"The Canal & River Trust has reluctantly concluded that roving mooring permits, which it was proposing to introduce in two local areas from April 2014, cannot be used to deal with localised issues of mooring congestion on the waterways. This follows further consideration of legal issues which raised doubts about the practical implications of implementing the scheme.
We would like to thank everyone who has helped us to develop and explore these proposals; those involved in this process had been assured previously that the proposal was deliverable, and bear no responsibility for this late change.
We will continue to work with local boaters to improve understanding of the Trust's guidance for boaters without a home mooring and to develop ways to help people to comply.
The concept of roving mooring permits was developed in response to interest from boaters in specific local areas who had put down roots in the area but did not have a home mooring. Some had indicated they found it difficult to comply with the Trust’s mooring guidance, including the range of movement required.
The proposed roving mooring permit scheme was to designed to be limited to those who had taken up a ‘continuous cruiser’ licence and adopted the pattern of movement in the area concerned before 30 September 2012, when the Trust had first indicated that it would strengthen its approach. The aim of this principle was to discourage other boaters adopting the same movement patterns, in these areas.
The Trust developed the concept with a small group of boaters on the southern section of the Grand Union Canal around Uxbridge and Cowley. More recently a group on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal were also involved. Subsequently, permit terms and conditions were prepared; part of these conditions was that the permits were limited to only those who met the criteria and were non-transferable. Hence, the number would fall steadily over time and issues of congestion would ease. The Trust had been planning to introduce the scheme from April 2014.
In preparing the final details of the proposed schemes we have had to consider whether the restriction of the availability of permits to a particular group, in a specific area, was legally sound. A significant risk was identified that we might then be obliged to offer them more widely across the system to all boaters. This was never our intention as we believe that the adoption of such a new national permit scheme is not desirable. We appreciate that the late realisation of this has been frustrating for all those involved."
For further information please contact:
Fran Read, national press officer, Canal & River Trust