Mooring charge concern

Old Tonbridge High Street

A former riverboat owner has raised concerns that charging mooring fees at Tonbridge could deter boat owners from visiting the area.

Spider Coles felt the town’s economy could be losing out, especially as a number of alternative locations on the River Medway have opted not to charge boats for short-term stays.

In Tonbridge, barges and other boats face paying either £5 a day or £30 per week (maximum stay), with new signage being placed last month at Medway Wharf Road advising of the present fees.

Mr Coles, who is now based in Tonbridge after spending many years living in a boat on the River Medway, said: “Tonbridge is one of the main points of navigation for the Medway, but if people have already paid out a lot of money with costs on their journey before they get to the town, they might not want to pay to stop here.

“Until about four or five years ago, you used to be able to stay in a boat at Tonbridge for three nights without there being mooring fees, but were not allowed to return within a period of one week.” Mr Coles believes this system had previously worked well.

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