The IWA’s response to the news that Nick Brown discontinued his Judicial Review of CRT’s Guidance for Boaters Without a Home Mooring is alarmingly off-piste. IWA Chair Les Etheridge weighed into the discussion saying “Visitor moorings on the inland waterways need to be managed with the best interests of the whole boating community”. The IWA believes that CRT can now start “regularising misuse of visitor moorings by a minority of users attempting to avoid proper home mooring arrangements”. Mr Etheridge went on to emphasise “misuse of visitor moorings” and said that he looks forward to “waterways where visitors can confidently expect reasonable facilities”.
We’re not sure where the IWA has been in recent years [please don’t tell us, this is a family-friendly web site] or where it gets its information from, but in 2011, analysis by NABO of BW enforcement statistics showed that boats with moorings were more likely to overstay both on visitor moorings and on the towpath. And in 2013 the Waterways Ombudsman said that “I do not disagree with your point that overstaying on visitor moorings has nothing to do with whether boaters without home moorings are compliant with the law”. He was responding to a complaint that the CRT Council Briefing on Non Compliant Continuous Cruising of September 2012 unfairly blames liveaboard boaters without home moorings for the problem of overstaying on visitor moorings.
Overstaying at visitor moorings has got nothing to do with whether CRT’s Guidance for Boaters Without a Home Mooring is a lawful interpretation of s.17 3 c ii or with what boat dwellers without a home mooring need to do to comply with s.17 3 c ii, which is what the Judicial Review case was about. We don’t know what planet the IWA is on, do you?
Wherever the IWA was, it was clear they weren’t in court for the hearing. Far from ordering “substantial costs” to be paid to CRT by Mr Brown, the judge told Nick Brown that he could claim his costs up to the time that the Court of Appeal granted him permission to bring the Judicial Review. The judge also said that CRT would have to claim its costs from Mr Brown in the same way that Mr Brown would have to claim his costs from CRT.
You can read the IWA statement here