CRT’s new enforcement policy has meant many boaters have had renewal of their 12 month licence refused and a 6 or 3 month license offered instead.
How far is ‘far enough’?
CRT stated on 6th March: “Whilst this means that we cannot set a universal minimum distance for compliance, we can advise that it is very unlikely that someone would be able to satisfy us that they have been genuinely cruising if their range of movement is less than 15-20 miles over the period of their license. In most cases we would expect it to be greater than this.
We will be advising those boaters without a home mooring whose range of movement falls short of this distance that their movement needs to increase or we may refuse to renew their licence.”
The policy is now three months old and hundreds of boaters have been affected.
If you are affected by this new enforcement policy, the first thing to do is:
Obtain your sighting data from CRT and check its accuracy. This is
the log they have of your movement during the previous licence period.
Subject Access Request
We’ve had recent reports that CRT will only provide your sighting data in response to a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 1998. However, do try asking nicely for it as SAR’s can take up to 40 days. If CRT refuses to provide your data, email London Enforcement Manager Simon Cadek: Simon.Cadek@canalrivertrust.org.uk
Clearly mark the email as a ‘Subject Access Request’ and ask for your sighting data and any other information that CRT holds on you. CRT can lawfully charge you up to £10 for this.
Should I accept a restricted licence?
When faced with the ‘option’, you can either take the 6 or 3 month licence offered by CRT in time to get the prompt payment discount (if not paying by direct debit), or you can complain. If you are unhappy with being offered a restricted licence, we strongly advise you to make a formal complaint about the lack of warning and
opportunity given to remedy the situation and the retrospective application of this policy.
Make yourself heard
To lodge a Level 1 complaint, use the template provided on the Kanda website or contact the NBTA caseworkers for help.
Download the Canal and River Trust’s “MAKING A COMPLAINT” guide here.
Refusing a licence
We believe if you take the restricted licence, during that time CRT will expect you to travel in excess of a range of 15 to 20 miles or they won’t renew it without a home mooring. If you feel you will be unable to comply with this distance then DO NOT accept the license and seek legal help through firstname.lastname@example.org
It can be challenged through the courts. CRT’s new enforcement policy is highly unlikely to be considered lawful if you sit tight, are prepared for the stress of a court case and you have complied with the legislation and moved a reasonable amount at least every 14 days, as the the law (The 1995 British Waterways Act) does not specify a minimum distance that must be travelled to comply.