Sunday, 4 August 2013

Three years on.

Three years ago I wrote a blog posting in which I said:- "I am beginning to wonder how well some of the new (large capacity and very expensive to build) marina's will fare with the ever growing credit crunch. Many of the marina's will have been built with financial projections made from before the those gentlemen banker lost the plot. I am sure that the future is now much less rosy than it was expected to be."

I also said at the time:- "I have just bid on a berth in a British Waterways marina. I got if for £10 over the basic opening bid price. If I have a trawl through the on-line BW moorings up for auction. I can see that there are a significant number of berths are not getting a single bid."

At the time, Simon Salem was the Marketing and Customer Service Director for British Waterways. Simon said in a report "The key issue for us, looking ahead, is the abrupt change in the market for BW directly managed mooringsSince November with only around 50—60% of berths selling at auction. Very few of those selling doing so at above guide priceAlthough the number of sites coming up for auction is a small percentage of our overall berths, we are monitoring this change closely and looking for innovative ways to market sites."

I commented at the time that:- "Mooring auctions have been unpopular from the time they started. British Waterways claimed it was a way of finding the 'Market Value' for moorings in a given area. So what value can be placed on a mooring that fails to find a single bid. British Waterways has started to respond to this by starting to create a false shortage. This is done by not offering empty moorings for auction.  If you can get £1000 for one mooring (by concentrating customers) why settle for letting two go for £500. Have a talk with some of British Waterways staff and they will inform you in confidence of the number of moorings currently awaiting auction in various locations. It is after all British Waterways  who set the guide price, It's also British Waterways who set the 'economical' starting bid. It's us who pay the price."

Three years on and nothing has changed except the name of British Waterways to the Canal and River Trust. What has Simon Salem been doing in the intervening time?


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