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Our story that thousands of pounds in river fees may be uncollected (read it here) prompted this reponse from Tim O'Keeffe of Wraysbury Boathouse

"Speaking as some one who pays his licence fee,  I feel that if the E.A is not going to enforce properly and fairly the accommodation licences system and related fees then they should scrap the whole thing,  otherwise it is placing an unfair burden on those of us who are working by the book. maybe it would be better off having a one off "planning" application type fee,  that would save EA staff troubling themselves to go out on their little boats and do their job,  patrol the river. 

"When I first took over Wraysbury Boathouse,  thirty years ago we regularly saw the patrol launches go past and the crews often stopped off to say high and have an occaisional cuppa if they had time,  So I got to know who the local crews were.

"I think I have only seen one patrol launch pass this year and I can't think of the last time one stopped off to say hi,  and I don't know who the local teams are,  so how can they know what's going on up and down the river,  but I suppose in these days of "localism" and other such B.S. politically correct buzz words it would be to much to ask,  after all its not as if the Police have re introduced neighbourhood (beat ) bobbies now have they? wait a minute that just what they have done..    Come on E.A. get with the programme."



Our story about the Environment Agency hiring a parking enforcement company to tackle boats overstaying on 24 hour moorings provoked strong reaction.

Boaters (names witheld) :

What a great idea and we hope it is vigorously enforced.We use the river a lot and are appalled at the number of live aboards who take up moorings for long periods denying use to others.

Also the increasing number of very long narrow boats that take up enough mooring space for 3 or 4 boats, double mooring should be encouraged , perhaps by giving a 25% discount for both boats or by charging per foot?

We totally support you in this move and would be in favour of more fair and reasoned regulation of  moorings.

Dominic Evans writes: Are they serious!?  This is yet another “initiative” designed to window dress a pretence that the EA is “doing something about overstayers.  The only category of owner that they are likely to be able to serve a fine on and thus potentially get it paid, is the owner who has a current licence (as they will have submitted a recent land based address in order to obtain the licence).  The volume here is tiny and occasional (like a boat that has broken down!).

The greatest volume of overstayers are those owning boats without licenses.  With this category the new “private” firm can stick as many tickets on as they like (just as the EA did) but if the boat name has not been licenced for some time, where & how can enforcement happen?

The EA know how & what to do, they need a policeman (who holds a warrant) on board their EA patrol craft so that real identities can be validated on-the-spot.  They (EA) then need to start to remove boats that are unlicensed (as they said they would, but did not do vigorously) which may act as a deterrent, or better still it may spur some who don’t have licenses to obtain them!  However and again as the EA is aware, many such boats would not pass a Boat safety exam, which is now a mandatory part of license issue."

Meanwhile on Twitter @riverthamesnews:

  • Jon Higgs
    Great news...too many illegally & dangerously moored craft on the NT Thames. Ought to have a marine MoT too.
  • Richard Grant
    disaster waiting to happen: £100 'fines' for overstaying moorings on non-tidal
  • Narrowboat Tweets. now this is a GOOD news story .... CART please note, it's not rocket science !

Bertram Curry writes: I couldn't disagree with Dominic Evans more. Why should those of us who pay substantial registration fees and abide by the rules have to struggle to find moorings?

Two problems - those boats that sit for days on end at 24 hour moorings; and those that sit for WEEKS on moorings turning them into virtual residentials.

But the question is: how much of the year will this scheme cover, and what areas? Is it just window-dressing PR or a serious attempt to cover the whole river? If it's not boaters on some stretches will benefit while others won't.



An appeal for help over a mean theft in Oxfordshire.

Jed Yarnold writes: " I am contacting you about my Dark green PE Prospector open canoe which was stolen 23rd/24th July from Asthall near Burford.

The canoe is 16'9'' with black webbing seats and laced for airbags. It has white 'rugby ball' shaped patch on both sides of bow where logo has faded.

The canoe has been used for expeditions & coaching for vulnerable children and young people in Oxfordshire and is a real loss.

Any information that can help Jed please email us here at River Thames News

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