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KenK

Thames Moorings a warning

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As part of our 2018 cruising we boated the length of the River Thames from Lechlade to Limehouse, we used a number of free 24 hour moorings which are run for the Environment Agency by two different parking companies. There are notices displaying the mooring conditions at the various sites, the notices for both companies look very similar one company gives a phone number to register, the other District Enforcement only supplies a website "where2moor". We moored at Hampton Court palace on 19/9/2018 and I tried to use the website to register our arrival, my phone signal was poor and the website kept dropping  out. I then saw a man walking along the moorings taking photographs of the moored boats, I spoke to him and he told me he was an enforcement officer for District Enforcement who controlled the moorings, I explained the problem and he gave me two phone numbers and told me I could register my arrival by phone. I called and spoke to a man explained the problem with the website and he told me it wasn't a problem he would register my arrival, asked me when we would be leaving, I told him next morning, he said OK no fee to pay, I thanked him and ended the call. All done then, as required by the notice displayed by District Enforcement, so I was somewhat surprised this morning to receive a Mooring Charge Notice demanding £100 for mooring at Hampton Court on 19/9/2018. Obviously I am not going to pay and have already appealed, fortunately we keep a boat log and had noted the problem we had at Hampton Court and also the two telephone numbers I used were still in my mobile phone log, hopefully that will be enough but as this is a parking enforcement company I may have to take it to court.

 

So if you do moor on the Thames and the site is controlled by District Enforcement (where2moor) make sure you have evidence of your boats arrival and departure.

 

The phone numbers by the way are 01785 540016 and 01785 540017.

 

Ken

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Same happened to me in the summer. Ticket despite having paid using the phone as the website wasn't working and leaving a note to let the mooring man know. Once I called to point out their error it was taken no further... Evidence is your friend.

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Hi,

Postings such as this really make me shake my head in amazement -  I have just paid a little under £3000 for another years boating and mooring, I started boating in 1975 and had some lovely times, it seems to have come to the stage where where the waterways are so overcrowded the fun has gone - nice 48ft tug with a 2LW available soon....

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Moorings on the Thames are complicated because EA (who manage the water) doesn't own the banks (with some exceptions) - thus can't control who charges for moorings and who doesn't. That said there are  some EA moorings that are managed by TVM who spent a lot of time creating a good website -

https://www.thamesvisitormoorings.co.uk/

which should be your first port of call.

There are - to date - two mooring sites 'managed' by DE - who made a poor copy of the TVM site and who are making it 'dificult' for boaters to register their arrival and departure..... Those sites are Hampton Court Palace and Reading (by Tescos superstore). The HCP is on trial for a year and if you feel aggrieved by DE's treatment at the HCP site then write or leave a message on the Royal Palaces website.

The whole issue arose that CMers exist on the Thames and prevent those who follow the rules from stopping at official sites overnight and the following day.  

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it is well out of the time that a mooring charge should be issued, 3 months after the mooring date.

Ignore it or just write back with your proof.

It is really sad that this is happening.

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15 minutes ago, matty40s said:

it is well out of the time that a mooring charge should be issued, 3 months after the mooring date.

Ignore it or just write back with your proof.

It is really sad that this is happening.

It is the Death Knell for the Thames ,I know loads of Legitimate Boat Folk Object to these Car Clamper Types being allowed to Operate on the River ,Extortionists................

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Well I am impressed, e mailed this morning and they have replied cancelling the charge notice and apologised. As I said earlier it does pay to have evidence.

Hampton Court Palace moorings are owned by Historic Royal Palaces not the EA, I suppose they also control the car parks there.

 

If you need it their address is [email protected] they only give a snail mail address on the notice.

 

Ken

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You are allowed to anchor, though, without charge.  O rather suspect that it's a legal right.

 

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3 hours ago, LEO said:

Hi,

Postings such as this really make me shake my head in amazement -  I have just paid a little under £3000 for another years boating and mooring, I started boating in 1975 and had some lovely times, it seems to have come to the stage where where the waterways are so overcrowded the fun has gone - nice 48ft tug with a 2LW available soon....

That's really sad. I felt like that a few years ago and sold up, it did coincide with having sprog no. 3 so a move onto land was kind of inevitable. 10 years ago we felt the urge to get a boat and built a 10m x 3.4m Dutch harbour tug for Europe. We have always felt very welcome and even on the Rhine this year (the quiet bit upstream of Strasbourg) we were welcomed by lockeepers and great big ships. 

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Not the dreaded DE again. I wondered what all the fuss was about until I spent a month on the Thames. Not worth it - too much hassle with the moorings. The free TVM ones are ok but the DE ones look similar, all very confusing and not what boating should be about, at least not for me. I like to see a spot, decide to stop... or not.

If I ever go back through to Brentford I'll do it in the least stops possible - though I still have to do the bit (from Reading) up to Oxford at some point.

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4 hours ago, LEO said:

Hi,

Postings such as this really make me shake my head in amazement -  I have just paid a little under £3000 for another years boating and mooring, I started boating in 1975 and had some lovely times, it seems to have come to the stage where where the waterways are so overcrowded the fun has gone - nice 48ft tug with a 2LW available soon....

Newbie, put the tea on

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4 hours ago, Johny London said:

Not the dreaded DE again. I wondered what all the fuss was about until I spent a month on the Thames. Not worth it - too much hassle with the moorings. The free TVM ones are ok but the DE ones look similar, all very confusing and not what boating should be about, at least not for me. I like to see a spot, decide to stop... or not.

If I ever go back through to Brentford I'll do it in the least stops possible - though I still have to do the bit (from Reading) up to Oxford at some point.

Oh dear, what an innocent.  Every piece of land in the country (if not the world) belongs to some-one.  Whatever made you think otherwise?  

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In respect of the Environment Agency Thames mooring places, it's worth looking at what the primary legislation - the Thames Conservancy Act 1932 - has to say about charges for use of moorings:

 

"The Conservators may from time to time demand and receive in respect of vessels using any of the moorings in the Thames belonging to the Conservators the charges appointed by byelaws of the Conservators for the time being in force save that no charge shall be made for vessels tied up at night or for a reasonable time when not at work unless the traffic of the Thames is thereby impeded." 

 

There are no charges specified in current byelaws.

Mooring at night is free.

Mooring for a reasonable time is free.

 

The primary legislation is clear.  It is not for the EA, TVM or anyone else for that matter to make it up as they go along and demand unlawful charges and penalties.

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9 minutes ago, erivers said:

In respect of the Environment Agency Thames mooring places, it's worth looking at what the primary legislation - the Thames Conservancy Act 1932 - has to say about charges for use of moorings:

 

"The Conservators may from time to time demand and receive in respect of vessels using any of the moorings in the Thames belonging to the Conservators the charges appointed by byelaws of the Conservators for the time being in force save that no charge shall be made for vessels tied up at night or for a reasonable time when not at work unless the traffic of the Thames is thereby impeded." 

 

There are no charges specified in current byelaws.

Mooring at night is free.

Mooring for a reasonable time is free.

 

The primary legislation is clear.  It is not for the EA, TVM or anyone else for that matter to make it up as they go along and demand unlawful charges and penalties.

 

That just says The Conservators cannot charge. Doesn't say other bodies (e.g. the bank owners) may not charge for tying to their land, does it?

 

Or am I misunderstanding?

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I found this year it was about fifty fifty where payment was due or not. We only paid about four times in a couple of weeks as there are plenty of free places especialy on the best bit towards Radcot and Lechlade areas. Plenty of places are only a fiver or so and we all know boating aint cheap innitt.

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10 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

I found this year it was about fifty fifty where payment was due or not. We only paid about four times in a couple of weeks as there are plenty of free places especialy on the best bit towards Radcot and Lechlade areas. Plenty of places are only a fiver or so and we all know boating aint cheap innitt.

 

 

Eventually I predict, they will find a way to charge a fiver a night to moor anywhere on the public towpath. 

 

Then everyone here who currently moans about how the canals are spoilt and overcrowded now, will say how great it was back then in the 2010s and the 2020s when we could more anywhere for free for two weeks...

 

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
Improve clarity
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26 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

 

Eventually I predict, they will find a way to charge a fiver a night to moor anywhere on the public towpath. 

 

Then everyone here who currently moans about how the canals are spoilt and overcrowded now, will say how great it was back then in the 2010s and the 2020s when we could more anywhere for free for two weeks...

 

 

 

Well most of us over a certain age can remember when the roads were much less congested. In principle it's no different on the waterways. We've got a growing population in this country. It was about 53m when I was a kid. We're at about 65m now. So everything has invariably got more crowded.

Edited by blackrose

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1 minute ago, blackrose said:

Well most of us over a certain age can remember when the roads were much less congested. In principle it's no different on the waterways. We've got a growing population in this country. It was about 53m when I was a kid. We're at about 65m now. So everything has invariably got more crowded.

You are skipping over the point that households had less than one car each on average then.

 

Now it's two and a bit on average, maybe three.

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7 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

I found this year it was about fifty fifty where payment was due or not. We only paid about four times in a couple of weeks as there are plenty of free places especialy on the best bit towards Radcot and Lechlade areas. Plenty of places are only a fiver or so and we all know boating aint cheap innitt.

We spent Sept on the Thames and only payed to moor in Henley, Windsor and Lechlade.  I guess because it was out of the busy time in general there was space at the free moorings in most places except Richmond.

 

I had avoided the DE moorings on principle, but we did stop at Hampton Court.  I had no problem in registering on the parkonomy website and got an email with a receipt for £0.00 for our overnight stay.  So on the face of it as long as you have internet access it does seem to work, and perhaps because it is controlled there was plenty of space when we arrived at 5pm. 

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2 minutes ago, john6767 said:

I had avoided the DE moorings on principle, but we did stop at Hampton Court.  I had no problem in registering on the parkonomy website and got an email with a receipt for £0.00 for our overnight stay.  So on the face of it as long as you have internet access it does seem to work, and perhaps because it is controlled there was plenty of space when we arrived at 5pm. 

 

This is absolutely a fantastic benefit coming from charging for moorings, and for street parking. Once people have to pay for it, suddenly there is space. 

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9 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

This is absolutely a fantastic benefit coming from charging for moorings, and for street parking. Once people have to pay for it, suddenly there is space. 

Yes ,the DE controlled moorings will have space and all the Casual Moorings will be full of CM'ers so nowhere for Boaters to Moor ,end of enjoyable River.....Brilliant.

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2 minutes ago, cereal tiller said:

Yes ,the DE controlled moorings will have space and all the Casual Moorings will be full of CM'ers so nowhere for Boaters to Moor ,end of enjoyable River.....Brilliant.

 

Agreed. A major improvement.

 

Far better than all the casual moorings AND all the moorings that DE now control being infested with CMers.

 

I guess we can thank the CMers for all this!

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1 minute ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Agreed. A major improvement.

 

Far better than all the casual moorings AND all the moorings that DE now control being infested with CMers.

The CMers will eventually Squat on the DE controlled Moorings ,very hard to Levy charges to People with un named and un registered boats ,there will be no space For Boaters....

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3 minutes ago, cereal tiller said:

The CMers will eventually Squat on the DE controlled Moorings ,very hard to Levy charges to People with un named and un registered boats ,there will be no space For Boaters....

 

This is a developing problem on the cut too. CRT are well behind the wave on this. Lots of stealth boats about these days.

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