Boaters are Travellers

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has given its opinion that ‘bargee travellers’ are covered by Section 225 of the Housing Act 2004 which defines who is a traveller.

The definition is needed because local authorities are required to assess the needs of travellers in their jurisdiction. The crucial part when deciding who is a traveller is the element of nomadism. This means that local authorities have a statutory obligation to investigate travellers’ needs and this should lead to provision of transit moorings like transit pitches for travellers who live in caravans.

It should be possible to use this ruling to argue that local authorities should be providing, or working with BW to ensure the adequate provision of 14-day moorings – the bargee traveller’s equivalent of a transit site – rather than acting with BW on local mooring strategy groups to reduce the amount of 14-day mooring space.

The DCLG responded to a letter from Nick Brown of the Bargee Traveller’s Assocation, a group of boaters formed to put pressure on Reading Council to provide mooring along the Thames in Reading.

Letter from DCLG

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4 Responses to “Boaters are Travellers”

  1. adam collison MonsterID Icon adam collison says:

    hello there,

    we are a group of boaters living on the river cam, attempting to find out our legal standing and categorisation. Due to the increased pressures from our navigational authority (threats of fee increases of up to 20%, and navigational restrictions), and the lack of co-operation from the local city council and problems with our current mooring arrangements, we have contacted Cambridge Ethnic Minority Forum (CEMF) and are currently in the process of documenting all of the problems individual boaters have faced over the past few years, and investigating any breaches of our human rights by both of the authorities involved.

    Any information, links or contacts that could aid us would be greatly appreciated.

    The CEMF have offered to organise a meeting at their expense (location, refreshments and child care) to discuss the problems we are facing. We would like to expand this offer to other boating communities at some point in the future, to begin networking, and involve other boater communities that are facing similar problems from their local councils and navigation authorities.

    We look forward to your reply,

    kind regards

    Adam Collison

  2. Nigel & Glen Summers MonsterID Icon Nigel & Glen Summers says:

    How do we join BTA. continuous cruisers/live aboards on Ami Bovard

  3. […] In addition, Wiltshire Council has accepted that boat dwellers should be included in its obligation to assess and meet the housing needs of travellers under Section 225 of the 2004 Housing Act. Bath and NE Somerset Council is to include boat dwellers in its Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment. See our article Boaters are Travellers at […]