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Will some Cambridge riverboaters jump the moorings waiting list?

By Ben Comber

The Leeke family on the boat on Water Lane, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell
The Leeke family on the boat on Water Lane, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell

Some residents are unconvinced that the city council's consultation on moorings has been entirely just.

Plans to clear Riverside of houseboats were met with opposition from 74 per cent of respondents and the council has now decided to site seven boats along that section of the River Cam.

Eleanor Lad, who has been waiting for a mooring for four years, said: “Whilst I’m happy for the people with existing licences only having to pay a two per cent increase in fees and the news that seven mooring licences will be issued for some, not all, on railings, we have not been considered at all and the huge publicity over what Camboaters are celebrating as a victory, which it is for them, is detracting from what the council are doing to us in the background.

“We’ve been waiting for four years, which interestingly is the same amount of time as some of those who have been offered a licence on railings.

“Railings was never an option for us as our children would not have been able to climb up and over each day.”

The consultation revealed that 57 per cent of respondents did not think those potentially displaced from Riverside should be put above those on the moorings waiting list.

The consultation and subsequent report will be discussed by councillors on Monday, March 20.

The location of the proposed new moorings at Riverside relate to the location of existing gates in the railings which were welded shut some years ago due to the fact they were continually being left open.

The council says this has posed a serious health and safety risk of people falling through, and that there is no scope for putting in additional gates in the railings to accommodate more than the seven additional mooring spaces proposed because any significant change to the design of the existing parapet would need to comply with legislation related to the structure, and the costs of this are prohibitive.

The consultation also covered the issue of charging for moorings, which is set to rise by two per cent this year.

The council says this is a modest annual increase in licence fees and is set to be reflected in the new fee policy based on boat length.


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