Middle Level Commissioners Consult on Navigation Powers

Middle Level Commissioners Consult on Navigation Powers

11 March 2016

IWA has received details of a consultation from the Middle Level Commissioners (MLC), the navigation authority for the Middle Level river system, which comprises 100 miles of navigable waterways in Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough City Council) and Norfolk. For some time IWA has supported the MLC in working to update the legal framework which currently governs their navigation function. This is out of date and does not align with modern requirements or the statutory framework available and applicable to other navigation authorities.

MLC are consulting on obtaining powers:

  • To obtain better waterway management powers, and provide increased facilities in connection with their navigation function;
  • To enable the Commissioners to levy charges in respect of and require the registration of vessels using the Middle Level waterways, including   the ability to charge where vessels overstay time limits in force at a mooring place;
  • To enter into arrangements with other navigation authorities regarding such matters as the mutual recognition of registrations and licences;
  • To temporarily close sections of those waterways to enable works to be carried out or the holding of certain events;
  • To remove sunken, stranded and abandoned vessels and vessels and vehicles sunk in MLC waterways and to recover the costs of doing so where the owner of the vessel/vehicle fails to act;
  • To enable the making of more up to date byelaws regarding the management of the navigation;
  • To require vessels using the Commissioners’ waterways to have insurance

MLC would aim to enter into reciprocal or similar arrangements with other navigation authorities to reduce costs and ensure the recognition of each other’s licences and registrations. They also aim to treat unpowered vessels in a manner consistent with the way that they are dealt with on other navigation authorities’ waters.

IWA’s Navigation Committee will discuss this consultation at its next meeting in April. The Middle Level is an important part of the East Anglian waterways, and IWA wants to see the MLC obtain the powers it needs to continue to run its navigation effectively. If you have any comments you would like to bring to Navigation Committee’s notice, please contact your regional representative or email Navigation Committee.

If you would like to read the consultation, it can be found here.

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