CRT launches equality policy for boaters
THE CANAL & River Trust has published its Equality Policy, which lays out how it will comply with the law regarding discrimination for customers – and in particular, how it will seek to avoid disadvantaging boaters with disabilities.
Alongside general concerns regarding identifying proposals that could potentially result in discrimination there are more specific items, in particular those relating to disabilities where the policy includes commitments to: • Ensure the needs of people with disabilities are built into restoration, regeneration and refurbishment • Incorporate measures to reduce access restrictions for people with disabilities into maintenance work where practicable • Review the need for motorcycle
barriers on towpaths • Encourage the provision of accessible boats and other facilities The policy also covers ‘reasonable adjustments’ where physical features on the waterways place a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage, and in particular the Trust’s Guidance for boats without a home mooring – CRT’s interpretation of the requirement for these craft to be used ‘for navigation’ under the 1995 British Waterways Act.
The Policy says that if the Trust becomes aware of such a boater with a disability, it will make them aware of its duty and offer to review its usual requirements, and may carry out an assessment with a view to identifying adjustments. These could include a reduced range and/or pattern of movement, mooring longer than the stated limits, or assistance with navigating – and might depend on the boater’s disability, availability of assistance from friends or family, and characteristics of the waterway such as number of locks.