CRT give Green Light for Mooring Rules

25 October 2012

At meetings in September, the Canal & River Trust’s governing Council and Trustees agreed its interpretation of the law relating to continuous cruising. They also gave backing to a number of new initiatives designed to address misuse of the licensing and mooring rules, including specific proposals for two hotspot areas on the Kennet & Avon Canal and in London.

Simon Salem, marketing director of the Canal & River Trust, said: “The number of people opting to license their boats without a mooring on the basis that they will continuously cruise has increased by 37 per cent since 2007 to 4,400. Most enjoy the waterways and use their boat ‘bona fide’ for navigation in the spirit of the legislation. However, our regular boat sightings give us reason to believe that up to half of people opting to continuously cruise are not currently not doing so within the terms of their licence.”

The Trust’s policy and plans include:

  • Greater clarity for continuous cruisers on how to comply with the licence terms, backed by sufficient enforcement to avoid continued growth of non-compliance;
  • Stronger enforcement of maximum time limits at visitor moorings, including new signage showing a limit of total days per month as well as the maximum stay time for a single visit;
  • The introduction of extended stay charges to deter overstaying, backed by more frequent site visits by the Trust’s enforcement team; and
  • A strategic role for the Trust’s Waterway Partnerships in identifying priority areas for action.

At hot spot locations on the western end of Kennet & Avon Canal and within London, the Canal & River Trust is already discussing local solutions in collaboration with local boaters. Nationally there will be more focus on validating new applications for boat licences from boaters without a home mooring, and strengthening boater education in respect of boat licence terms and conditions.

Simon concludes: “The initiatives being announced are good news for the overwhelming majority of boat owners who should not be deterred from exploring parts of the network currently popular with non-compliant continuous cruisers. It is also good news for those continuous cruisers who, although they may have been long-established and have set up home in a particular area, wish to work with the Trust to comply with the terms of their licence.

“Those who live aboard at their home mooring and those continuously cruising within the spirit of the legislation will not be adversely affected by the new initiatives.”

Alan Wildman, chair of the Residential Boat Owners Association (RBOA), comments: “The Residential Boat Owners’ Association welcomes the commitment to tackle the question of non-compliant continuous cruising patterns. RBOA recognises that Canal & River Trust is making a commendable effort to assist those whose present lifestyle falls outside the present Continuous Cruising licence terms. In line with our own policy, RBOA urges those who are non-compliant to work with the Trust and RBOA to resolve this issue once and for all. There is certainly no desire to drive anyone from the inland waterways, only to find a way of us all to work and live together in harmony and within the rules.”

Paul Roper, Chairman of IWA’s Navigation Committee, comments: “IWA has been concerned about this issue and so welcomes the acceptance by the Canal & River Trust that something needs to be urgently done about the problems caused by non-compliant continuous cruisers, and in fact any one over staying, especially on visitor moorings. We look forward to a prompt resolution of this matter for the benefit of all users, whilst having proper regard to applying sympathetic transitional arrangements for any residential boaters who may currently be in default.”

The briefing and policy paper agreed by the Canal & River Trust Council and Trustees at their September meetings is available to view at: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/council-papers.

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