Overnight mooring charges would make Reedham a ‘ghost town’, residents fear
A Broads village would become a 'ghost town' if overnight mooring charges were introduced, businesses fear.
Holidaymakers stopping at Reedham would pay £3 per night under Broads Authority plans, starting from the beginning of the 2014 boating season.
Broads Authority bosses claim the charge is needed to cover the 'rising costs of managing and maintaining the site and providing the ranger services'.
While the charge would be less than the £12 per night fee at Norwich and Great Yarmouth, traders believe hire boats would avoid Reedham as soon as they learned it would cost them.
Ros Carter, landlady of the Lord Nelson pub in Reedham, said the plan to charge was a 'fiasco'.
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'It will go on the grapevine that we're charging at Reedham,' she said. 'It will just go out among the boating community and people won't come here as they will assume we're charging the same as Norwich and Yarmouth but they get facilities there. 'Reedham would become a ghost town.'
Reedham Parish Council is objecting to the proposal, but landowners Broadland District Council have said they are legally entitled to introduce such a fee on behalf of current tenants the Broads Authority.
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A Broads Authority spokesman said the £3 charge would be signposted and advertised widely and people could continue to moor free of charge from 9am to 5pm.
Under the original lease Broadland District Council contributed £3,500 to the cost of the quay rangers, but this was no longer the case.
Three water points and an electric charging point are provided and quay rangers staff the mooring seven days a week from 9am to 6pm from April 1 until November 2.
'They help boaters moor, maintain the quay and provide information to visitors,' the spokesman added. 'The Broads Authority also maintains the hut, lifebuoys, water supply points, safety ladders, and pays for the electricity.
'Broadland District Council pays for the upkeep of the quay heading, surfacing, fenders, chains and posts, and cuts the grass.'
The money raised from mooring fees would be shared between the Broads Authority and Broadland District Council.
A spokesman for Broadland District Council said they have offered to
meet parish councillors to discuss the parish taking ownership, giving them 'the right to make future decisions on its operation, including whether or not to allow charges'.