The August bank holiday saw the start of the much discussed new visitor mooring arrangement at Foxton, Stoke Bruerne and Thrupp.
I say 'much discussed' as it seems that very few people don't have a view on the new arrangements. There are some who believe the new stay limits and extended stay charges are intended to be 'anti-boater' or that the scheme is intended to be a money-making through the introduction of an 'extended stay charge' of £25 per day for each day moored in over the permitted free mooring time in any one zone - this is very far from the truth.
The real reason for the introduction of the new visitor mooring arrangements is genuinely about trying to make sure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to visit and stay at some of the most popular sites. Anyone who has visited Foxton, Stoke Bruerne and Thrupp will know just how picturesque and 'quintessentially English' they are and can see why lots of people would want to visit them.
Limiting the number of days that boaters can moor at these sites in a single visit and in a calendar month will, we hope, not prevent anyone from enjoying visiting these places but rather make sure that more boaters can visit and when they do, make sure they'll find somewhere to moor.
Most boaters that I have spoken to agree that it is only fair, at these popular sites, that boaters shouldn't be able to occupy mooring sites for extended periods and that limiting stay times is a reasonable solution.
Whenever anything new begins there are inevitable small teething issues so we'll be learning from those. From speaking to lots of boaters at Foxton and Stoke Bruerne over the Bank Holiday it's clear that people have lots of questions as they familiarise themselves with the new arrangements.
To help we've put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions on our website, we'll be adding to the list of FAQs over the coming weeks so if you have a question that we've not got on our list then please let me know.
We will also be seeking feedback from boaters after they have visited Foxton, Stoke Bruerne and Thrupp to find out how they found the new visitor mooring arrangements. Another online survey has been launched by a group of boaters to find out views about visitor moorings across the country, you can complete this survey here.
We'll be interested to see the findings from this survey. Along side the first three sites there are five other locations where we're reviewing visitor mooring arrangements. The findings from Foxton, Thrupp and Stoke Brurne and these surveys will to help inform how we review visitor moorings at these other sites.
Find out what the Canal & River Trust's boating team have been up to.See more blogs from The boating team