Sunday, September 04, 2011

Housing on the canal?

It has been quite noticeable that there are more boats being used to live in, presumably due to the shortage of affordable housing. They tend not to be in comfortable marinas but congregate in mile upon mile on the canal. British Waterways have tried and failed to discourage this trend. I met a Captain Jennie from the Waterways Ministry. The Salvation Army are very concerned about the poor state of accommodation available in boats as an alternative to proper housing. A boat permanently sat at a mooring usually has no direct access to water or mains electricity, let alone the ability to dispose of waste products. Water has to be delivered to the boat by container or hose pipe. Diesel or petrol is required to generate power. This is often collected in containers and poured into the boats tank. This practice can present an environmental hazard.
Our friends are on the move again but got stopped at the top of the Marsworth finding the top lock padlocked shut in the morning. A British Waterways operator explained that there was a shortage of water but let them through. As yet we have not seen any restriction in operation at Marsworth posted on Waterscape. Although there are reports that the Foxton flight of locks is closed and there are timed restrictions elsewhere.

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