We have been protesting about the governments failure to maintain investment in our waterways. The infrastructure needs regular maintenance to keep the system open. Canals and rivers could become un navigable which would be a disgrace after all the effort made to restore navigation. The waterways provide a wonderful natural environment for relaxation and holidays.
But it seems that there is an even greater threat to the well-being of our navigations. In 'the small print' of the last budget by Mr. Brown was the confirmation that all diesel fuel be taxed at the same rate. This means that our use of 'pink diesel' with a low duty can no longer be used for boat engines. It is not so much the cost but availability which will drastically slow down boat movements. There is very little profit in keeping it at boatyards or marinas. For some unknown reason even hire boat companies will not be able to use the 'pink'. They may decide not to supply the high taxed diesel to passing boaters by just storing enough for themselves.
However the de-regulation will not come into force until 1st. November 2008, so we will at least have this year and next to continue enjoying our life on the waterways.