MOORINGS AND CONTINUOUS CRUISING FEATURE IN OMBUDSMAN’S CASEBOOK
Moorings, the Boat Safety Scheme, and nuisance caused by boaters are highlighted by complaints upheld in the Waterways Ombudsman’s annual report – while those turned down include two relating to ‘continuous cruisers’ without home moorings.
Ombudsman Andrew Walker’s role is to investigate cases where complainants are still unsatisfied after having been through the Canal & River Trust’s internal complaints procedure. Of 14 completed cases, one was fully and four partially upheld (and in some cases the Trust told to pay up to £300). A complaint about a Boat Safety Scheme examiner was badly handled, taking 12 months to investigate. A neighbouring resident was suffering nuisance from unofficial liveaboards in a non-residential marina. A mooring was obstructed by overhanging trees. CRT was not making efforts to ensure a local authority maintained a strip of waterside land leased from the Trust. A piece of waterside land owned by CRT alongside a mooring site had been registered by an adjacent landowner. Cases not upheld included two concerning continuous cruisers. One objected to being expected to cover a cruising range which extended beyond the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, on grounds of safety and being discriminated against for being in full-time employment (which the Ombudsman said was not a ‘protected characteristic’). The other had sought to commit CRT to accepting his own proposal for an acceptable cruising pattern, and said that if CRT didn’t respond, it accepted his proposal by default (the Ombudsman said he did not regard this as committing the Trust to accepting the boater’s terms – although the boater could ask a court to rule).
Other cases not upheld concerned CRT’s actions to reduce the impact of the HS2 railway, the right to charge for a domestic water pipe across its land, and nuisance from boaters on a visitor mooring.