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BroadsAuthority

Coronavirus And The Broads

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can we please all calm down, we are trying to keep things reasonably sane here and some of the comments i have seen have gone beyond acceptable. in light of the government announcement we are going to all have to accept unpleasant restrictions, whether we like it or not, but here things will be kept civil. if you want to complain about the government - this is not the place to do it, if you want to ignore the government restrictions fine, but dont rant about them here. Any posts in that vein will be hidden without warning.

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Just for information Beccles Yacht Station closed down today 

20200323_163932.thumb.jpg.661235ff0907c09cfc5cfd57a8b5cf65.jpg

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How things change! If there is no one out on the water then I suppose it's inevitable, weird though.

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On 19/03/2020 at 19:17, Vaughan said:

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.

This is why I have been suggesting all along that boatyards must stick to their conditions of hire. Now that government have finally enforced the lockdown, this condition "kicks in" and protects customers who had booked in advance. It will still be better for them, and the yard, if they can re-book for a later date. But when will that be, I wonder?

Meantime, as it is now enforced, the yards may well find that their insurance policy protects them for loss of hire in this case. Let's hope so.

It will only cover them for bookings already taken before the lockdown though and they will still have to find more bookings later in the season. This is what almost certainly will not happen now and this is where the government will eventually have to provide adequate compensation to the tourist industry as a whole, if it wants small businesses to survive.

I am also very mindful of all those hundreds of casual employees who clean and maintain the boats on turn-round days. Most of them are very loyal, have been doing the job for many years, rain or shine and rely very much on their extra seasonal income. I am not sure what protection they will have, if any.

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Had email today broads edge closed  and locked till further notice

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I was in contact with Simpsons at Stalham just now, as they have just de-winterised our boat. I was hoping my daughter could still use her, with the grand-kids but that does not now look possible. They told me they would still be open, with the staff working in the sheds on boat maintenance. How long they will remain open, I don't know.

I didn't ask if they would still do a pumpout for passing boats as I don't suppose that is relevant any more.

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Sutton Staithe have posted that they are open for pump outs, fuel and maintenance but not day boats and sales. Access to buildings restricted and 'facilities' are staff only for the duration.

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Good evening everyone,

We have issued a further statement today (24 March 2020) regarding Coronavirus. I have reproduced it below for your interest.

Waterways and boating

On 23 March the Prime Minister instructed that people should only make journeys for a limited number of essential purposes. The advice states that: “Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence. Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk”. We urge people to follow these instructions.

Primarily for safety reasons the Broads Authority Rangers will continue to patrol the Broads and Broads Control (01603 756056) remains in operation for those that have to remain on board their boats. Rangers will not be patrolling Breydon Water. Private boat owners should therefore be vigilant and mindful of bridge heights in the Lower Bure. They will be able to call the Great Yarmouth Yacht Station for advice on 01493 842794/07766 398238.

We have decided to open the Great Yarmouth Yacht Station on 29 March and staff the mooring at Reedham in the interests of public safety because mooring at these locations can be challenging. The Norwich Yacht Station will remain closed.

At the current time the Government has indicated that construction work can carry on. We will therefore be continuing our maintenance and safety work such as maintaining moorings and dredging so that the Broads will be in good shape to welcome people back when we are able to. This position will be kept under constant review to ensure that we are in line with the latest Government instructions.

Private boats that are kept or used in the Broads navigation area or adjacent waters do still need to be tolled. We fully appreciate the frustrations that private owners have in not being able to use their vessels during this time, coupled with financial concerns that many are facing. The Authority will give careful consideration to exceptional circumstances that mean a private boat owner is unable to meet this commitment.

We ask for your understanding that tolls fund essential navigation works which need to carry on even if the majority of boaters cannot currently benefit from them.

The Broads Authority is particularly conscious of the dire position that hire boat operators face. The Authority is therefore highlighting the provision in the Broads Authority Act that hire boats that are not being used and are effectively in storage in their own yards, do not incur a toll.

Tolls provide £3.5m per year which is the main income that the Broads Authority is permitted to use to maintain the waterways. The Authority is therefore also seriously impacted and has asked the Government for funding to support the navigation and local businesses through this difficult time.

We are aware that those that live on their boats will still require essential services and we have created a web page that contains information for liveaboard boaters. We will endeavour to keep this page updated but stress you should check with each business individually as the situation continues to change daily.

Rangers will be mindful of individual circumstances and the need to comply with Government instructions which will limit the movement of boats.

If you have to be on board your boat in rural or isolated areas, make sure you inform friends or relatives where you are and that you know your precise location in case you start to feel unwell. If there is a medical emergency the emergency services will be able to identify your location more easily if you have a postcode or a ‘what3words’ phrase.

You can identify your exact location using a ‘what3words phrase’. You can do this using the what3words smartphone app. Alternatively if you locate your position on http://www.streetmap.co.uk . You can then get the ‘what3words’ phrase using the “click here to convert coordinates” link just under the map. Google Maps does not provide a ‘what3words’ phrase but can accept one.

If you want to contact the Broads rangers to report an incident or you need assistance, you can phone Broads Control on 01603 756056 or email Broads.control@broads-authority.gov.uk.

Please always phone 999 in case of emergency.

We will keep the situation under active review and update you in line with changing circumstances and guidance.

Other Broads Authority Services

Our Visitor Information Centres are closed to the public. We can however offer information over the phone and email (01603 756097 or 01603 782281 hovetontic@broads-authority.gov.uk) and on Visit the Broads.

Many of our services are continuing to operate such as planning with members of staff working from home. We thank you for your understanding and patience during this time.

More information is available here: https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/news/coronavirus-covid-19/

Thank you and stay safe,

Tom

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Furthermore, we have today put together a short web page with some information for those living aboard their boats, with a list of some local businesses who have made arrangements to offer essential services to the liveaboard community.

Myself and a few colleagues rang a large number of yards but many are closed for the foreseeable future, hence it is rather short. We appreciate that the online hive mind is very effective so if you know of any business that is open and fits these criteria (who would like to be added to the list for public benefit) please get in touch and let us know.

https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/news/coronavirus-covid-19/information-for-liveaboard-boaters

Best,

Tom

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On 22/03/2020 at 15:33, VetChugger said:

And please please please keep it up! I too am one of the old codgers with underlying conditions who is under house arrest! I need pages and forums like this to read and keep my spirits up. So, please keep it coming! Thanks.

A spot of reading for you Trevor, not read it myself so don't yet know if it's any good but I believe theres boaty stuff from all over the place, definately some broads and gt.ouse/fens.

This is a scan (well two scans as copier wouldn't do it in one go) of a booklet found in a charity shop by one of the retired gt.ouse river inspectors, I asked if I could scan it for others to peruse which may be more use now seeing as lots of folk have lots of spare time, the images may be the wrong way up as they were facing opposite to the text and I had to turn them to scan properly.

Enjoy! (or not as the case may be, only one way to find out)

Hopefully after this little sh1tstorm has blown over the old boy will still be about in the pub so I can give it back and buy him a pint but his parkinsons is pretty bad now so I don't suppose his chances are in the top ten.

BOATY PT1.pdf BOATY PT2.pdf

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Just to remind folk that boats stored ashore are toll free.

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One boat quite happy in a shed, toll not as yet paid. May still pay the rowing dinghy as that currently could be classed as exercise?

Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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6 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Just to remind folk that boats stored ashore are toll free.

Should get an extension into next season or reduced rates for this if not yet paid.....

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14 hours ago, BroadsAuthority said:

Private boats that are kept or used in the Broads navigation area or adjacent waters do still need to be tolled. We fully appreciate the frustrations that private owners have in not being able to use their vessels during this time, coupled with financial concerns that many are facing. The Authority will give careful consideration to exceptional circumstances that mean a private boat owner is unable to meet this commitment.

We ask for your understanding that tolls fund essential navigation works which need to carry on even if the majority of boaters cannot currently benefit from them.

The Broads Authority is particularly conscious of the dire position that hire boat operators face. The Authority is therefore highlighting the provision in the Broads Authority Act that hire boats that are not being used and are effectively in storage in their own yards, do not incur a toll.

 

Not quite right, IMO. If the yards also have boats there that do not belong to the yard owner, for example they rent out moorings to private owners, the yard becomes 'adjacent waters' under the 2009 Broads Act and a toll is payable on ALL the boats kept in the water there.

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14 hours ago, BroadsAuthority said:

Private boats that are kept or used in the Broads navigation area or adjacent waters do still need to be tolled. We fully appreciate the frustrations that private owners have in not being able to use their vessels during this time, coupled with financial concerns that many are facing. The Authority will give careful consideration to exceptional circumstances that mean a private boat owner is unable to meet this commitment.

Yet hireboats that are also not being used will be toll free, doesn't seem exactly fair to me. Perhaps to make for a level playing field the hire fleets should pay the flat rate. I believe that the Authority has a healthy cash reserve. No easy answers in these exceptional times.

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39 minutes ago, Paladin said:

Not quite right, IMO. If the yards also have boats there that do not belong to the yard owner, for example they rent out moorings to private owners, the yard becomes 'adjacent waters' under the 2009 Broads Act and a toll is payable on ALL the boats kept in the water there.

So you wish to enforce that, do you? In these circumstances?

I think the BA is being most reasonable in assisting the boatyards to survive this plague.

What is the difference, if they are out on the hard, or in the water? If they  are not tolled they can't navigate, so they can't be hired out. Later in the year, when they are able to accept some bookings, they will toll some boats. And that will be the full toll for the year, nonetheless.

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1 minute ago, Vaughan said:

So you wish to enforce that, do you? In these circumstances?

I think the BA is being most reasonable in assisting the boatyards to survive this plague.

Paladin is quite capable of speaking for himself but I do have some sympathy with the point that he's highlighted. The Adjacent Waters issue is a running sore as regards the Broads Act, it is an unfair, unreasonable clause that should never have been enacted in the first place. My opinion, of course, but I do know that it has and does cause ill feeling. Two boats in the same mooring, one pays and the other doesn't, that doesn't seem fair to me. What would be fair would be for ALL boats stored on an adjacent water should be toll free. If a boat is stored ashore then a toll is NOT charged, if it is stored afloat then a toll is charged.

 

11 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

I think the BA is being most reasonable in assisting the boatyards to survive this plague.

Agreed.

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Fact remains that a boat not tolled, cannot navigate and this is what matters with hire boats.

By the way, I have paid my toll the other day, and gladly. I have also just paid Simpsons' bill for de-winterising, although I cannot now use her. I have also told them they are welcome to take her out if they need to do any towing or rescuing, including taking fire or rescue services to somewhere nearby. She is one of their ex hire boats, so I am sure they know how to drive her!

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40 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

So you wish to enforce that, do you? In these circumstances?

 

JM, yes I can speak for myself and thought I had replied. Obviously forgot to press the 'Submit reply' button  :default_rolleyes:

Second attempt...

The BA will enforce it on me, won't they? In these circumstances? Sauce for the goose...

It is not for the BA to provide respite or relief. That's down to the government, who have imposed these restrictions. Or perhaps the marinas taking our money for moorings for boats we can't use should be giving us a rebate. Oh yes, and some of those marinas will be the same ones that the BA is thinking about giving relief to.

It's not that I'm unsympathetic -  some of my friends are in dire straights, having lost their source of income overnight, but deliberately failing to collect a due toll could be regraded as spending that money, which should be going towards  the navigation, on giving relief. I don't think that is something that comes with the Broads Acts.

It used to be called the Bank of Mum and Dad. Now it appears to be the Bank of the Private Boater.

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Believe me, I understand what everyone is saying, but complicate the system and it will require more admin and more policing. As you are all aware the BA Tolls Dept is operated mainly on a seasonal basis, and indeed I believe that even the head of the dept, has another significant role in the BA.

I am sure PW is as anxious as anyone that the BA keep the staff in Thorpe Towers to a minimum and I am not keen to see the bureaucracy added to either!!! 

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Quote taken from Tom's post above,

"Tolls provide £3.5m per year which is the main income that the Broads Authority is permitted to use to maintain the waterways. The Authority is therefore also seriously impacted and has asked the Government for funding to support the navigation and local businesses through this difficult time."

If and I stress if, they get extra funding from the government, then it would seem appropriate to offer a partial refund to ALL toll payers. Until then we should ALL pay as per the current rules and let the government / not the BA make arrangements for helping everyone, individuals, businesses, private boater, as they see fit.

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Sutton Staithe has run out of diesel next delivery at the end of the month!

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I have had a reply from Dr Packman elsewhere. In view of the serious implications, I'm reproducing it here, together with my response.

"Yes you are correct in the fact that the waters are adjacent waters but Section 16 Exemption of certain vessels sub section (6) states:

Nothing contained in or in force or done under the specified provisions shall apply to any vessel which—
(a) is not for the time being in use for the purposes of navigation, or for residential or commercial purposes;
(b) is moored on waters occupied or customarily used by a person carrying on a business; and
(c) is so moored for the purposes of being serviced, repaired or stored by that person or of being sold or offered or exposed for sale by that person (whether acting as principal or agent).
I hope that helps ."


Thank you JP, but, no, that doesn't really help.

Paragraph (a) applies to all the private boats as well, as they are effectively prohibited from being used for the purposes of navigation by government edict.

Paragraphs (b) and (c) must be read together and have, historically, been interpreted as meaning, for example, if I can't toll my boat because it needs work to pass the BSS, I can put it into a yard for the work to be done without breaking any law. It all revolved around the service/repair/storage/sale etc being provided for a third party in the course of business. Are you now saying that that interpretation is being re-interpreted?

I suggest that, if that is the case, you may well find that private boaters expect you to be similarly creative and apply Paragraph (a) to all those private boats which are moored in commercial premises, which are similarly prohibited from navigating, even to the extent of taking advantage of that section themselves and claiming exemption from their tolls until the embargo is lifted - which could conceivable be next year.

I suggest that (a) could be used as a defence against any prosecution brought by the BA.
 

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