CRT has this week published the first of four planned three-monthly reports on the K&A Local Plan. The report details the number of boats that have allegedly overstayed, allegedly not moved through enough “neighbourhoods”, and the number of pre-enforcement and enforcement letters, texts, emails, phone calls and “extended stay charges” that CRT has issued. You can read the report here 7009-k-and-a-local-plan-summary-report-may-to-july-2014
What the report fails to consider is the number of allegations of overstaying on Visitor Moorings or on the towpath and the consequent communications to boaters that have been issued in error. Nor does it list the number of complaints that have been made about these texts, emails, phone calls or letters. According to a boater who complained about being wrongly accused of overstaying, a CRT staff member admitted that some of the communications sent to boaters accusing them of overstaying were purely speculative with no evidence to justify issuing them.
The report also does not cover the fact that CRT is sending some of these texts or phone calls at unsocial hours and some boaters have found this threatening. At least one complaint of harassment was made by a boater who CRT texted at 9pm at night accusing him of overstaying by one day.
If CRT imposes an unlawful “extended stay charge” or threatens to do so, we recommend that you make a formal complaint. See
If you receive any communication from CRT accusing you of overstaying and you have moved your boat, we also recommend making a formal complaint to CRT. This includes making a complaint if you have moved to a different place within the same “neighbourhood”, because CRT does not have the legal power to define “place” or to extend the definition of “place” to imply a wider area such as a “neighbourhood”.
If you have received a phone call, text or email from CRT and you consider this to be harassment, we recommend that you ask CRT to take your number or email address off their database.
The report stated that only 5 boaters have requested CRT’s records of its sightings of their boat; to request these without making a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act, email email@example.com with your boat name and number, or ring the main switchboard on 0303 040 4040 or write to Sheila Shaw, Enforcement Supervisor, Canal & River Trust, The Dock Office, Commercial Rd, Gloucester GL1 2EB.