CRT recently renewed the reciprocal agreement to allow Bridgewater-licensed vessels to visit Liverpool, so it is particularly disappointing that there is no „response“ from BCC to encourage CRT vessels to visit bridgewater Canal. Despite the protests of the Inland Waterways Association and, somewhat more moderately, the complaints of C-RT, it rarely seems to give in and is widely placed as the financial and property interests of the owners of the canal, The Peel Group, before the welfare of the UK`s first commercial channel. The new CEO told the world, „My immediate priorities are to ensure continuity of service to our customers, to be familiar with the channel and to familiarize themselves with its stakeholders and to identify potential for improvement for the benefit of the channel and its users.“ It seems to be a reciprocal point of view, but of course the decisive part is implementation. We are very happy to visit the CRT boats and they will continue to enjoy 7 consecutive days free on the Bridgewater, which is free for a calendar year of more than 70 days. In both canal networks, after 7 days from the first arrival on CRT waters or on the Bridgewater Canal, permission has always been required to remain in any network of channels. The amendment we have introduced means that any return leaves within 28 days of the departure date, whether it is after 3 days or 5 days or up to 7 days, so an authorization is now required. A 7-day return permit is available for Bridgewater boats on CRT and CRT waters on the Bridgewater Canal, or a return permit for a reduced rate of $20 (3 days) is also available and can be obtained on the Bridgewater Canal website or by phone or from a police officer. In just a few months, he increased the royalties by more than 300% on diving safaris — which now pay US$1746 for a 60-metre boat instead of just over $500, and this on a canal a small fraction of the length or complexity of the 2000 miles of C-RT. Peter Parkinson also broke the mutual agreement with C-RT, which allowed the boats to sail the other`s waters for seven days, and imposed a new rule that if a boater returned to Bridgewater within one month, a transit fee of $40 would be payable.
The recent changes to the CRT/Bridgewater agreement were made due to problems encountered by the Bridgewater Canal control team over the past 18 months. The overtaking and abuse of the canal by some boaters is more widespread than originally planned, as more than 70 statutory enforcement orders have been issued and 7 vessels have been removed from the canal for non-compliance, which is why we had to act to protect the canal. The IWA confirms that it has not yet received a response to the letter sent by Peel Holdings as early as January, requesting some opening windows for channel traffic. We are now working on an amendment and have introduced a restriction within 28 days (without authorization) in accordance with the current reciprocal agreement with CRT, which is underway this summer. Mutual agreement now reads as follows; Boaters using the waterways of the north-west of England will know that there has long been a reciprocal agreement that allows licensed vessels on the Bridgewater Canal to access the local CRT waterways and, for CRT licensees, to use the Bridgewater Canal to travel at no additional cost between the Rochdale, Trent-Mersey and Leeds-Liverpool Leigh. The Bridgewater Canal Company (BCC) recently amended the reciprocal agreement and the IWA is concerned that this will apply to boaters with CRT licences who wish to use the Bridgewater Canal to access other CRT waters for a short period of time and then return in the same manner.