Following the Government’s announcement of 23rd June that overnight stays away from home will be permitted in England from 4th July 2020, this means that leisure boaters will be able to stay overnight on their boats and hire and hotel boat companies may resume trading.
Posts Tagged ‘Waterways Act 1995’
As of 23rd May 2020 CRT resumed enforcement of summer visitor mooring time limits and of the 14 day limit for most boaters without a home mooring. CRT has stated that it expects boaters without a home mooring to move by 6th June 2020 unless they have ‘reasonable adjustments’ under the Equality Act or if it is reasonable for them to stay where they are for longer than 14 days. If you are shielding or self-isolating, are in a ‘high risk’ category or you have other needs, it is clearly reasonable to stay where you are and we would advise you to tell CRT if you have not done so already.
CRT has extended its suspension of the 14-day rule until 9th May and has advised that only essential boat movements are permitted until at least this date. CRT’s winter visitor mooring time limits of 14 days unless signed otherwise are also extended until 9th May. No boat sightings will be taken during the period that boat movements are suspended. Boat Safety certificates that are about to expire or have recently expired are now extended until 11 May 2020.
CRT yesterday (24th March 2020) made the decision to close the Caen Hill flight between locks 29 and 44 until further notice as part of its response to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, to protect its staff and ensure they are only sent to deal with the most critical tasks. The last boats were admitted at 10am yesterday.
The K&A is also closed at lock 52 at Wootton Rivers due to a broken gate, until further notice.
On Monday CRT suspended the 14-day rule until 14th April 2020 and boat sightings are not being taken during this period. This will be reviewed in mid-April.
CRT is also telling the public that if they use the towpath for their daily exercise or journey to undertake essential work, to avoid any stretches with boats moored against the towpath, and strictly observe social distancing at all times, following the latest advice from Government.
Julian House Travelling Communities Support Service is setting up a community help plan for liveaboards affected by Covid-19 (coronavirus) between Hanham and Wootton Rivers. They will also make any ideas and resources available so boaters further afield can replicate them. They are looking for willing, healthy community members who can self-organise to support people’s basic needs and give practical help where needed. At the moment they particularly need more volunteers in the Long Pound between Coate Bridge and Wootton Rivers.
CRT confirmed last week that it has no plans to restrict boat movements due to the Covid-19 pandemic but that it will update its advice as and when necessary. A CRT staff member said that the waterways were a relatively low-risk environment as there were very few large gatherings. However, if boaters need to self-isolate and stay longer than 14 days in any one place, CRT confirmed that this would be reasonable in the circumstances.
Friends, Families and Travellers has produced guidance for boaters and other travelling communities on Covid-19, see https://www.gypsy-traveller.org/advice-section/guidance-for-gypsy-traveller-and-liveaboard-boater-communities-on-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR1andeBO2v8OPNgEVpiD5D8If1TgoMP9vO7sIvB8NwRoGu6J1dCd_HUXjU
Julian House Gypsy, Traveller, Boater and Roma Community Support Service is working on an action plan within BaNES and Wiltshire to ensure that everyone on the canal is safe and cared for. You can contact them if you are self-isolating or are concerned about anyone else. Phone or text Alice on 07960 097719 or Emily on 07946 200271 or contact via
Although aimed at the settled community, Wiltshire Council has produced a useful Community Pack about Coronavirus which has some ideas for mutual help within the community that can be adapted to suit boaters. See http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/articles/covid19-community-pack