CRT says you haven’t travelled far enough

There is no where in law which states how far a boat must travel, however the Canal and River Trust (CRT) has started it is using distance you have travelled to say if you are using your boat for navigation or not. CRT has stated that they believe boaters without a home mooring should travel more than 15-20 miles over their licence period. This has been stated here; Nevertheless, CRT says 20 miles might not be enough. Click here for link Ltr_Pamela Smith_NBTA_Level 1 Complaint_26.10.2015 (1).

If CRT thinks you have stayed too long in one area, even if you have done much more than 20 miles, they might still take enforcement action against you. They would be following their own policy. However, sometimes CRT will concede to your argument that you have moved ‘far enough’.

The first thing you should do is get all the sighting data that CRT have of your boat. To do this email the following email address to request your sighting data: Here is a template letter request-sighting-data (2).

Then compare CRT’s sighting to where you believe you were. To understand what CRT sightings mean, use this link below. Click on a lock or a bridge to see what the code is and work it out from there:


If CRT has got it wrong, email them saying they have got it wrong and show them the evidence that they are wrong. Here is a template letter Sighting data is wrongEvidence can include the following but are not necessary exclusive to:

  • Log book of where your boat was

  • Dated pictures of your boat in an area

  • GPS of your boat

  • Receipts from local shops/ boat yard etc

  • Tube/train tickets from the local area

  • Witness statements

After submitting the evidence to CRT, they may then take your sightings into account and this might prove to them that you have travelled ‘in the correct manner’.

This website before could help with finding out now big your range is in miles over your licence period.

CRT might take it more seriously if you make a formal complaint. Also if your complaint goes far enough in the complaints procedure then it will go to the ‘independent’ Waterways Ombudsman. Click here for a template complaint letter if they get your sighting data wrong. Click here for a template complaint letter for your restricted licence Level 1 Complaint_Restricted licence . And here is CRT complaint procedure

And here is a help sheet for writing complaints

If you would like any help with any of this, you can contact a caseworker by emailing or ring 07459354163

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