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Navigating and living on the waterways of Great Britain & Ireland and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: CRT and Covid-19

CRT and Covid-19 20 May 2020 10:53 #116099

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Andy Soper
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CRT and Covid-19 13 May 2020 15:28 #115920

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I read their plan as 1 June for 'our navigations will re-open in full' - but this assumes that PLA relax their restrictions - nothing heard yet!!
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Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 13 May 2020 14:58 #115918

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This is good news. Does this mean that Limehouse Lock will open from the 23rd May, giving access to the Thames from the Lea?

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CRT and Covid-19 13 May 2020 12:12 #115917

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And today their plan for returning to normal:

Important changes

Coronavirus & boating update, 13 May 2020

When we were in touch yesterday we said that, along with other navigation authorities, we would review when navigation might re-open in light of the new Government advice. Government have issued clarification this morning, 13 May.

We are now able to set out our approach to opening our navigation to private boating in England. Please remember that social distancing continues to be maintained, with only members of your household able to go aboard your boat until further notice.

From today, Weds 13 May 2020
You may undertake short boating trips only from today – avoiding use of locks and any staff-operated structures if possible – providing, as per current government guidance, you do not stay away from home overnight and return to your home mooring (where you have one).

From Saturday, 23 May:
Mooring exemptions will come to an end and our guidance for continuous cruisers comes back in to force. This doesn’t mean that every boat without a home mooring needs to move on this day, just that we’d expect you to move off your current mooring within 14 days (i.e. by 6 June). If you are in a high-risk group, and need to continue to shield or self-isolate, then special arrangements can be agreed with your licence support officer if you haven’t already told us.

From Monday, 1 June:
On this date, we anticipate that our navigations will re-open in full, subject to some exceptions*, and you will be able to undertake longer journeys.
According to current Government guidance, those who do not liveaboard should not stay overnight. We will seek further clarification as to whether overnight stays will be permissible once full navigation resumes.

*Please bear in mind that it will take time to get the entire network fully operational, and booking for some passages and services will be required. Some sections may be closed for a further period. Our website will be updated with the details closer to the time.

Wales: If you or your boat is on a Welsh canal please follow the latest advice which may be different from above.

Please stay safe and stay alert at all times.

Damian Kemp,
Boating communications manager,
Canal & River Trust

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Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 12 May 2020 13:29 #115907

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0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 11 May 2020 19:26 #115889

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Update on their update!

Update: Monday 11 May
Last night the government announced the first steps in lifting restrictions on outdoor activities and is now allowing people to drive to spend time outdoors with members of the same household. Based on this decision, from Wednesday 13 May we are lifting restrictions on boat owners visiting their boats.

At this stage general navigation still isn’t permitted and boats should only be used for minimal travel, for example for essential services or repairs. Where visiting, people should expect to return home the same day. We will be reviewing when we can restore navigation in light of the new government advice. In the meantime, mooring exemptions are extended by a further two weeks until Saturday 23 May.

Following government advice, angling and canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding for exercise, can resume from Wednesday 13 May, but this must be on your own or with members of your household, and shouldn’t be for long distances as navigation is still restricted. In all instances, social distancing must be maintained at all times, keeping your distance from both other people and moored boats.

Towpaths have remained open throughout the pandemic, with people required to observe social distancing rules and taking extra care on narrow sections. As more people return to work and are encouraged to avoid public transport, we could see an increase in the use of towpaths. Please keep moving, don’t congregate and stand aside to allow others to pass, using the full width of the towpath. Once again, keep your distance from other people and moored boats.

If you are a cyclist, please be aware of our towpath code. Remember that pedestrians have priority, so always take it steady and be ready to slow down to give way to pedestrians. Consider using an alternative route away from the towpath for your exercise, especially as traffic on most roads is much reduced.

Overall, our plea to everyone thinking of visiting our canals and river navigations is to be mindful of others and act always with consideration and respect.

For clarity, this does not apply on our Welsh canals where different rules apply - gov.wales/first-minister-wales-message-people-wales . The Welsh Government is still applying the ‘stay at home, stay local’ regulations. We strongly advise that you regularly check its website for updated information and certainly before planning to visit your boat.

canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/safety-on-our-waterways/coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR3SEg2QTjdCEjv_bFUXBtiOMJVs4xAuJkQ-nOluqkHheHAUkLeUrbIO_-c

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Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 11 May 2020 12:39 #115862

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Latest update from CRT today

Coronavirus & boating update, 11 May 2020
Hello Boater!,

With the Government announcing a first step in lifting restrictions on outdoor activities, and allowing people to drive to spend time outdoors with members of the same household, from Wednesday, the Trust is lifting any remaining restrictions on boat owners visiting their boats though the Trust advises against travelling long distances unless it is essential to do so.

At this stage we continue to advise that boats should only be used for minimal travel. Angling and watersports (canoeing, Kayaking and SUP), for exercise, can also resume on Wednesday and we are reviewing when we can restore navigation in light of the new government advice.

In the meantime, mooring exemptions are extended by a further two weeks until 23 May.

As you may have seen before the weekend, we’ve created a survey to help us understand what your plans are for boating after the lockdown. Thanks to the 4,000 or so who’ve taken part but if you haven’t yet there’s still time. You’ll find the survey here – it’ll only take a couple of minutes to complete.

As ever, we’ll be constantly reviewing, and updating, our FAQs as more detail comes from government so do please regularly check back.

Best wishes, stay safe,
Damian Kemp,
Boating communications manager,
Canal & River Trust

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Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 30 Apr 2020 22:04 #115658

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Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 24 Apr 2020 19:31 #115541

Andy Soper wrote: Some welcome news from CRT.

We are extending all boat licences by one month in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. All boat licences that are due to expire at the end of April will be extended by one month to run until the end of May. Please see our website for more information.


so perhaps there is the possibility of pressuring EA to do something similar?
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CRT and Covid-19 24 Apr 2020 18:46 #115539

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Some welcome news from CRT.

We are extending all boat licences by one month in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. All boat licences that are due to expire at the end of April will be extended by one month to run until the end of May. Please see our website for more information.

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Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 09 Apr 2020 20:01 #115207

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mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 25 Mar 2020 09:58 #114866

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Following on from Post 57 - here is the full updated text

From the CRT
SHOULD I CARRY ON CRUISING?
Our priority is to strictly follow Government advice to support the national effort to keep people safe and help fight the pandemic.
Following the announcement from the Prime Minister (8.30pm, 23 March 2020) regarding the UK’s response to the coronavirus crisis, we are asking leisure boaters to stop all non-essential travel. As a result, and to help those who live-aboard (along with those who would need to travel to their boat in order to move it) we are suspending the requirement to move every 14 days.
We are asking boaters to stop all non-essential travel on our waterways, with exception of accessing local facilities. The suspension will be kept under review in line with revised government guidance, applying initially until 14 April 2020. During this period you do not need to contact us to tell us you will be staying one location for more than 14 days.
We ask everyone to be considerate and make sure vital boater facilities and services accessible to those that need them.
There may, in a few cases, be the need to pass through manned structures. Information about this will be posted on regional webpages so please check if this applies to you.
SOCIAL DISTANCING ON CANALS, RIVERS AND TOWPATHS
While our towpaths remain open, use of them should now be limited. We are asking the general public that, if our canals and rivers are local to them, and they use the towpath for their daily exercise or journey to undertake essential work, to please now avoid any stretches with boats moored against the towpath, and strictly observe social distancing at all times, following the latest advice from Government. To help reinforce the message you can print off and display this sign in your boat window.
KEY WORKERS AND THOSE IN AT-RISK GROUPS
We have proactively contacted boaters who we know to be in a high risk group, including those with equality adjustments, those who have told us they are pregnant, and those who have told us they are over 70. We are letting them know their options and that we’re here to assist if they have any questions or concerns.
As well as contacting those we know are in high risk groups, we’re asking anyone who lives permanently on their boat and falls into one of the extremely vulnerable categories listed to get in touch with us and let us know so we can work with others to ensure their support. We would encourage boaters to establish contact with friends and family where possible.
We also want to hear from you if you live permanently on your boat and are a key worker in one of the categories listed, so do please get in touch and let us know.
Please take the time to read the Government’s guidance on shielding and protecting extremely vulnerable people.
BOAT SAFETY SCHEME
We understand that those for whom the BSS is due to expire shortly will not be able to have an inspection and we will be considering what advice to give imminently.
CAN I STILL GET HOLD OF PUMP-OUT CARDS AND FACILITIES KEYS?
Yes, these are still available. Wherever possible please purchase these from our online shop to reduce social contact with others – but please order well in advance as they may take longer than usual to be delivered. Our offices will be closed from 25 March 2020 until further notice to minimise social contact between both employees and members of the public. If you have difficulty using the online shop or receiving post please get in touch and we will see how we can help
ONGOING MAINTENANCE WORK
There will still be some essential activities taking place around the waterway network. These include:
Water control/clearing grills
Inspections of reservoirs
Safety related repairs
Clearing fallen trees
Safety related maintenance and repairs of key structures (sluices, flood gates, lock gates, pumping stations, other water management assets)
Maintenance and repair of assets required for water supply/transfer contracts
Dock operations (for the passage of freight)
Manned structures required for access to services, see section on cruising
Essential weed control where needed for reasons of public safety
WATERWAY EVENTS
Following the latest advice issued by Government concerning mass gatherings and social distancing, we have made the decision to suspend all Trust public events until the end of June.
We will continue to follow the latest government advice and will update our event listings if the advice changes.
LICENCE FEES
We are acutely aware of the financial issues and concerns that many of our boaters and business partners are facing. We will do what we can to support people during these highly unsettling times and be as flexible as we can regarding payment where there is genuine hardship. But we are facing significant financial challenges of our own, with a large and costly historic network to maintain and keep safe during this crisis, and we depend upon the income we earn to fund that work. Ultimately, we all need Government to act to provide support for people, and waterway businesses, who have suffered financial impact and we are doing what we can to raise this.

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Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 25 Mar 2020 09:27 #114865

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CRT offers a 25% license rebate to business but no mention of the leisure boater.

Coronavirus and business boating licences
Hello,

The unprecedented impact of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique challenge to all of us. The Trust appreciate the acute hardship that many boating businesses are facing at the moment. Whilst we continue to encourage you to monitor and explore the financial support offered by Government, it is acknowledged those support measures do not yet significantly assist many waterway businesses. As you may be aware, last night, the Trust, in partnership with British Marine and the Broads Authority, wrote to the Secretary of State requesting specific and urgent support for boating businesses. Follow this link to see the full letter.

In the meantime, we remain committed to helping boating businesses to the greatest extent possible within the limits of what we are able to do in the context of our urgent need to ensure that the network is able to continue to function safely. Accordingly, with effect from 1st April 2020, business boating licence holders will receive a credit, equivalent to 25% of their annual licence fees, on their account.

Direct Debit payers will receive the credit on their accounts, ensuring no payments are due for the next 3 months.
Customers who wish to renew their licence in full between 1st April and 30th June will be charged the equivalent of 9 months licence fees for a 12 month licence.
Customers who have already renewed their Licence in full will receive a credit off their next renewal, whenever that is due.
Please therefore renew business licences as normal, whereby your 3 month concession will be immediately applicable, and kindly only use trade plates where vessels are genuinely under maintenance. We hope this gesture will help boating businesses navigate these difficult and uncertain times for us all. We will review the position again in June.

Kind regards,
Canal & River Trust

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Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 24 Mar 2020 23:14 #114857

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The latest Boaters Update and advice from the Canal and River Trust is here:

canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/boating/boating-blogs-and-features/the-boaters-update/boaters-update-24-mar-2020

Looks very sensible to me and gives the continuous moorers carte blanche for now ( but not enough for some who want the rest of us banned from he towpath as well!)

I wait in anticipation , but with little hope, for similar clarity from Waterways. Thames (EA) - so far only informal advice that assisted passages (eg Lock-keepers) have been withdrawn.

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Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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

CRT and Covid-19 20 Mar 2020 16:39 #114677

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Report from boaters rep Dave Mendes de Costa (Member of NABO)

***UPDATE FROM BOATER REPS MEETING WITH CRT***

Yesterday the boater representatives on the CRT Council met with Matthew Symonds (National Boating Manager). Many thanks to everyone who sent me their thoughts.

As expected, the main area of discussion was around Covid-19. The tone was positive, there seems to be a desire to support people but through individual arrangements rather than blanket measures. So the main message is

**If you need support, contact CRT immediately on 0303 040 4040**

- If anyone is having problems with the payment of licence or mooring fees then get in touch with CRT and they can help work out a way to potentially defer or delay payments. Several of us pushed that CRT should follow whatever government policy is put in place for private rent.

- If you are self-isolating or are in the 'at risk' category then contact CRT to arrange an overstay. They understand people may need to stay close to roads, supplies and support groups.

- If you are supporting another boater who is self-isolating and cannot move then get in touch with CRT to let them know.

- If you are self-isolating and are worried that you don't have a support network then CRT are using their local rangers and licence officers to help support you. Get in touch with your local team so they can assist you.

- CRT have looked to contact all elderly or vulnerable boaters using information they have. If you've not been contacted and feel you need support then let them know.

There was understanding that canal based businesses (including roving traders) will be struggling. CRT are operating on the basis that the navigation will stay open (however many festivals are being cancelled). As with the points above, if you need support from CRT get in touch with them (e.g. there may be ways to change business licences to leisure licences to save costs).

Finally, if you are operating a local support group for boaters then let CRT know as they may be able to help link up boaters needing support with others offering it.

I appreciate there is a lot of 'let CRT know' in the messages above, rather than proactive blanket measures. I think that, for now, this is reasonable. We have to meet them halfway by contacting them...only then will we see how far they are willing to help.

If you have contacted CRT and are not getting anywhere then let me know. I can't promise to be able to fix individual issues but if there's a pattern then we can build a case for CRT to act differently.

Keep safe and well, and supporting one another.
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Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

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