Tell the Waterways Minister what you think!

Waterways Minister Richard Benyon has issued a Red Tape Challenge asking the public which  aspects of waterways legislation should be repealed. He wants people to respond before 23rd March 2012. You can respond on the web site
or you can send a private submission to the Red Tape Team at

In order to protect boat dwellers from homelessness, we believe that the following laws should be repealed:

Section 43 (3) of the 1962 Transport Act should be repealed on the grounds that it is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights;
Sections 13 (2) (3) and (4) of the 1971 British Waterways Act should be repealed;
Sections 8 (1) (2) (3) and (4) of the 1983 British Waterways Act should be repealed
Navigation authorities should not have the power to bring injunctions banning boat owners from their waterways for life;
The British Waterways Mooring Guidance for Continuous Cruisers and plans for Local Mooring Strategies should be abandoned;
The February 2010 British Waterways Revised Draft Byelaws should be abandoned;
Notes 1  and 2 to Schedule 5 of the Public Bodies Act, exempting the functions of the British Waterways Board, the Environment Agency and Dover Harbour Board from the provisions of Section 21(2) falling within section 21(3)(b) to (e), should be repealed and
The powers of British Waterways and other navigation authorities to make “subordinate legislation” should be restricted to existing Byelaw making powers (such as the 1954 British Transport Commission Act) and therefore Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Transport and Works Act 1992 should be repealed.

Here’s the Waterways Minister’s statement in full:

Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
Telephone  08459 335577
17 February 2012

From Richard Benyon MP
Parlimentary Under Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries
Dear Sir/Madam

As you may be aware, the ‘Red Tape Challenge’ was launched in April last year to open up Government regulation to the scrutiny and challenge of the public, businesses and experts.  The Red Tape Challenge website is being used to gather innovative ideas on how the aims of our regulations can be fulfilled in the most successful and least burdensome ways, of over 1200 regulations considered so far, more than 50% will be scrapped or improved. The Government is committed to being the greenest government ever. Protecting and enhancing the natural and marine environment is crucial to our long-term economic success and quality of life: there is no intention to reduce environmental protection.  However, to support a sustainable economy we have to make sure that our policies are being implemented in the most effective way possible. On the Red Tape Challenge website, regulations are divided into themes, each featured on the front page for a ‘spotlight’ period of around five weeks. The Water and Marine theme will be in the spotlight from 17 February till the 23 March and will include: flood and coastal erosion; water quality; water resource; inland waterways*, fisheries and marine conservation. We want to use the Red Tape Challenge to hear your thoughts on how water and marine regulations are working in practice – what works well, as well as what does not – and whether there are more effective means of achieving our policy goals.   If you have particular thoughts, for example on alternatives to regulation, or innovative approaches to compliance with water and marine measures, please share them with us. 
Each theme has one or more Sector Champions whose role is to help raise its profile during the spotlight period, act an intermediary between the sector and Government and direct the web-based discussion. Given the diversity of the Water and Marine theme, we have appointed two Champions, one focusing on water and the other on marine.  The Water Sector Champion is Peter Simpson, Managing Director of Anglian Water and the Marine Sector Champion is Barrie Deas, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations. We are looking to all of our stakeholders – the public, businesses, representative bodies and non-governmental organisations – to tell us how our regulations are working in practice and what can be done to improve them. The more specific you can be the better – we want to make a real difference to how we achieve our objectives. Please get involved and leave your comments and ideas on the regulations on the website or send a private submission to the Red Tape Team at

Please note that the statutory powers and duties of British Waterways will transfer to the Canal & River Trust subject to Parliamentary consideration and approval of the draft Transfer Order made under the Public Bodies Act during the next few months.


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