The Canal and River Trust is stepping up enforcement rules on moorings on its waterways.

In its sights are boaters who are classed as “continuous cruisers” rather than having a permanent, home mooring but stay in one place or barely move at all.

Under a 1995 act the continuous cruisers have to move every 14 days.Tighter restrictions will be imposed from May 1st under which boats' movements will be monitored.


A spokesman for the trust which administers 100 miles of canals in the capital, said: “London is a particular hot-spot no doubt partly because of the housing situation.”

The CRT said: “On the expiry of their licence, those that have consistently failed to move in accordance with our guidance will be refused a new licence unless they take a home mooring. 

“Initially we will focus on those who, having declared they will continuously cruise, move the least, including a number of boats that barely move at all.”

Guidance notes from the trust state: “Short trips within the same neighbourhood, and shuttling backwards and forwards along a small part of the network do not meet the legal requirement."

They add: “Unlicensed boats must be removed from Trust waters, failing which the Trust
has power to remove them at the owner’s cost.”


Richard Parry, chief executive of the trust, said: “The right for boaters to continuously cruise is enshrined in law, and I welcome this way of boating. 

“Our new approach does not change any rules, but it does seek to provide greater encouragement to everyone to comply with our guidance, and spells out the consequences if they consistently don’t.”

Les Etheridge, chairman of the Inland Waterways Association, said : "[We] strongly support genuine continuous cruisers and hope that the new enforcement process will quickly address in a fair way the significant issues which have developed in recent years."

Mike Rodd, chairman of the National Association of Boat Owners, comments: For those who are living on their boats as a lifestyle choice, these requirements [to continuously cruise] will not present any problem – NABO’s own survey of continuous cruisers shows just this.

"Of course some folk who live on their boats may be affected: those who are genuine boaters will welcome the clarity, but a small number will find it difficult to conform.”

Link to the CRT website.

Story dated February 18th 2015