The “Continuous Cruising Procedure” and CC3 letters

A boater recently made a Freedom of Information request about the number of boats BW had either taken to court or removed following a CC3 letter. The CC3 is the letter which terminates the boat licence in what BW like to call the “Continuous cruising procedure”. The boater asked the following questions  “How many boats have been issued with the CC3 letter in the continuous cruising procedure since 1995?”

 The records that we currently hold go back to July 2007 and show that 89 boats have been issued with the CC3 letter.

 “How many owners of boats which have been issued with a CC3 since 1995 have been served with a Section 8 notice?”

All the boats which have been issued with a CC3 letter have been served with Section 8 and 13 Notices as these are attached to the CC3 Letter.

“How many of these boats have been seized by BW without going through a court case?”

 We remove boats under our Section 8 Procedure if there is no-one living on them.  According to the 89 cases going back to July 2007, we removed 5 boats without the need to obtain Court Orders.

 “How many of these boat owners have been threatened with court action by BW which has subsequently been dropped?”

 Our standard letters set out the options open to boaters from the outset and also set out what the consequences are (which includes legal action) if they do not comply with our requirements.  Of the 89 cases recorded since 2007, we have instructed solicitors on 16 cases and issued legal proceedings on 8.

 “How many of these boat owners have been threatened with court action by BW which has not been pursued within 18 months of the date of serving the CC3 letter?”

I am sorry but we do not hold this information.

 “How many of these boat owners have been threatened with court action by BW which has not been pursued within 18 months of the date of serving the Section 8 notice?”

 I am sorry but we do not hold this information.

 How many boat owners has British Waterways taken to court since 1995 over alleged breaches of Section 17 (3)(c) of the British Waterways Act 1995?

 BW has had to attend Court hearings in respect of 4 cases and one other case was settled before the hearing date.

 In which of these cases did BW allege that the boat was not making a progressive journey?

 All

 In which of these cases did BW allege that the boat was not complying with Section 17 (3)(c) on the grounds that it remained within a specific geographic area and what was the area in question?

All.  Some persons were not moving at all and one moved from Folly Foot to Candys Bridge to Bathampton.  A further person was moored at Trowbridge for more than 14 days and Whaddon Lane for more than 14 days.

 Which of these cases did BW win and which did BW lose?

 BW won all the cases in Court.

 On what grounds did BW win and lose these cases?

I refer you to our reply to question 4 above.  As we were successful in Court, we obtained Court Orders requiring the Defendants to remove their boats from our waterways failing which we would remove them under our statutory powers.

 What defences were put by the boat owners in all of these cases?

 No defences were generally filed.  However, in a particular case, a Defendant claimed that BW were acting in a way that was unreasonable or disproportionate in respect of the Human Rights Act 1998 in that the person was trying to obtain a mooring as it was not feasible to continuously cruise and BW were not assisting that person in finding a permanent mooring and that BW did not take into account that the person needed to remain within a travelling distance to work.

 In which courts were these cases heard and on what dates?

 Gloucester County Court – 18 July 2007

Swindon County Court – 30 August 2007

Swindon County Court – 2 November 2009

Gloucester County Court – 4 December 2008 which was adjourned to 13 February 2009.  Claim settled as the person obtained a licence and mooring.

Crewe County Court – 7 December 2009

How many of these boat owners lived on their boat as their main or only home?

 All

 How many of these boat owners were families with children?

None

 How many of these boat owners were single women?

 None

 What action did BW subsequently take against the owners of the boats in the cases which it won?

BW required the boaters to remove their boats failing which we would enforce the Court Orders.

We have the names of the boaters BW took to court, so if you want to get the reports of these court cases from the courts in question, contact info@boatingcommunity.org.uk. You will need the names, but reports of court cases are public information and the court should give it to you.

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2 Responses to “The “Continuous Cruising Procedure” and CC3 letters”

  1. Paul Biddy MonsterID Icon Paul Biddy says:

    …thought all you Bargees out there may (or may not) be interested in my latest FoI concerning bona fide navigators (CCers) http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/continuous_cruisers

  2. Paul Biddy MonsterID Icon Paul Biddy says:

    The person arguing human rights and access to work provided very strong points I thought

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