Non-movement action hits 22%
A HOT TOPIC in the Questions & Answers session at the Annual Meeting was disagreement over the Trust’s interpretation of the legal requirement for boats without home moorings to cruise continuously – with over one fifth of such craft affected by a CRT crackdown involving issuing ‘last chance’ shorter term licences to ‘non-compliant continuous cruisers’.
As a result of the imprecise wording of the 1995 British Waterways Act (which specifies that boats with no home mooring must be used for navigation throughout the licence period), it’s been difficult to legally define how far they must move. However, CRT has now given a guideline of less than 15-20 miles total range over the duration of the licence as being “very unlikely” to be able to satisfy the Trust.
CRT reports that as many as half of all the 4,600 boats without home moorings fall into this category – and since 1 May, following a pilot on the Kennet & Avon, a new procedure has been in place: Monitoring of boats for movement Reminders to ‘non compliant’ boats of the need to move Review of those that don’t then move more Possible offer of a ‘restricted’ three- or six-month licence at renewal time (and enforcement as unlicensed craft if they refuse) Continued monitoring Refusal of a licence to those that still do not move more (or sell their boat or get a permanent mooring)
Removal of craft via enforcement procedure and courts
As of August, around 22 percent were already on restricted licences: of these CRT says some have agreed to move more; others have taken up home moorings; and some have been sold.
CRT told CanalBoat that it has already seen ‘anecdotal evidence’ of more boat movement in the London area (pictured) in particular.