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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: VNF - Sud-Ouest User Group Meeting (CLU) 5 March 2020

VNF - Sud-Ouest User Group Meeting (CLU) 5 March 2020 16 Mar 2020 04:44 #114485

  • Bob Marsland
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Here is a link to the new publication mentioned, “ Tourisme Fluvial - Portraits de filieres “ ( January 2020 ). With thanks to Ian McCauley.

www.velo-territoires.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/WEB_179007_Synthse_175x255mm_pages.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0YtOCs80ERlqk8F1lSalUaq7k_Vx6rNyGz7kbRrZZeg6UIch81k518dUs

Best wishes,

Bob

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette
In DBA Barge Register:
barges.org/members/bargeregister/bargeregister-search?assetaction=detail&vesselid=165

VNF - Sud-Ouest User Group Meeting (CLU) 5 March 2020 13 Mar 2020 12:40 #114406

  • Bob Marsland
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David and Angie Jeffs joined our small band of volunteers prepared to represent DBA at meetings and keep members informed of the proceedings. Their first outing was to the Direction Territoriale Sud-Ouest in Toulouse on 5 March 2020.

This meeting was, in fact, the continuation of the CLU held on 18 December 2019 and I am attaching the compte-rendu (minutes) of that earlier meeting here:

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Notwithstanding what the C-R noted in the list of attendees, we were not able to find a member for whom it would have been convenient to be at that meeting, most members having flown to various parts of the world for Christmas and David R having left the Sud-Ouest with his barge, being at that time in Amsterdam.

Here, below, is David and Angie’s report of the 5 March 2020 meeting:

Best wishes,

Bob

Bob Marsland
DBA - The Barge Association
DBA - L’Association des Péniches de Plaisance



It is reassuring that as significant users of the Canal deux Mers ( C2M ) , the Canal du Midi ( CdM ) , and other Waterways in South West France , that the DBA has representation on the regional users group .

We were happy to take over from David Rothery who has represented the DBA over recent years . It is difficult to summarize a two and a half hour meeting in a few succinct sentences (particularly since the French love to fully express themselves ) , but no doubt written minutes will be available in due course . In the meantime , we felt that the following might be of interest or importance to fellow waterways users ...?

- a new VNF publication “ Tourisme Fluvial - Portraits de filieres “ ( January 2020 ) was tabled , it is full of fascinating facts about the usage , employment , and economic returns on the various sectors . Worth asking your nearest VNF Office for a copy if stats turn you on ?

- the current winter closures have the Canal de Garonne closed for maintenance 4th November / 24 th December , and the CdM from 7th January / 3rd March . It is proposed to reverse this .

- there is a five year development plan for the CdM .This will include more “ double locks “ , greater use of télécommande handsets ( the latest “ floating “ version was tabled ) , more “ turning points “ and more use of video surveillance instead of éclusiers .

- there was major discussion on the effects of the chancre colore (the tree fungus ) which has decimated the iconic plane trees along the canal over the past fifteen years . Plans include using more varied tree species , planting in “ clusters “ , and with more “ landscaping “ , and bird boxes etc to encourage native fauna . 10,800 new trees have been planted since 2011 , 2000 more planned during Winter 2019/20 , the whole programme has cost €69m since 2006 .

- the majority of black water pump outs are either not working , or not used . There does not appear to be any concerted plan of action to address this . It was on the agenda for discussion but the meeting failed to get that far. (The one in Toulouse was repaired in June and is operational again.)

- There has been one death , and two serious injury incidents amongst hire boat users during 2019 . The four major hire boat companies are proposing a more rigid precharter familiarization , including transit of one lock under observation for those without experience and certification . On the C2M the VNF are planning, together with lock refurbishments and Télécommandes replacing “dongles” , to introduce fixed ropes to the locksides to prevent the need for crew to leave their boats to moor up in locks.

- the Le Boat representative said they lost €40,000 worth of hire bikes last year. He was concerned the crews would also lose, drop or break the new télécommandes. He also said that forward bookings were at a 15 year low , with a reluctance to commit to a canal holiday particularly amongst the Italians and the Spanish, directly the result of the coronavirus spread.

- there was a reassurance that, despite some rumours, the CdM will not close , even in parts .

-there was also criticism of the VNF for not surveying the buoyage in some shallow areas after periods of flooding, resulting in buoys being displaced and hire vessels running aground and having to be pulled off.

We would be happy to be approached by other DBA members for further information on the above points. Please post in this topic/thread.

David and Angela Jeffs
Barge “ Sabrina of London “
Toulouse

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Peter Cawson, Jon Rayner, Ian McCauley, Shaun Cullen

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette
In DBA Barge Register:
barges.org/members/bargeregister/bargeregister-search?assetaction=detail&vesselid=165
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