Jump to content

Canal & River Trust sets out plans to review boat licensing


Ray T
 Share

Featured Posts

Just out of interest. When you go through West Stockwith lock are you not on the Chesterfield canal and a river only licence no longer covers you? Or does the canal not start till after the basin above the lock?

 

Just curious as it is not something I have thought of before and I am too lazy to go and look it up :-)

 

haggis

 

Enshrined in law :

 

The Rivers Only Licence is valid for ‘River Waterways’ defined in Schedule 1 of the British Waterways Act 1971, as amended and constitutes a “pleasure boat certificate” for the purposes of that Act. These are: 

Avon (Hanham Lock to Bath) 

Bow Back Rivers 

Fossdyke & Witham (Torksey to Boston) 

Lee Navigation (Hertford to Limehouse) 

Limehouse Cut 

Ouse and Ure (Goole to Ripon) 

Severn (Stourport to Gloucester) 

Soar Navigation (Trent Junction to Leicester) 

Stort Navigation 

Tees (Tees Barrage to Low Worsal) 

Trent (Shardlow – Gainsborough, including the Nottingham & Beeston Canal) 

Weaver Navigation (Winsford Bridge to Manchester Ship Canal) 

River Weaver (Winsford Bridge to Shrew Bridge)

Boats with Rivers Only Licences navigating between the River Trent and River Ouse via the Stainforth & Keadby Canal, Aire & Calder Navigation and the Selby Canal may do so at no extra charge providing they stay no longer than seventy-two hours on these Canals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As 'unpleasant' as it may be to boaters the 'board' has every (legal) right to issue licences for whatever period they see fit, at whatever price they determine.

 

British Waterways Act 1983

 

Notwithstanding anything in the Act of 1971 or the Act of 1974 or in any other enactment relating to the Board or their inland waterways, the Board may register pleasure boats and houseboats under the Act of 1971 for such periods and on payment of such charges as they may from time to time determine:
Provided that the charge payable for the registration of a pleasure boat shall not at any time exceed 60 per centum of the amount which would be payable to the Board for the licensing of such vessel on any inland waterway other than a river waterway referred to in Schedule 1 to the Act of 1971 as that Schedule has effect in accordance with any order made by the Secretary of State under section 4 of that Act.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But need a mobile phone signal to report the position to another party.

Although that would be good, you don't need a mobile signal. If the tracker was in the window, one of these CRT bids that already go around collecting the position could just hold up a device to download the data from the tracker. The tracker could be powered by solar and as it only needs to get a position daily it's power usage would be very low. The device could even be size of the current licence "disc".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although that would be good, you don't need a mobile signal. If the tracker was in the window, one of these CRT bids that already go around collecting the position could just hold up a device to download the data from the tracker. The tracker could be powered by solar and as it only needs to get a position daily it's power usage would be very low. The device could even be size of the current licence "disc".

But if you are going to rely on the data checkers then there would be no need for a 'tracker'. Surely the original suggestion was for some sort of automatic reporting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope not.

 

We have no interest in paying for a full canal and river licence when we won't be going on the canals!

 

 

Is there a logical reason for rivers licenses to be cheaper than canals licences? Are rivers cheaper for CRT to maintain?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But if you are going to rely on the data checkers then there would be no need for a 'tracker'. Surely the original suggestion was for some sort of automatic reporting.

I doubt that CRT would trust mobile checking and will still have people on the ground. If you have something like I said then they won't need to check as often but can still see where you've been accurately as well as a check for boaters who abuse it. If it's a replacement for the license disc then it wouldn't need external power source as it could be solar powered, etc.

 

I don't actually see CRT ever using trackers personally tho.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But if you are going to rely on the data checkers then there would be no need for a 'tracker'. Surely the original suggestion was for some sort of automatic reporting.

The volunteer data checkers will be assigned a new role covering unkempt and unsightly boat roof reporting. The hand held devices will take a photo and a letter/email will be sent out warning the boaters that a minimum of 50% of the boat roof must be visible within 14 days or the licence fee will be increased by 50%.

Is there a logical reason for rivers licenses to be cheaper than canals licences? Are rivers cheaper for CRT to maintain?

It is not a licence on the rivers, I believe it is a registration fee.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike the Boilerman, on 20 Feb 2017 - 6:56 PM, said:Mike the Boilerman, on 20 Feb 2017 - 6:56 PM, said:

 

 

Is there a logical reason for rivers licenses to be cheaper than canals licences? Are rivers cheaper for CRT to maintain?

I haven't looked ahead from your post (The Management is about to Serve One's dinner) but -

One reason is that the rivers have a PRN so all that CaRT (and EA) can sell is a registration - which is exempt from VAT

(edit - there was only one other posting Duh!)

Edited by OldGoat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Is there a logical reason for rivers registration fees to be cheaper than canals licences? Are rivers cheaper for CRT to maintain?

A river registration costs 60% of a canal and river licence, but offers far less than 60% of the route miles. And as the rivers are separated, most users won't be able to take advantage of all of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there a logical reason for rivers registration fees to be cheaper than canals licences? Are rivers cheaper for CRT to maintain?

 

Apart from the valid reasons as to range supplied by others, the original logic was that it was better to get some extra income than none – which the authorities believed would be the case if they pushed too hard for the river registration scheme, and if they did not place a ceiling on the charges.

 

Many other authorities and members of government departments objected strongly to the price-capping as running counter to the commercial freedom extended to transport authorities in the 1962 Act, but BW convinced the relevant ministers that powerful boating lobbies would defeat the 1970 Bill unless they minimised the charges. The extra income [piddling in context] was not the only reason for the scheme after all; a significant part of the rationale was for ready identification of boats breaching byelaws. Much of this is evident from Hansard.

 

The caution evidenced goes some way to explaining also, why they restricted the application of the scheme to the main navigable channel of the rivers, instead of following the broader application of their proffered exemplars: the Thames Conservancy Act 1966 and the Great Yarmouth Port and Haven Act 1963.

 

The Board only wanted to present to Parliament such measures which they considered had a reasonable chance of being accepted at the present juncture.” [Note of Meeting held at St Christopher House on Friday 24 October 1969]

 

It could also be mentioned that the larger part of the cost of maintaining the rivers was not then down to BW, but to the various river authorities, who bore the brunt of maintenance other than the locks and cuts bequeathed to BW from nationalisation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One reason is that the rivers have a PRN so all that CaRT (and EA) can sell is a registration

 

It is one of the abiding mysteries of BW/CaRT thinking, that they adopted the pleasure boat licensing scheme run by their predecessors, without ever seeming to stop and think that the canals also, pre-1968, enjoyed PRN’s. Registration of all boats on canals, though, was always mandatory.

 

Actually, that is to charge them with undeserved consistency; betimes a spokesperson would see a need to come up with some drivelling nonsense to the effect that the PRN’s on canals was abolished in 1962, on the circular argument that charging for permission to use the canals as they were doing, was incompatible with s.43 of the 1962 Act; alternatively, that PRN’s did not exist anyway, at any time in history, for pleasure boats – that only commercial vessels enjoyed PRN’s.

 

Ministers sometimes had a clearer understanding of the true state of affairs, and were sympathetic to BW’s protestations when government was considering turning the whole of the county’s navigations over to a central authority, with a promised reinstatement of the PRN. BW had been kept in the dark as to this new authority being something other than themselves, so thinking that they would be the new, extended authority, complained about the ramifications of such reinstatement – they recognised that licences could then no longer be the purely contractual agreements that they had necessarily been pre-1968.

 

BW consequently objected to the suggestion that a mandatory ‘licence’ scheme be introduced parallel with the restored PRN, the consequence of which would be the loss of the ability to impose their T&C’s. The cardinal effect of that, would be the inability to get boaters to sign away their rights to sue BW for negligence in maintaining the system; the most important licence condition for BW at the time was that by which they were relieved from all liability for anything befalling boaters using their system.

Edited by NigelMoore
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to explain the timetable - else it appears nonsensical that government should do an about-turn on the Transport Act of 1968 within 2 years of passing it – the idea for a national authority to replace BW came from the Conservatives, and while still in opposition, the relevant shadow minister had publicly promised that if that went ahead, they would restore the PRN’s that Labour had abolished. All this discussion went on during 1969, and the following year, of course, the Conservatives came into power and had to face up to their promises.

 

They were still debating just how they were going to manage the logistics of all this some two years later, with awkward questions posed in Parliament asking when the PRN’s would be restored. The relevant minister reading through one waffling and evasive draft answer, sent this note:

 

There is something to be said for putting this, as it in any event must be, firmly in the context of the legislation required for water and sewerage reorganisation as a whole: it will be necessary to look at this largely artificial subject of navigation rights in relation not just to canals but rivers in general as well: in practice the anglers, whatever they may be said to have said about the canals, would bitterly resent navigation rights on the rivers and there is I believe legislation now pending in which the anglers are contesting the existence of any such rights on at least one river.

 

I suggest therefore an even woollier Answer.” [2 March 1972] [my bold]

 

Obviously, it all fizzled to nothing and Labour came back in a couple of years afterwards, approving the next BW Act instead, the same year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't seem to mention the Chesterfield canal though :-)

 

haggis

No but it does cover the Trent. Is the basin at West Stockwith covered as a "safe haven" off the Trent?

 

I don't actually know the answer other then it has never been brought into question. The larger cruisers that have long term moorings in the basin and can't go onto the canal also have Rivers Only licences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have visited West Stockwith a number of times and have not been asked about a canal license. I do have a river license.. To be honest I never gave it a thought.

An inspector was at West Stockwith when we were there in July last year making a note of our licenses . We didn't receive any correspondence so I conclude we can visit the basin on a River License .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have also been logged in the basin several times and have never been questioned or received correspondence from CRT or BW previously.

 

Now our next visit planned for the beginning of April may be slightly different as we have so many boats going we may have to take NC through the bridge and onto the canal proper. In which case we would technically require a 1 day visitors licence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wondered if the basin at West Stockwith is considered a "safe haven" and as such I expect the rules are a wee bit different. As no one on here with a river only licence has been asked to pay I assume that it is covered in the CRT rules without being specifically mentioned.

Thanks to those who replied.

 

Haggis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Apart from the valid reasons as to range supplied by others,

 

 

Hold on a sec there. I don't accept a limited cruising range as a valid reason for a lower licence fee.

 

By this logic a 57ft boat narrowboat should pay more than a 70ft, and reducto absurdum a boat so large it can't fit through any lock should have the lowest licence fee of all.

 

Yet common sense says the bigger the boat the bigger the fee should be. And deck area is a more equitable way of measuring the size of a boat than length or available cruising range.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Hold on a sec there. I don't accept a limited cruising range as a valid reason for a lower licence fee.

 

By this logic a 57ft boat narrowboat should pay more than a 70ft, and reducto absurdum a boat so large it can't fit through any lock should have the lowest licence fee of all.

 

Yet common sense says the bigger the boat the bigger the fee should be. And deck area is a more equitable way of measuring the size of a boat than length or available cruising range.

 

Far be it from me to speak for others, but I would not have thought your handle on the cruising range aspect was the same as theirs. It is unlikely to have had anything to do the boat size, simply with the size of the playground.

 

Yes, you need a licence to be on canals even if you never go anywhere and never intend to take advantage of thousands of miles of cruising possibilities, and a boat paying 60% for the same size of boat might use every bit of the 250 mile range offered by the rivers. In both cases, however, the current scheme applies the same costing formula, wherein the only relevant dimension is length, and applies that whether the boat uses [or is able to use] the available range or not.

 

Given that all other factors are equal, it is seems valid to me for the potential range to have been a factor in apportioning cost: x amount for the potential to cruise over 2,000 miles, as against 60% of that for the potential to cruise less than 12% of that range.

 

You are of course free to reject the validity of the rationale, but whether you accept it or not, it is the rationale BW and government accepted. First they fixed the maximum BW could charge for river registrations of the same class of craft licence [bearing in mind the specially modified classification charges for an all-system licence]; in 1974 they decreed that this could not be varied above the previous maximums by more than the proportion by which all-system licences had been raised; finally in 1983 they fixed the ratio of PBC’s to PBL’s at 60% of the latter.

 

The consistently argued - and accepted - rationale for minimising the river registration charges, however - as explained earlier - remains the pragmatic one that it took Parliamentary consent to demand registration on the rivers, and unless the charges were pegged lower than all-system licences, that consent would be unobtainable. Boaters and their representative organisations cared more in those days, and as a consequence were able to make their feelings a force to be reckoned with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.