Lack of understanding

Published: Wednesday, 16 June 2010

WELCOMING British Waterways 1% licence fee increase, the result of consultation with the National Association of Boat Owners, it's Chairman, David Fletcher, still despairs of the lack of understanding by BW.

Not in favour

BW previous proposal had been for no base increase but a reduction in prompt payment discount. NABO were not in favour of proposals that imposed the greatest increases on BW's best customers, and  David complains:

"We sometimes despair at the lack of understanding by BW about their main customer base—but this outcome where our views have been taken into account shows a shift and realisation that there are options."

Other issues

Several other issues that NABO raised have been agreed including the retention of the Explorer Licence and an acceptance by BW to retain the ability to obtain licences in the normal way, which it wanted to do it all online, with David relating:

"Other issues that that we recommended were outside the immediate consultation and we will continue to press for these to be considered but overall we consider this to be a good settlement for this year and importantly it meets BW's budget expectations. It is important that boaters continue to make a real contribution to the maintenance costs in these difficult times."

Very worried

NABO continue to work with each British Waterways region in trying to help priority with maintenance and repair works to fit in with budget restrictions but are very worried about the effect of future central government budget cuts, with a spokesman reporting:

"So many of our members express concern about the state of the waterway system, and the poor level of maintenance. Further cuts will damage many, many years of investment, hard work and regeneration effort to a system which is part of this country's heritage so the Spending Reviews really worry us."

The National Association of Boat Owners is dedicated to promoting the interests of private boaters on Britain's canals and rivers, so that their voice can be heard when decisions are being made which might affect their boating. More at