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CompairHolman

Visitor mooring signs

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3 minutes ago, Jerra said:

Why is it that for so many boaters CRT can't do right for doing wrong?   There appears, right from its inception to have been a desire, on the part of many boaters to try to ensure it fails and to challenge everything it does.

 

When they succeed in making it fail what do you suppose will replace it?

I'm not sure if that is aimed at me, or not?

I tried very hard to be supportive of CRT from the outset, and have spent a great deal of my own time, (and quite a bit of my own money), volunteering for them.

However, I think it is wrong that they should get away unchallenged with implementing anything that they have no powers to implement, and I have been persuaded that these charges are almost certainly without legal basis.

Just because people may thing them "a good thing", doesn't actually make them legal, does it?

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Just now, alan_fincher said:

I'm not sure if that is aimed at me, or not?

I tried very hard to be supportive of CRT from the outset, and have spent a great deal of my own time, (and quite a bit of my own money), volunteering for them.

However, I think it is wrong that they should get away unchallenged with implementing anything that they have no powers to implement, and I have been persuaded that these charges are almost certainly without legal basis.

Just because people may thing them "a good thing", doesn't actually make them legal, does it?

Not aimed at anyone in particular but the general impression gained when considering many posts over the years (I joined the forum as CRT started) and the actions of some of the boaters associations.

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4 minutes ago, Jerra said:

Why is it that for so many boaters CRT can't do right for doing wrong?   There appears, right from its inception to have been a desire, on the part of many boaters to try to ensure it fails and to challenge everything it does.

 

When they succeed in making it fail what do you suppose will replace it?

In my experience this is not true.

I thought for some time after CRT replaced BW that they were doing very well, things seemed to be getting better, locks worked, water was well managed etc.

 

But then they sold off all the plant and spades, fired the canal side working staff and wasted £3M on the blue tyre logo.

Now the use of contractors to only fix when something fails is beginning to bite them back. Things are not done properly. The required regular checking and maintenance is not being done despite what Parry and Sharman say.

There are problems with much that they have "repaired" and the situation is getting worse.

 

I have been accused of being a CRT knocker but I speak only from what I have experienced recently.

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14 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:


However, I think it is wrong that they should get away unchallenged with implementing anything that they have no powers to implement, and I have been persuaded that these charges are almost certainly without legal basis.

Just because people may thing them "a good thing", doesn't actually make them legal, does it?

 

Can you expand on why these DON'T have any legal basis? Genuinely interested, since its not been properly challenged (in court).

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25 minutes ago, Paul C said:

 

Can you expand on why these DON'T have any legal basis? Genuinely interested, since its not been properly challenged (in court).


If CRT were confident of trying to legally enforce these charges and winning, how come they don't do so?

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31 minutes ago, Paul C said:

 

Can you expand on why these DON'T have any legal basis? Genuinely interested, since its not been properly challenged (in court).

Nigel Moore has commented on this :

 

From the very first enabling Acts, the towpath was not to be obstructed; it had to be available to all for the use it was designed for – accordingly, overnight stays would have been the only (perhaps) tolerated use for mooring. In one of the major canal company’s Acts, in fact, pleasure boats were even banned from ANY use of the towpath (and that clause has never, to my knowledge, been explicitly rescinded).

 

Over the latter part of the 20th century, longer temporary use of the towpath for mooring became tolerated on a pragmatic basis, with 14 days fixed upon as a rough guideline for reasons lost in obscurity (for all that BW came up with postulated origins during the Select Committee hearings on the 1990 Bill).

 

Obstruction remains on the statute books as an offence, updated even in the 1995 Act, and overstaying stated times on selected sections has been used with County Court approval to qualify the boat – being thereby regarded as an obstruction - for being moved under s.8(5) of the 1983 Act. Anything longer than an overnight stay, as I see it, is simply permissive – with the exception of boats without home moorings, for whom only, the right to 14 days (or more if circumstances dictate) is enshrined in law.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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9 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:


If CRT were confident of trying to legally enforce these charges and winning, how come they don't do so?

But that (legally) means nothing! Pragmatically, they probably don't because the cost of doing so exceeds the revenue gained.

 

Let's rewind a bit, and think in broader terms. The T&Cs don't do much say "these signs are legally enforceable", as "you can moor for up to 14 days, unless otherwise signed". In other words, there is nowhere in law, except for CCers who specifically have a 14 day rule within the definition of CCing, which grants the right to moor on the towpath. Alan de Enfield's post reinforces this. The point being, you can't just pick out one aspect of the T&Cs you dislike, you need to accept/reject it in whole - if one bit is invalid because of the legal basis, that same legal basis is crumbled away at the bits you wanted to retain.

 

(An extreme interpretation might be that home moorers can't moor on the towpath, except for eg lock landings, swing bridge landings and visitor moorings. Treating the canal as a 'clearway' except for designated spaces. Yes its extreme, but some people seem to do their boating like this).

 

Anyway, getting back to the wider issue: CRT's funding from government tails off, in theory to nothing, in years to come. When it was formed, CRT were questioned about why boaters don't pay more - the figures and estimates from other income eg the indirect contribution via taxes --> government means we could estimate something like a third to a half of the money needed, comes from boaters. Years in the future, this could be much higher - boaters are somewhat of a captive market after all. Sure, some boaters will leave, but a lot would remain even with big cost increases. Google "price elasticity of demand" for an explanation of why this is so. IF there was some kind of legal process which clarified 1962 Transport Act s.43, it would/could be absolutely pivotal to this big future income stream. Think, charging for everything they can - mooring, locks, water, elsan, rubbish disposal, whatever (no govt funding at all...). CRT might simply be waiting for "the ideal case" to do this in court, one which will set the precedent properly for many years to come. They know there's a number of belligerent, opinionated, "I know my rights" boaters and they're just waiting for the ideal victim by dangling the carrot of non-compliance for them to erroneously grab.

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1 hour ago, Paul C said:

CRT might simply be waiting for "the ideal case" to do this in court, one which will set the precedent properly for many years to come. They know there's a number of belligerent, opinionated, "I know my rights" boaters and they're just waiting for the ideal victim by dangling the carrot of non-compliance for them to erroneously grab.


Well I guess time will tell which of us has this right.

I don't think they will ever mount a legal challenge over non payment of this particular charge, but if they ever do, you can go back to this post and prove I made a wrong call.

I doubt cost has anything to do with it though.  They have never been shy of handing vast amounts of money to Shoesmiths if they think they can win something.  In this case I suspect they have already taken legal advice, and know it wouldn't be likely to produce the outcome they are after.

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I'm not sure this is about proving anyone wrong (or right). I simply offered an explanation as to why they haven't mounted a legal case yet

 

Regarding the Stoke Buerne specific example, someone before said CRT can't win here. I'd say the opposite - they can't lose. If its empty, they can say its successful - the piss takers have pissed off somewhere else. And if its overfull, it shows they need these kinds of controls.

 

In any case - until an actual court case occurs - we don't know the inner details of CRT's latest legal advice on this. I note that NABO have basically made no progress on this either. Why is this? (Because CRT have dropped possible charges a boater might be able to start action against, so they're in control of the situation?)

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Many large companies including CRT have terms and conditions some of which are unenforceable. They rely on the fact that it’s highly unlikely that there customers will have the inclination or finances to challenge them. As I understand it CRT are not allowed to levy financial penalties (save in a couple of specific bylaws) they are however able to charge for services.

 

hence the £25 is described as an extended stay charge (although some earlier signs I believe used the word penalty). If there is no mechanism to pre pay or pay the charge should you wish to stay, it is pretty obvious it’s meant to be a penalty. One assumes a court might take the same view should it arise but I don’t know. 

 

 

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Without going into the details of the legal wording,  to believe that the 1962 Transport act gives powers to CRT to make these charges you first have to ask why then did BW make all further changes via act of Parliament, at my rough count around ten further acts until the last in 1995, you would have to assume that BW who were there in the 60's didn't know what was in the act that they themselves helped create, but that 30 + years later they suddenly discovered this section of the act ?

 

The 1995 act was negotiated over a period of at a guess one or two years, which all the minutes still exist and can be read online, ( I have read them ) and never in the whole process did BW managment, their legal team, parliamentary legislation writers or any of the user groups consulted ever mention that this act was unnecessary because the power to set any terms and conditions to licences they want was already granted to them in 1962.

 

Actual events make their claim ridiculous even before you get to what the act says or doesn't say. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by CompairHolman

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8 hours ago, Paul C said:

But that (legally) means nothing! Pragmatically, they probably don't because the cost of doing so exceeds the revenue gained.

 

Let's rewind a bit, and think in broader terms. The T&Cs don't do much say "these signs are legally enforceable", as "you can moor for up to 14 days, unless otherwise signed". In other words, there is nowhere in law, except for CCers who specifically have a 14 day rule within the definition of CCing, which grants the right to moor on the towpath. Alan de Enfield's post reinforces this. The point being, you can't just pick out one aspect of the T&Cs you dislike, you need to accept/reject it in whole - if one bit is invalid because of the legal basis, that same legal basis is crumbled away at the bits you wanted to retain.

 

(An extreme interpretation might be that home moorers can't moor on the towpath, except for eg lock landings, swing bridge landings and visitor moorings. Treating the canal as a 'clearway' except for designated spaces. Yes its extreme, but some people seem to do their boating like this).

 

Anyway, getting back to the wider issue: CRT's funding from government tails off, in theory to nothing, in years to come. When it was formed, CRT were questioned about why boaters don't pay more - the figures and estimates from other income eg the indirect contribution via taxes --> government means we could estimate something like a third to a half of the money needed, comes from boaters. Years in the future, this could be much higher - boaters are somewhat of a captive market after all. Sure, some boaters will leave, but a lot would remain even with big cost increases. Google "price elasticity of demand" for an explanation of why this is so. IF there was some kind of legal process which clarified 1962 Transport Act s.43, it would/could be absolutely pivotal to this big future income stream. Think, charging for everything they can - mooring, locks, water, elsan, rubbish disposal, whatever (no govt funding at all...). CRT might simply be waiting for "the ideal case" to do this in court, one which will set the precedent properly for many years to come. They know there's a number of belligerent, opinionated, "I know my rights" boaters and they're just waiting for the ideal victim by dangling the carrot of non-compliance for them to erroneously grab.

You need to differentiate between those who want to game the system and those who want CRT to follow the law. Its not fair to say that anyone that questions waterways laws is therefore a " piss taker". The idea that you should never challenge authority is a terrible idea for everyone concerned.

 

An organisation that breaks away from the law is always going to crash head on into it at some point, the longer it goes on the worse the outcome. Finding out that a charge was illegal could mean everyone back for years could claim a refund and bankrupt the organisation. This has happened to plenty of big companies that have bankrupted themselves. 

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All valid points, CompairHolman.

 

Does anyone else know if NABO have made progress on this issue? It does seem that CRT are deliberately not poking the hornet's nest. However if someone else launched a judicial review, they would be forced to reveal their hand.

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3 hours ago, Paul C said:

All valid points, CompairHolman.

 

Does anyone else know if NABO have made progress on this issue? It does seem that CRT are deliberately not poking the hornet's nest. However if someone else launched a judicial review, they would be forced to reveal their hand.

I'd like to hear what evidence CRT have for their re interpretation of section 42, 1962 transport act after 25/ 30 years of doing the opposite. 

 

That would need to employ JK Rowling for that one.


 

 

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Indeed, and I believe FOI requests have been made in the past asking CRT to reveal their received legal advice (might be on other issues though). Fairly enough (IMHO) though, they don't need to reveal it - but obviously in a court case, they would need to present their argument and in doing so it would be put into the public domain.

 

Thing is, though........funny things happen in court. Its entirely possible that they would win.

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16 hours ago, Paul C said:

All valid points, CompairHolman.

 

Does anyone else know if NABO have made progress on this issue? It does seem that CRT are deliberately not poking the hornet's nest. However if someone else launched a judicial review, they would be forced to reveal their hand.

I doubt you could get a judicial review on the principle.  I think that was tried,  at least in a similar context.

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