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. If you do not feel that it is safe to move your boat because of the risk of contracting Covid-19 or of unknowingly spreading the virus, we believe that this is also ‘reasonable in the circumstances’ under Section 17(3)(c)(ii) of the British Waterways Act 1995.
CRT is going beyond the Government’s guidance in re-imposing the 14-day limit now, as overnight stays in other places are not yet permitted even under the reduced lockdown and yet each liveaboard household will be forced to stay overnight in many different places from now on.
While some welcome a gradual return to normality on the waterways, many boaters feel that CRT is ending the suspension of the 14-day limit too soon and that navigation, especially in areas where the towpath is crowded, is too risky and puts them in danger of either contracting Covid-19 or unknowingly spreading the virus. Many liveaboard boaters have had lives turned upside down by the Corinavirus crisis. CRT’s resumption of enforcement will add to the stress that the liveaboard community is experiencing.
We recommend that if you do not feel it is safe to move your boat that you firstly inform CRT in writing by letter or email as soon as possible. You do not need CRT’s permission to stay longer than 14 days provided your longer stay is reasonable, however we recommend that you do tell CRT your reason for staying longer. If enforcement action is taken against you for not moving due to the risk of either contracting Covid-19 or unknowingly spreading the virus we recommend making a formal complaint and quoting the current Government guidance that overnight stays are not permitted and indeed this is still not permitted for leisure boaters. The intention of the prohibition on overnight stays is to minimise the spread of infection between different areas and different households.
If you need support in dealing with any CRT enforcement action against you please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07928 078208.
You can contact CRT’s Enforcement / Licence Support Officer for the K&A, Matthew Preston, by emailing email@example.com or 07917 688591 or 01380 737920. You can also contact CRT on 0303 040 4040 or see https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/contact-us/ways-to-contact-us