Canal Boat - - Canal Boat News -

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.

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