Thames Targets Unregistered Boats & Speeding

The Environment Agency has stepped up its action against unregistered boats on the non-tidal Thames.

Waterways officers have checked 1,000 boats in the last week alone and aim to check every boat on ther river by the end of the year.

Owners of boats not displaying valid registration plates face possible prosecution,

The EA is also taking tougher action action against speeding boats on the river

Environment Agency Thames Waterway Operations manager, Matt Carter said: “The income we raise from boat registration fees helps to pay for the upkeep of the entire non-tidal navigation between Teddington and Lechlade, a length of 144 miles, including 45 locks.  All boats kept on the river which includes berths in marinas, must display a valid annual registration plate.”

“We need every penny  of registration income that we are due to keep it in the best condition possible.”

New legislation last year requires all boats moored on the Thames,  whether or not they are used,  to display a valid annual boat registration plate.

Typical licence fee for a 30 foot boat is currently around £450 a year but expected to increase again in January

Every reach of river will be checked at least once, including all marinas and side channels, and officers will re-visit areas where there is a regular turnover or high numbers of boats.

The Environment Agency will also be carrying out speed checks over the coming weeks. The speed limit is 5 mph ( 8 km/h) and fines are up to £1,000.

The EA said:” Ignorance of these regulations is not a valid excuse. If caught speeding boat owners will be prosecuted.”

Information boat registration can be found on the EA website ,by phone on 03708 506 506 or by email at

via River Thames News.

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