THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BOAT OWNERS

Thursday, March 23, 2017

BW (prior to mid 2012)

NABO Logo SUMMARY OF RELEVANT ACTS OF PARLIAMENT RELATING TO BRITISH WATERWAYS

The list is still incomplete but contents and main provisions are described when known (the title recorded below is descriptive and not necessarily the official title of the statute; the Act may in some cases have no relevance to waterways, or may have been repealed). NABO would be pleased to receive details and/or copies of Acts of Parliament relating to inland waterways. It should be noted that the Common Law may confer rights of navigation on certain rivers.

1065 Edward the Confessor made a decree regarding rivers Thames, Trent, Severn and Yorkshire Ouse that mills and fisheries be destroyed and the rivers made navigable

TIME IMMEMORIAL – common law rights may be established by continuous usage since the reign of Richard I (1189)

MAGNA CARTA 1225-9 9 Henry III

WEIRS 1350 25 Edward III st 4 c4

RIVER SEVERN No title 9 Henry VI Cap 5 1430

RIVER SEVERN No title 19 Henry VII Cap 18 1503

RIVER SEVERN “An Act for the extraction of Tolls by the Severn side” 23 Henry VIII 1531-2

RIVER WYE “An Acte for the reedifyinge of foure mylles nere the citie of Hereforde” 2 and 3 Philip and Mary, Cap 14 1555

RIVER WEY “An Act for making Navigable the River of Wye (Wey) 1651

RIVER WYE “An Act for the making navigable of the Rivers Wye and Lugg and the Rivers and Brookes running into the same in the Countyes of Hereford, Gloucester and Monmouth” 14 Charles II Cap 14 (Royal Assent 19 May 1662)

RIVER STOUR AND SALWARPE ACT 14 Charles II 1662 Addendum reads “Provided also and be it enacted and ordained by the Authority aforesaid that the River Avon running through the Counties of Warwick, Worcester and Gloucester already made navigable by William Sandys Esquire, shall be continued, maintained and preserved, and all differences that shall hereafter arise and happen concerning the cutting and making navigable the said River shall be determined by the same Commissioners as are herebefore in this Act expressed and provided for the Rivers of Salwarpe and Stour”

RIVER AVON (Hampshire) “An Act for making the River Avon navigable from Christchurch to the City of New Sarum” 17 Charles II Cap 12 1664

RIVER ITCHEN (and others) “An Act for making divers Rivers Navigable or otherwise passable for Boats, Barges and other Vessels” 16 and 17 Charles II Cap 12 1665

RIVER WEY “An Act for preserving and settling the River Wey in the County of Surrey” 22 and 23 Charles II 1671

RIVER WITHAM “An Act for improving the Navigacion betweene the towne of Boston and the River Trent” 22 and 23 Charles II Cap 25 1671

RIVER WYE “An Act for making navigable the Rivers of Wye and Lugg in the County of Hereford” 7 and 8 William III Cap 14 (Royal Assent 7 March 1695)

RIVER IDLE “An Act for making the River Idle Navigable from East Retford in the County of Nottingham, to Bawtry Wharf in the County of York” 6 George I Cap 30 1720

RIVER WEAVER “An Act for making the River Weaver navigable from Frodsham Bridge to Winsford Bridge, in the County of Chester” 7 George I Cap 10 (Royal Assent 23 March 1720)

RIVER DANE “An Act for making Navigable the River Dane from Northwich where it joins the River Weaver, to the falling in of Wheelock Brook, and Wheelock Brook up to Wheelock Bridge in the County of Chester” 7 George I Cap 17 (Royal Assent 17 June 1720)

RIVER WYE “An Act for explaining and amending an Act passed in the Seventh and Eighth years of the Reign of His Late Majesty King William the Third (instituted, An Act for making navigable the Rivers Wye and Lugg in the County of Hereford) and for making the same more effectual” 13 George I Cap 34 (Royal Assent 15 May 1727)

RIVER ARUN “An Act for erecting piers in and for repairing and keeping in repair the harbour of Little Hampton, called Arundel Port, in the County of Sussex” 6 George II Cap 12 1732

RIVER WEAVER “An Act to extend the Navigation of the River Weaver from Winsford bridge to the town of Namptwich, in the County of Chester” 7 George II Cap 28 (Royal Assent 16 April 1734)

RIVER LUNE “An Act for improving the Navigation of the River Loyne, otherwise called Lune; and for building a Quay or wharf near the Town of Lancaster in the County Palatine of Lancaster” 23 George II Cap 12 1749

RIVER AVON (Warwickshire) No title 24 George II Cap 39 1751

RIVER WEY “An Act for extending and continuing the Navigation of the river Weye .. in the County of Surrey, to the town of Godalming in the said County” 33 George II Cap 45 1760

RIVER WEAVER “An Act to amend an Act passed in the Seventh year of the Reign of … King George the first, for making the river Weaver navigable from Frodsham Bridge to Winsford Bridge, in the county of Chester, and for the more effectual preserving and improving the navigation of the said river” 33 George 11 Cap 49 (Royal Assent 22 May 1760)
Includes requirement that the course of the waterway should be at least 4 feet 6 inches deep

RIVER WITHAM “An Act for draining and preserving certain Low Lands called The Fens, lying on both sides of the River Witham, in the county of Lincoln: and for restoring and maintaining the Navigacion of the said River, from the High Bridge, in the City of Lincoln, through the borough of Boston, to the sea” 2 George III Cap 32 1762

STAFFORDSHIRE & WORCESTERSHIRE CANAL ACT 6 Geo III c97 (Royal Assent 14 May 1766)

RIVER ITCHEN “An Act to explain, amend and render more effectual an Act made in the 16th and 17th years of King Charles II, intituled `An Act for making divers Rivers Navigable or otherwise passable for Boats, Barges and other Vessels’, so far as the same relates to the River Itchen, running from Alresford through Winchester to the sea, near Southampton, and for better regulating the said Navigation” 7 George III Cap 87 1767

DROITWICH CANAL ACT 1767 8 Geo 3 c.37

BIRMINGHAM CANAL ACT 8 Geo 3 c.38

RIVER LUNE “An Act to explain and amend an Act made in the 23rd year of … King George II, for improving the navigation of the river Loyne, otherwise called Lune, and for building a Quay or wharf near the town of Lancaster …” 12 George III Cap 81 1772

RIVER SEVERN “An Act for making and keeping in repair a road or Passage for horses, on the Banks of the River Severn, between Bewdley Bridge and a place called the Meadow Wharf, at Coalbrookdale, for hauling and drawing vessels along the said river; and for other purposes therein mentioned” 12 George III Cap 109 1772

BUDE CANAL ACT 1774 (Royal Assent 24 May 1774) “An Act for making a

navigable Cut or Canal from the Port or Harbour of Bude, in the hundred of

Stratton, in the county of Cornwall, to the River Tamar, in the parish of Calstock,

in the said county”

WALSALL CANAL ACT 23 Geo 3 c.92

RIVER ARUN “An Act for amending and improving the navigation of the River Arun, from Houghton bridge, in the Parish of Houghton in the County of Sussex, to Pallenham Wharf, in the Parish of Wisborough Green…, and for continuing and extending the navigation of the said River Arun, from the said Wharf… to a certain Bridge, called New Bridge, situate in the Parishes of Pulborough and Wisborough Green, in the said County of Sussex” 25 George III Cap 100 1785

RIVER LUNE “An Act to explain, amend and render more effectual several Acts made in the 23rd year of … King George II, and the 12th year of … his present Majesty,, for improving the navigation of the River loyne, otherwise called Lune, and for building a Quay or wharf near the town of Lancaster … and for other purposes therein mentioned” 29 George II Cap 39 1789

WORCESTER & BIRMINGHAM CANAL ACT 1790 31 Geo. 3 c.59

MELTON MOWBRAY NAVIGATION ACT 31 George III c.77

RIVER ROTHER “An Act to enable the Earl of Egremont to make and maintain the river Rother navigable, from the town of Midhurst, to a certain Meadow, called Railed Pieces, or Stopham Meadow, in the Parish of Stopham, and a navigable cut from the said River to the River Arun, at or near Stopham Bridge, in the County of Sussex; and for other purposes” 31 George III Cap 66 1791

NEATH CANAL ACT 31 Geo III c.lxxxv “An Act for making and maintaining a Canal or Navigable Communication from or near a certain Place called Abernant, in the County of Glamorgan, to and through a certain Place called The Brickfield, near Melincrythan Pill, into the River of Neath, near the Town of Neath, in the said County”.

WYRLEY & ESSINGTON CANAL ACT 32 Geo 3 c.81

MONMOUTHSHIRE CANAL ACT 32 Geo 3 c.102

RIVER ARUN “An Act to explain and amend an Act made in the sixth year of … George II, intituled `An Act for erecting Piers in, and for repairing and keeping in repair, the harbour of Littlehampton, called Arundel Port, in the County of Sussex; and for impowering the Commissioners acting under the said Act to improve the Navigation of the River Arun, from the said harbour to the town of Arundel, in the said County” 33 George III Cap 100 1793

WYRLEY & ESSINGTON CANAL ACT 34 Geo 3 c.25

BIRMINGHAM CANAL ACT 34 Geo 3 c.87

SOUTHAMPTON AND SALISBURY CANAL ACT 35 George III Cap 51 1795

RIVER ITCHEN “An Act to explain, amend and render more effectual, the several Acts of 16 and 17 Charles II and of the 7th of his present Majesty, relating to the Navigation of the River Itchen in the County of Southampton, and for improving the Navigation thereof; and for ascertaining the Rates of Carriage, Riverage and Wharfage payable thereon” 35 George III Cap 86 1795

RIVER SEVERN No title 39 George III Cap 8 1799Nullifies the Act of 1772 but revives all the powers within the 1772 Act

MELTON MOWBRAY NAVIGATION ACT 40 George III c.55

SALISBURY AND SOUTHAMPTON CANAL ACT 40 George III Cap 108 1800

RIVER ITCHEN “An Act for explaining, amending, and rendering more effectual several Acts of the 16 and 17 Charles II and of the 7 and 35 of his present Majesty, relating to the Navigation of the River Itchen in the County of Southampton” 42 George III Cap 111 1802

RIVER SEVERN “An Act for extending and making the Horse Towing Path or Road, on the Banks of the River Severn, from Bewdley Bridge, in the county of Worcester, to the Deep water at Diglis, below the city of Worcester” 43 George III Cap 129 1803

RIVER RIBBLE “An Act for improving the Navigation of the River Ribble, in the County Palatine of Lancaster” 46 George III Cap 121 (Royal Assent 12 July 1806)

RIVER LUNE “An Act to explain, amend and render more effectual several Acts for improving the Navigation of the River Loyne, or Lune; and for building a Quay or wharf near Lancaster, in the County Palatine of Lancaster” 47 George III Cap 37 1807

WEAVER NAVIGATION ACT 1807 “An Act to authorise the Trustees of the River Weaver Navigation to open a more convenient communication betwixt the River near Frodsham Bridge and the River Mersey near Weston Point … and to amend Two acts relative to the said river” 47 Geo 3 Sess 2 c. lxxxii (Royal Assent 8 August 1807)

RIVER WITHAM “An Act for rendering more effectual an Act for draining certain Low Lands lying on both sides of the Witham, in the county of Lincoln; and for restoring the navigation of the said river from the High Bridge in the city of Lincoln, to the sea” 48 George III Cap 108 1808

RIVER WYE “An Act for amending several Acts for making navigable the

Rivers Wye and Lugg, in the County of Hereford; and for making a Horse

Towing-Path on certain parts of the Banks of the said River Wye” 49 George

III Cap 78 (Royal Assent 20 May 1809)

RIVER SEVERN “An Act for making and keeping in repair a Road or Passage for horses on the Banks of the River Severn between a certain place at Coalbrook Dale, to and above the Welsh Bridge in the town of Shrewsbury, county of Salop, for hauling and drawing vessels along the said river” 49 George III Cap 121 1809

RIVER SEVERN “An Act for extending the Horse Towing Path on the Banks of the Severn from Worcester to a place below the City of Gloucester, called the Lower Parting, situate at the Corner of Portham Mead, in the county of Gloucester” 51 George III Cap 148 1811

RIVER ITCHEN “An Act for Increasing the Rates on Coals conveyed on the River Itchen, alias Itching, in the County of Southampton, and for amending and rendering more effectual the several Acts relating thereto” 51 George III Cap 202 1811

RIVER WITHAM “An Act for rendering more effectual an Act for draining certain Low Lands lying on both sides of the River Witham, in the county of Lincoln; and for restoring the navigation of the said river; and for repealing another Act of his present Majesty in relation to the said Drainage and Navigation” 52 George III Cap 108 1812

WEY AND ARUN JUNCTION CANAL ACT 53 George III Cap 19 1813

BUDE CANAL ACT 1819 “An Act for improving the Harbour of Bude in the county of Cornwall, and for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from the said harbour of Bude, to or near the village of Thornbury, in the county of Devon and divers branches therefrom. All in the counties of Cornwall and Devon”

RIVER ITCHEN “An Act for Increasing the Rates on Goods and Commodities conveyed on the River Itchen, in the County of Southampton” 1 George IV Cap 75 1820

RIVER WEAVER “An Act to repeal certain parts of, and to alter and amend an Act passed in the forty-seventh year of … King George the Third, to authorise the Trustees of the River Weaver Navigation, to open a more convenient Communication between the said river near Frodsham Bridge and the River Mersey near Weston Point, … and to amend two Acts relative to the said river” 6 George IV Cap 29 (Royal Assent 2 May 1825)

RIVER WITHAM “An Act for enabling the company of Proprietors of the Witham Navigation to complete the Drainage and Navigation by the river Witham; and to raise a further sum of money for that purpose” 7 George IV Cap 2 1826

GLASTONBURY CANAL ACT 7-8 Geo IV 1826-7 “An Act for improving and supporting the Navigation of the River Brue from the Mouth thereof, at its Junction with the River Parrett, to Cripp’s House, and for making and constructing a Canal from thence to the Town of Glastonbury in the County of Somerset”

RIVER WEAVER “An Act to alter, amend, enlarge and consolidate certain of the Powers and Provisions of the said Acts passed relating to the River Weaver navigation, in the County Palatine of Chester” 10 George IV Cap 70 (Royal Assent 22 May 1829)
Includes clarification that 450 yards of the River Dane are deemed to be a navigable branch of the Weaver

RIVER WITHAM “An Act to authorise the raising a further sum of money for completing the Drainage and Navigation by the River Witham, and for amending the Acts relating thereto” 10 George IV Cap 123 1829

TITFORD CANAL ACT 5 Wm 4 c.xxxiv

RIVER PARRETT NAVIGATION ACT 1836 6 Will IV (Royal Assent 4 July 1836) “An Act for improving the Navigation of a Portion of the River Parrett, and for making a Navigable Canal from the said River to Barrington, all in the County of Somerset”

SEVERN NAVIGATION ACT 1842 5 & 6 Vict. c. xxiv [SP has extracts] “An Act for improving the Navigation of the Severn from the Entrance Lock of the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal, and from the Entrance Lock of the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal, in the County of Gloucester, to Gladder or Whitehouse Brook in the County of Worcester”[13th May 1842]

HARBOURS, DOCKS AND PIERS CLAUSES ACT 1847 10 & 11 Vict. c.27

DROITWICH JUNCTION CANAL ACT 1852 15 & 16 Vict. c.xxii [SP has a copy]

SEVERN NAVIGATION ACT 1853

BIRMINGHAM CANAL NAVIGATIONS ACT 1855 18 & 19 Vict. c.cxxi

SEVERN NAVIGATION ACT 1856

GLOUCESTER & BERKELEY CANAL ACT 1874

SHARPNESS DOCKS AND GLOUCESTER AND BIRMINGHAM NAVIGATION ACT 1870

MELTON MOWBRAY NAVIGATION (ABANDONMENT) ACT 40 and 41 Vict c.78

RAILWAY AND CANAL ACT 1884

MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL ACT 1885

TRENT NAVIGATION ACT 1887 50 & 51 Vict c.cxv

SEVERN NAVIGATION ACT 1914

SEVERN NAVIGATION ACT 1920

SEVERN NAVIGATION ACT 1935

SHARPNESS DOCKS AND GLOUCESTER AND BIRMINGHAM NAVIGATION ACT 1935 25 & 26 Geo. 5 c.xxvi

LNER (GENERAL POWER) Act 1936
Section 38 closed the Grantham Canal

DROITWICH CANALS (ABANDONMENT) ACT 1939 2 & 3 Geo.6 c.lx [SP has a copy]

LMS RAILWAY ACT 1944
Closed many canals

BRITISH TRANSPORT COMMISSION ACT 1949 12 & 13 Geo.6 c.xxix

BRITISH TRANSPORT COMMISSION ACT 1950 14 Geo. 6 c.liii

BRITISH TRANSPORT COMMISSION ACT 1951 14 & 15 Geo.6 c.xxxix

BRITISH TRANSPORT COMMISSION ACT 1952 15 & 16 Geo.6 & 1 Eliz.2 c.xxxiv

BRITISH TRANSPORT COMMISSION ACT 1954 c.lv [SP has a copy]
The enabling act for BW byelaws

TRANSPORT ACT 1955
Closed section of Lancaster Canal above Tewitfield

BRITISH TRANSPORT COMMISSION ACT 1958 6 & 7 Eliz 2 c. xliv
Details unknown

BRITISH TRANSPORT COMMISSION ACT 1959
Details unknown

TRANSPORT ACT 1962 c.46
Established the British Waterways Board

BRITISH WATERWAYS ACT 1963
Details unknown

BRITISH WATERWAYS ACT 1965
Details unknown

BRITISH WATERWAYS ACT 1966
Details unknown

TRANSPORT ACT 1968 c.73

The overarching Act for the nationalised waterway network and BW:
S49 – powers with respect to land
S50 (7) – power to establish undertakings on request
S104 and 12th Schedule Parts I and II – defines “commercial waterways”, “cruising waterway” and “remainder waterway”
S105 – statutory maintenance duties
S110 – established the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council (IWAAC)
S117 – public road bridges
Schedule 13 – procedure as to orders relating to inland waterways

BRITISH WATERWAYS ACT 1971 c.xviii [SP has a copy]
Pleasure boats on river waterways to be registered
S3 – defines “hire pleasure boat”
S4 – defines extent of Part II
S14 – Registration of houseboats
S17 – Duration of boat certificates (Amended by British Waterways Act 1995)
S19 – Registration of transfers of pleasure boats (Amended by British Waterways Act 1995)
Part II – Pleasure boat certificates

TRENT RIVER AUTHORITY (GENERAL POWERS) ACT 1972
Section 10 extinguished navigation rights on the River Idle

BRITISH WATERWAYS ACT 1974 c.xxiii
Mainly concerned with the upgrading to the Sheffield and South Yorkshire waterways
S36 – repeals and amends certain provisions of the Act of 1971. It also ensures that IWAAC be consulted over proposed increases in registration charges.

BRITISH WATERWAYS ACT 1975 c.xxiii [SP has a copy]
Display of certificates
Canal byelaws
Sundry amendments to other acts.

BRITISH WATERWAYS ACT 1983 c. ii [SP has a copy]
S3 – Construction and equipment of vessels (Repealed by British Waterways Act 1995).
S4 – pleasure boat registration charges not to exceed 60% of a licence
S7 – Control of unsafe vessels
S8 - Removal of vessels
S11 and 2nd Schedule – defines additional cruising waterways
S12 – Power to obtain particulars of persons interested in land
S17 – Notices

BRITISH WATERWAYS ACT 1987 c.xxviii

Believed to relate to restoration of the Montgomery Canal

BRITISH WATERWAYS ACT 1988 c.xxv [SP has a copy]
Permits use of canals (notably Montgomery) previously closed by London Midland & Scottish Railways

TRANSPORT AND WORKS ACT 1992

Transport undertakings such as BW and EA use this act and orders under it to promote works on navigations, control navigation. Etc. NABO is a Statutory Consultee.

BRITISH WATERWAYS ACT 1995 c.i [SP has a copy]
Section 17 – Conditions as to certificates and licences
S 3 (Construction & equipment of vessels) of the British Waterways Act 1983 no longer has effect as from January 1995
Schedule 1 – relates to houseboat certificates
Schedule 2 Part I – relates to insurance policies as to vessels and BW will prescribe the amount of Third Party cover required.
Schedule 2 Part II – gives details of standards for construction & equipment of vessels (this effectively introduced the Boat Safety Scheme)

Note: All Acts of Parliament have “chapter” numbers. Public acts have numbers in Arabic numerals, private acts such as British Waterways have Roman numerals – this is very important when ordering from The Stationery Office.

Some BW acts or sections of them do not apply in Scotland or have limited application.