Thames moorer loses battle
A BOATER WHO claimed that his human rights were breached by a council bylaw banning mooring on the Thames in West London has lost his case – and been fined £720.
As reported in CB May 2015, Richmond Borough Council passed a bylaw banning mooring without permission on riverbanks in its ownership. Until then, these lengths had been home to a number of residential boaters who had been able to moor without charge or licence (because it comes under the jurisdiction of the Port of London Authority) and without any equivalent of the Canal & River Trust’s requirement for boats to move on every fortnight.
Some of the moorers said they had been there for several years and the bylaw would leave them nowhere else to go.
During the following months, boat owner Christopher Akerman left his boat at Ham Lands and ignored four warnings of action from the Council and police. When the case came to court he claimed that the bylaw breached his right to family life and would make him homeless. Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court disagreed, and fined him £720.
The verdict was welcomed by Councillor Tony Arbour, who added that he hoped that similar judgements would also be made against other boaters who have tied their craft to poles driven into the river bed and are claiming that they are, therefore, not ‘moored’.