are they having their licences increased by up to 20% more than narrowboats. If CRT wanted to deter more wide beam boats from coming onto the waterways why not introduce even higher licence fees for new boats coming onto the waterways from a certain date? Or introduce size limits for new boats.
If it's about congestion of the waterways down South, how will penalising boats nationally help, if it's not about revenue raising. A regional problem should be tackled with a regional solution.
Please remember that it isn't just the 60 foot long 14ft fat narrowboat or Dutch Barge that is effected. Boats 25ft long can have a beam wider than a narrowboat, I would be fuming if I had a 30ft x 11ft GRP cruiser and my licence is increased by 20%, and a 70ft Narrowboat has no increase.
I feel the licence fee increases are here to stay, but that doesn't mean we have to just roll over and keep quiet, particularly when other scheme's may be in the pipeline.
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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 15:48 #97906

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Hi Joe
Don't want to be a wet blanket, but a lot of people (even more after recent events) will have nothing to do with Facebook in any form.
Paul
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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 14:52 #97904

Hello Cathy,

Good to hear from you!

Try Wide Boat Action Group (closed group)
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Best Wishes
Andy Soper
mv Neeltje
Coookham

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 11:20 #97900

Joe Bourke wrote: There is a new Facebook Group called the Widebeam Action Group, set up because of the targeting of widebeams on the UK Inland Waterways. Anyone with a boat over Narrowboat width is welcome to join, including GRP or Wooden boats.


Hi, I can't find Group on Facebook.

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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 11:16 #97899

Joe, a couple of points here.
Whenever I turned up at a CRT north west forum meeting and the licence fee proposal was brought up, I was the only one at the meeting who objected. Thats because the rest of the attendees were on narrowboats and appeared quite happy that wide beams were paying more, particularly as there seemed to be resentment for wide beams on the canals (slow moving, large, non sharing of locks etc). It was infuriating for me, but most at the meeting were more than happy.
Also, the vast majority of wide beam owners I know, never move their boat. They just use them to live on and are located in marinas were you do no require a CRT licence. Therefore the licence fee rise has no impact on them. On top of that, many of them don't want to start making noise about anything to the CRT as they are not meant to be living in marinas that do not have a "live aboard" licence.

Cathy
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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 18 Apr 2018 10:56 #97897

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There is a new Facebook Group called the Widebeam Action Group, set up because of the targeting of widebeams on the UK Inland Waterways. Anyone with a boat over Narrowboat width is welcome to join, including GRP or Wooden boats.

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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 17 Apr 2018 16:02 #97888

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The IWA is primarily a narrowboaters organisation. You only have to look at the agenda of their regional meetings. Looking at the CRT Navigation Advisory Group, and Sub Groups they in my mind have too much representation, to the detriment of widebeams.

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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 17 Apr 2018 15:51 #97886

No Joe, I mean the IWA.
When I pointed this out on a well know canal forum I got the reply '' many IWA members own boats'' to which I replied that I dare say most of them own cars but that doesn't make it a motoring organisation. I remember NABO being created due to there being no national boater's organisation at the time. Even that is misnamed, it should be NANBO because that is the reality.

The IWA is a great organisation that does many good things. I believe that the canal system as we know it wouldn't exist without their mammoth efforts in the past but boat licence fees/ continuous cruising/ mooring or any other connected CRT policy has nothing to to with them. They should stick to restoring and promoting the waterways and not alienating certain users.

Keith
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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 17 Apr 2018 13:48 #97884

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Keith Norfolk wrote:

Andy Soper wrote: Hello Paul

My rant - If you don't come forward to help at the beginning of a consultation you cannot blame others if the result is not to your liking!


Hi Andy,
I don't think anyone was laying blame here, I certainly wasn't and I know that you put in a lot of hard work with regard to this and I thank you for that. I did my bit as I'm sure that you are aware but I now feel that it was all a bit futile and it has left a nasty taste in my mouth towards other organisations, one of which ( the most powerful waterways lobby in the UK ), to my mind at least, had no place in this consultation as they aren't a boating organisation.

Keith

Do you mean Anglers by any chance Keith ?

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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 17 Apr 2018 11:22 #97882

Hello John,

Thank you for the Canadian update!

Some of the small 'turf route' canals in the Netherlands do levy a small fee to help with conservation but one of the joys of boating in NL is that many commercial routes are mirrored with a smaller waterway used mainly by recreational boats e.g. Amsterdam - Rhine and the Vecht.

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Best Wishes
Andy Soper
mv Neeltje
Coookham

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 17 Apr 2018 10:05 #97879

Andy Soper wrote: Hello Paul

My rant - If you don't come forward to help at the beginning of a consultation you cannot blame others if the result is not to your liking!


Hi Andy,
I don't think anyone was laying blame here, I certainly wasn't and I know that you put in a lot of hard work with regard to this and I thank you for that. I did my bit as I'm sure that you are aware but I now feel that it was all a bit futile and it has left a nasty taste in my mouth towards other organisations, one of which ( the most powerful waterways lobby in the UK ), to my mind at least, had no place in this consultation as they aren't a boating organisation.

Keith
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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 17 Apr 2018 05:01 #97878

Andy Soper wrote: Hello Paul



" The brighter and better informed ones riposte with the point that in most countries, except UK, the waterways are primarily for freight (and very green) which makes financing of greater government interest."

Not everywhere though, are'nt the smaller canals not used for freight in Holland still free to all, further afield in Canada Parks canada maintains their "historic" waterways to a very high standard, they are looked on as a National asset the licence fee 19 dollars per foot length (no area charges)

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UK Widebeam Licence cost increases 16 Apr 2018 23:08 #97877

Hello Paul

Thank you for the rant.

I never miss an opportunity to point out to EA and CRT that they do things differently elsewhere in EU. The brighter and better informed ones riposte with the point that in most countries, except UK, the waterways are primarily for freight (and very green) which makes financing of greater government interest.

The less well-informed need reminding that until now only the Thames and latterly the Broads charge by area - all other EA waterways cahrge by length only.

Neither the CRT Trustees nor the Council draw any salary - only travelling expenses. There are boaters on the Council - but narrow-boaters!
The Council can remove the Trustees, the Trustees appoint the Chief Exec - he (effectively) appoints the executive Directors (who are paid handsomely).
Not the healthiest governance in my view - but Robin Evans convinced DEFRA using the National Trust as a model.

The UK government view is that the user (boater) should pay - and that drives the EA approach. CRT is trying to get some earnings from other groups but most UK residents treat the canal towpath as similar to the town centre or national park and believe government should fund.

My rant - If you don't come forward to help at the beginning of a consultation you cannot blame others if the result is not to your liking!

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Andy Soper
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Coookham

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org
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