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BroadsAuthority

Coronavirus And The Broads

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Good afternoon everyone, I hope you are all keeping well

As some of you may have seen we have created a web page regarding Coronavirus and the impact it has had on our work and the Broads area: https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/news/coronavirus-covid-19. It details the meetings and events we have had to cancel, as well as other measures that are being put in place to help deal with the situation at hand.

I thought it would be helpful to draw your attention to a few points that we have received enquiries on over the last few days:

  1. We are well aware that the impact of Coronavirus may affect your ability to pay your river toll in time. Our Tolls Team will, as always, be sympathetic and understanding of individual circumstances in this particularly challenging environment. Please give them a call on 01603 756080 if you require advice. Our office is closed to the public but tolls can still be paid online or over the phone. At this stage there are no proposals for any refund of the annual toll.
  2. We are supporting Government guidance regarding social distancing and the avoidance of non-urgent travel. However, there is no enforceable travel ban in place and the waterways of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads still remain open for public access. It is the responsibility of individuals and businesses to read the Government guidance and act as they see appropriate. We do not have any powers or responsibility to completely close the Broads in this instance.
  3. Our Tourist Information Centres at Hoveton and How Hill will not be opening for the start of season.

    Reedham and Great Yarmouth Yacht Stations will open for the start of the season (because of the safety implications relating to tidal waters). Norwich Yacht Station will not open or be staffed (access to the site will be at your own risk).

    From 1 April, we will be operating a Tourism Information service by telephone and email to help deal with enquiries. Please contact 01603 782281 or visit our contact us page.

  4. The Authority is aware and concerned about the likely impact of the Coronavirus emergency on the important tourism businesses in the Broads and in particular on the hire boat industry. We are in touch with the Broads Hire Boat Federation and have agreed to stay in regular contact so that we can monitor the situation and see what we can collectively do in response.

    In the meantime, Visit Britain’s website has some helpful information on measures in place to support tourism business during the Coronavirus crisis: https://www.visitbritain.org/covid-19-new-coronavirus-latest-information-and-advice-for-businesses
  5. Finally, although many of our staff are working from home (myself included), operational work is set to continue with additional measures in place. If you have any queries relating to tolls, planning or anything else, please bear with us whilst waiting for us to get back to you. We'll help you out as soon as we can.

If there's any Broads-related questions I can help with regarding the unfolding situation please feel free to ask here, via social media, our contact channels or send us a private message. We are keen to maintain a high level of communication with our stakeholders and keep you in the loop with any developments.

Enjoy the rest of your evening and stay safe,

Tom / Broads Authority

 

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As of this morning both Beccles and Oulton Broad Yacht Stations intend to remain open. 

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Great To See Barnes Brinkcraft have updated their cancellation policy in light of the unprecedented situation currently effecting the World

https://barnesbrinkcraft.co.uk/blog/new-cancellation-policy/

Fantastic step in my opinion when many others seem to have a distinct lack of information available on their websites for customers

 

 

 

 

 

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"Please note this policy only applies for bookings taken from the 13th March 2020.  Our standard cancellation policy applies to previous bookings. "

A step in the right direction but only for holidays booked recently.

I believe Hoseasons are offering the chance to cancel and rebook for either later in 2020 or move to 2021 at no extra charge irrespective of when the original holiday was booked.

Ultimately anything that gives the hire fleet even a sniff of a chance to survive covid is to be applauded. 

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At this moment in time we can only guess and I will suggest that a number of hire boats will not be commissioned this year, and probably a few private ones will also remain laid-up. The consequence being that tolls income will drop for 2020 and subsequently there will be a call next year to make up the shortfall by way of a further increase in tolls. 

It remains to be seen how the cancellation of Authority meetings, thus the use of executive powers, will effect both the Broads and us as stakeholders. 

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1 hour ago, JanetAnne said:

I believe Hoseasons are offering the chance to cancel and rebook for either later in 2020 or move to 2021 at no extra charge irrespective of when the original holiday was booked

I'm booked for early June and have to pay the balance by the end of this month. 

I wonder if this applies to all eventualities? I'm reliant on travelling by train and some operators are already scaling back their services. I assume if all travel is banned then no one will be taking a holiday! Uncertain times. 

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If by the tail end of the year the only things folk on here have lost is a holiday or the money for one or just lack of own boat use we'll be doing pretty well, let's hope.

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49 minutes ago, NorfolkNog said:

I assume if all travel is banned then no one will be taking a holiday! Uncertain times. 

I can't find Barnes conditions of hire for the moment but I have found Richardsons :-

Basically, if you cancel more than 8 weeks before the start date, you lose your deposit. This is around £50 to £150 depending on the boat and period price.

If you cancel after 8 weeks you will lose the deposit and are also liable for the full balance of hire.

Cancellation for a qualifying reason.

When you book you are responsible for the full hire terms even if you cannot take your holiday as planned. . . . . . . Our cancellation protection has very few small print exclusions. There are no pre-existing medical exclusions under this section.

They then go on to specify the qualifying reasons for a refund - one of which is :

Compulsory quarantine of you or any member of your party or your travel being prevented by Government restriction following an epidemic.

So this seems to rest with "Boris" at the moment since he has only recommended the closure of businesses and the restriction of travel but he has not yet enforced it.

Going back to Barnes' offer, I think they are right to insist on their conditions of hire on pre-booked holidays until the government says otherwise. Their new offer concerns bookings taken now, under the new circumstances and seems to me to be a very good approach.

My advice to anyone who has booked for the early season would be to pay the administration fee of around £26 and change your booking date to October this year or maybe another date next year. That way you have cut your losses, and you still have a holiday to look forward to.

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50 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

If by the tail end of the year the only things folk on here have lost is a holiday or the money for one or just lack of own boat use we'll be doing pretty well, let's hope.

And let's just hope the boatyard you booked from, or where you moor your boat, will still be there when you get back.

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My Wife is not keen on going because of Government advice but if we stay in the car except for toilet breaks (keeping distance from everyone) and get straight on to the boat then you couldn't get better isolation.

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On 18/03/2020 at 18:42, JennyMorgan said:

As of this morning both Beccles and Oulton Broad Yacht Stations intend to remain open. 

I don't think WW3 would stop Beccles Yacht Station I remember in  March we left early morning with not a soul around I really thought they had closed for the winter and the Guy appeared out of nowhere run down the length of marina and caught us for the money by the water hose , didn't give us a receipt either. ;)

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9 minutes ago, Thiswan said:

didn't give us a receipt either

Are you sure he was Yacht Station staff? :default_wink:

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5 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Are you sure he was Yacht Station staff? :default_wink:

In the last however many years I have never seen the Beccles Harbour Master walk quickly let alone run.:default_biggrin::default_biggrin:

Their normal policy for boats that arrive late and/or leave early is to take the details off the CCTV and, if it's a hire boat, the yard sorts it on the boats return or, if private, contact is sought through whatever channels are needed. Saves all that running stuff!

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3 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Are you sure he was Yacht Station staff? :default_wink:

He seemed very convincing but I  did wonder,. he didn't help with the water either I should have asked for a receipt really .I will if there's a next time.:default_smile:

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8 hours ago, Thiswan said:

My Wife is not keen on going because of Government advice but if we stay in the car except for toilet breaks (keeping distance from everyone) and get straight on to the boat then you couldn't get better isolation.

It rather depends on who was on the boat before you and the time between them vacating and you going onboard! 

You could not deep clean a boat in the allotted turn round time. Sanitise evey surface, control, every utensil, crockery, cutlery, glasses, handles, light switches. TV, etc. etc.

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yes, but at worst you are only dealing with the chance of infection from the previous occupants and the cleaning staff, so a lower risk than touching a surface that many others may have touched, so you would be at a higher risk when using the toilets and filling the car with fuel as more people touch those surfaces, unless the yards impose a voluntary 48 hour quarantine of the boats between uses to ensure the virus does not survive, the risk is still lower than a lot of other things.

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1 hour ago, ChrisB said:

. . .. . . . . You could not deep clean a boat in the allotted turn round time. Sanitise evey surface, control, every utensil, crockery, cutlery, glasses, handles, light switches. TV, etc. etc.

Let’s be realistic here.  Even if you stay at home, you’ll have to go out for food and other essentials.  Wherever you go, there I’ll be a risk by touching something, somewhere.  Obviously, be careful,  look after your self the best way you can but there is no way we will be able to create our own sterile environment, however careful we are.

It is my belief that one of the reasons this is spreading as quickly as it is, is the fact that we are so conscious of our hygiene now.  How many young children are allowed to play in the mud and chew on lumps of coal like we used to.   As a race, our resistance to diseases is lower as we become more reliant on drugs to fend off our ailments.

My thoughts, obviously, but without customers and/or government support, I think the future of many Broadland businesses is grim and they may be lost forever.

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I think the outlook is grim for business and individuals all over the country.  This is partly due to the low interest rates where individuals are concerned. Money in the bank has become unfashionable. Trouble is you can't eat or pay the rent/mortgage with a boat, car, caravan etc. The level of personal savings in this country is terrifyingly low and debt the other way.

As for business they are between a rock and a hard place, you cannot build cash reserves and invest in new equipment, tooling and modernisation at the same time.

But it is fact, that leisure, catering, holidays etc, that whole genre, have always been in the front runners "On Carey Street"

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16 hours ago, JanetAnne said:

I believe Hoseasons are offering the chance to cancel and rebook for either later in 2020 or move to 2021 at no extra charge irrespective of when the original holiday was booked.

Where did you get this information? We are due to hire in the next few weeks. Hoseasons have sent us as e.mail saying they are only dealing with people due to start their holiday in the next week which is fair enough. But they also provide a link for further information which just leads to a blank page.

I can't see anything improving in the next few weeks and suspect we will see even more restrictions than now, so the option to re-book is starting to look like an attractive option, but then so is self isolating on the broads...

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15 minutes ago, RS2021 said:

Where did you get this information? We are due to hire in the next few weeks. Hoseasons have sent us as e.mail saying they are only dealing with people due to start their holiday in the next week which is fair enough. But they also provide a link for further information which just leads to a blank page.

I can't see anything improving in the next few weeks and suspect we will see even more restrictions than now, so the option to re-book is starting to look like an attractive option, but then so is self isolating on the broads...

Oops, meant to link you into the above post but you'll get the gist.

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This is not a good thought but if I were buying a boat right now then I would sit tight. Inevitably there will be some bargains out there, sadly for some businesses and individuals. Not good news but a harsh reality. I suspect that the big boys will survive but growth will be on hold for 2020, unless a real bargain comes along, as I fear that they will. 

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20 hours ago, Tempest said:

edit.

Fantastic step in my opinion when many others seem to have a distinct lack of information available on their websites for customers

 

 

 

 

 

I don't think you have looked too hard. I found policies on all the web sites have checked in the last few days. 

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We are unfortunately in the position of having a boat up for sale. We never expected it to sell quickly.  This has only made it likely to take much longer. Luckily we are not in a hurry - Just as well!

 

Carole

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