Thames moorer loses bat­tle


Canal Boat - - News -

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’.

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