“The patient is being left to die.” Those were the stark words used by Paul Rodgers to describe how grave he sees the situation that UK holiday hire companies, boatyards, boatbuilders, training operations, marinas, boat clubs and other waterways businesses find themselves in thanks to the collapse in business following the COVID-19 related shutdown.
There are now fears among waterways bodies of the demise of much of the sector as a result of the loss of this summer’s business – unless an immediate rescue package is put together.
The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has launched the first part of a two-part report which aims to highlight the significance of waterways heritage across the UK. The report is part of the IWAs on-going campaign to protect waterways heritage, the need for which was uncovered as part of their ‘Value of Inland Waterways’ report authored by Nicki Schiessel Harvey, which launched last year.
IWA has joined forces with the Historic Narrow Boat Club, National Historic Ships UK and the Railway & Canal Historical Society, who have endorsed the report, and with Historic England who has provided support and research evidence.
The Cruising Association’s Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS) has been in communication with HMRC and confirmed, as a result of the March Budget Statement, that it is their intention to legislate that red diesel in the United Kingdom can only be used in agricultural equipment, on the railways and for non-commercial heating from 1st April 2022.
Since the propulsion of waterborne craft does not fit into these categories, it is HMRC’s intention that they will have to use white diesel for this purpose. The duty on white diesel for boats will be the same as the full rate paid on white road diesel in the UK. This means that the present so called ’60/40′ fuel duty split will disappear but commercial vessels, such as fishing boats, will still be able to claim a rebate on the full rate through their ‘Marine Voyages Relief’ scheme.
Engineers at Aqueduct Marina have won a tender to work on the RIVER project, a new initiative they believe could help shape the development of the next generation of boat engines.
The RIVER project, of which a new boat to be built by Aqueduct Marina for the Canal & River Trust will play a major part, consists of nine partners from five EU states and five associated partners involved in the capture, storage, treatment of CO2 and waterways.