Canal boaters protest

Friday, September 10, 2004

Boaters moored at Hebden Bridge will protest this Saturday, 11th September against their appalling treatment by British Waterways and Calderdale Council.

The sanitary station has been shut and there are no plans to open it before the start of the next boating season, May 2005.

"This is the only sanitary station for miles and we weren't even given notice it was closing." said one boater, "The Council have condemned their own sanitary station and have told us if we want water to buy it at the supermarket and if we need the loo, to cross our legs or use the public facilities in town. I pay over 800 a year to moor here and I'm on one of the smallest boats. The others pay twice that, some more but we are treated as second class citizens."

Another boater said, "British Waterways make the Sheriff of Nottingham look like Mahatma Ghandi. They're a joke."

Canal boats are a great tourist attraction for Hebden Bridge and yet most residents do not know how badly the boaters are treated. This Saturday at 2pm, the boaters will be closing off the canal by mooring their boats across it in protest and are asking all local residents to turn up on the day and show their support.

Neither the Council nor British Waterways will accept responsibility for the sanitary point which leaves the boaters up the creek without a loo.

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