Around 70 boats took part in a protest outside Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema’s residence on Tuesday evening, in protest at new plans to limit sailing on the capital’s canals.
The city council will today vote on plans banning boats from using the canals at night, and forbidding private owners from carrying more than 12 passengers. The aim is to reduce the nuisance caused to houseboat dwellers and other locals.
‘It is ridiculous,’ boat owner Sander de Boer told local broadcaster AT5. ‘My boat is my back garden and I want to be able to decide how many people I invite. If I want to take my children’s class on a trip, then I should be able to.’
— bedrijfsadres.asd (@BedrijfsAdres) May 8, 2019
Rather than introduce bans, the city should make sure that the current rules on sailing are adhered to, De Boer said. ‘Everyone cycles through red lights, but we have not banned cycling,’ he pointed out.
There are an estimated 7,000 privately-owned boats on Amsterdam’s canals. City alderman Sharon Dijksma says limiting passenger numbers to 12 will stop private owners make money by renting out their boats to large, noisy groups.
Some 10,000 people have signed a petition against the new rules, AT5 said.
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