Disabled boaters – know your rights!

CRT has adopted a standard procedure for assessing and agreeing adjustments to its enforcement procedure for boaters with disabilities. This is the result of campaigning by NABO, the NBTA and other groups.

It is important that you raise any disability issues if you are subject to any enforcement action or are refused a licence renewal and offered a ‘restricted’ licence instead. Do not rely on CRT making the offer.

If you have a disability, are older, or are pregnant, you are entitled under the Equality Act 2010 not to have the enforcement policies and procedures of CRT or any other authority applied to you in the same way as they would be applied to the majority.

For example, this means CRT cannot tell you that you should not be living on a boat because you are disabled, “too old” or pregnant. These rights are in addition to the rights of all boaters without home moorings on CRT waterways to stay in one place longer than 14 days if it is “reasonable in the circumstances”.

A number of boat dwellers without home moorings have negotiated ‘reasonable adjustments’ to CRT’s enforcement procedure. For example, a boater who uses a mobility scooter is now able to use visitor moorings for 14 days at a time without attracting enforcement action, because he needs to be moored on a hard edge to get the mobility scooter on and off the boat.

In another case in London, a boater on a restricted licence with ongoing mental health issues was offered an Equalities Adjustment to their cruising pattern by CRT. However, prior to the restricted licence, CRT had failed to inform the boater of their Equality Act rights to ‘reasonable adjustments’, despite the boater informing them of their illness and treatment. If you are disabled or have a chronic illness lasting more than 12 months, it is important that you make sure any CRT enforcement officer you are in contact with is aware of your Equality Act rights and of CRT’s own policy on ‘reasonable adjustments’.

The NBTA has published an advice briefing for disabled boaters and for boaters who are pregnant or elderly. You can download it here NBTA-Briefing-Disabled-Boaters-Rights

The CRT procedure ‘flow chart’ for implementing its Equalities Adjustments, which was obtained following a Freedom of Information request, is here Equality Adjustments Process Standard Letter and Flowchart

See also http://www.bargee-traveller.org.uk/disabled-bargee-travellers-know-your-rights/

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