Financial sustainability

It is imperative that any Third Sector/Civil Society/Big Society trust is sustainable.

Currently BW is acknowledged to be underfunded.

The Treasury are keen to relinquish responsibility for the inland waterways while ensuring the national assets are not put at ownership risk.

If the trust does not have sufficient income it will need to either close waterways or sell off what aspects of the non-operational assets they are gifted.

The cheaper solution is to think bigger. Take water as a resource and put that into the Third Sector. All aspects of water, currently within the Environment Agency, including flood defence, use and conservation, ecology (WFD), industry (OFWAT) and navigation can be set into a Water Trust.

This thinks way outside the box, but could capture the imagination of the public who would actively be involved in managing what is one of the country’s most precious resources.

Why is this idea important?

It is imperative that any Third Sector/Civil Society/Big Society trust is sustainable.

Currently BW is acknowledged to be underfunded.

The Treasury are keen to relinquish responsibility for the inland waterways while ensuring the national assets are not put at ownership risk.

If the trust does not have sufficient income it will need to either close waterways or sell off what aspects of the non-operational assets they are gifted.

The cheaper solution is to think bigger. Take water as a resource and put that into the Third Sector. All aspects of water, currently within the Environment Agency, including flood defence, use and conservation, ecology (WFD), industry (OFWAT) and navigation can be set into a Water Trust.

This thinks way outside the box, but could capture the imagination of the public who would actively be involved in managing what is one of the country’s most precious resources.

We should have a “Right to Roam” on English waterways

I recently took up canoeing as a sport, and found it's great for fitness and seeing the countryside.  I've been disappointed to find however that, although in England we have a right to roam on all our traditional footpaths, we don't have a similar general right to roam on our waterways, which seems an absurd limitation on our civil liberty.

I understand that in most other countries (including Scotland) there is an assumed right to roam on any waterway, provided the craft used is appropriate to the waterway, and in my opinion we should have the same freedom here.

Why is this idea important?

I recently took up canoeing as a sport, and found it's great for fitness and seeing the countryside.  I've been disappointed to find however that, although in England we have a right to roam on all our traditional footpaths, we don't have a similar general right to roam on our waterways, which seems an absurd limitation on our civil liberty.

I understand that in most other countries (including Scotland) there is an assumed right to roam on any waterway, provided the craft used is appropriate to the waterway, and in my opinion we should have the same freedom here.

Allocate resources to rebuild canal network

Britain is very lucky to have an outstanding network of canals which today are used mainly for leisure boating.  The British Waterways Board has had on ongoing program of construction and improvement but it has not enough resources.

Compared to the billions spent on useless projects, the return on investment on the British canals would be very good indeed, for the countryside, and balance of payments.

http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/home

Why is this idea important?

Britain is very lucky to have an outstanding network of canals which today are used mainly for leisure boating.  The British Waterways Board has had on ongoing program of construction and improvement but it has not enough resources.

Compared to the billions spent on useless projects, the return on investment on the British canals would be very good indeed, for the countryside, and balance of payments.

http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/home

Let Waterway Equal Roadway

            Alter the law/section that allows persons to [without training] drive motor boats/water skis/ sail boats. All without the need to have any form of insurance.

Why is this idea important?

            Alter the law/section that allows persons to [without training] drive motor boats/water skis/ sail boats. All without the need to have any form of insurance.

Remove Tax on Red Diesal for leisure boating

Remove tax on red diesal for leisure boats on our inland waterway system.  Introduced approx 2 years ago due to European constraints making UK boaters pay heavily for fuel for leisure boating whilst costs already spiralling out of control for this leisure pursuit. 

Why is this idea important?

Remove tax on red diesal for leisure boats on our inland waterway system.  Introduced approx 2 years ago due to European constraints making UK boaters pay heavily for fuel for leisure boating whilst costs already spiralling out of control for this leisure pursuit. 

Remove rights of ‘ownership’ of rivers etc

Access to open water in England an Wales is appalling. Removal of the right of ownership of the water flowing through rivers, and the riverbed beneath and granting access to river banks would enable people to enjoy much more of our country's natural heritage

Why is this idea important?

Access to open water in England an Wales is appalling. Removal of the right of ownership of the water flowing through rivers, and the riverbed beneath and granting access to river banks would enable people to enjoy much more of our country's natural heritage

Repeal drink-drive limit for non-professional mariners

Current law imposes a drink-drive limit identical to that in force on British roads upon persons operating leisure craft on inland waterways and British coastal waters.  This has been introduced despite marine organisations' submissions that it is both unnecessary and unenforceable.  Pre-existing law made boating whilst incapable through drink an offence (e.g. British Waterways Bye-laws) and the imposition of this new law on leisure boaters did not follow the collection of evidence that suggested there was a major safety problem that could be addressed by this measure.  The seven knot/ seven metre exemption means that most narrowboat skippers are subject to this superfluous restriction.  The speed limit on canals is 4mph with average speeds much lower.  Many, if not the majority, of drink-related deaths involving the waterways are those of pedestrians who enter the water whilst intoxicated yet similar restrictions on walkers (who could outpace a boat) and cyclists (who certainly travel faster and in greater proximity to other members of the public) have not been introduced.

Why is this idea important?

Current law imposes a drink-drive limit identical to that in force on British roads upon persons operating leisure craft on inland waterways and British coastal waters.  This has been introduced despite marine organisations' submissions that it is both unnecessary and unenforceable.  Pre-existing law made boating whilst incapable through drink an offence (e.g. British Waterways Bye-laws) and the imposition of this new law on leisure boaters did not follow the collection of evidence that suggested there was a major safety problem that could be addressed by this measure.  The seven knot/ seven metre exemption means that most narrowboat skippers are subject to this superfluous restriction.  The speed limit on canals is 4mph with average speeds much lower.  Many, if not the majority, of drink-related deaths involving the waterways are those of pedestrians who enter the water whilst intoxicated yet similar restrictions on walkers (who could outpace a boat) and cyclists (who certainly travel faster and in greater proximity to other members of the public) have not been introduced.

Regulation of passenger boats on canals

Remove responsibility for regulation of passenger boats and their crews on canals from the Maritime Coastguard Agency and place it on British Waterways or the individual Navigation Authority for non-BW canals.

Why is this idea important?

Remove responsibility for regulation of passenger boats and their crews on canals from the Maritime Coastguard Agency and place it on British Waterways or the individual Navigation Authority for non-BW canals.