IWA welcomes High Court Decision in favour of Canal & River Trust's Mooring Guidelines
IWA’s calls for Canal & River Trust to firmly deal with overstaying moorers on busy waterways have been given a further legal boost with an application for judicial review challenging CRT’s legal powers being thrown out of court and substantial costs awarded against the applicant.
In a renewed application for permission to apply for judicial review of guidance first published by British Waterways (now Canal & River Trust - CRT) in 2004, then revised in 2011, concerning their interpretation of s.17(3)(c)(ii) of the British Waterways Act 1995, the Claimant, Nick Brown's renewed application followed the previous refusal on the papers by Mr Justice Eder, who considered that there was no arguable merit in any of Mr Brown’s grounds and noted that the claim was, in any event, lodged out of time.
The previous case upon which the appeal was based was centred around whether moving a vessel every 14 days on a 10 mile stretch of canal between Bath and Bradford on Avon was or was not ‘use of the vessel bona fide for navigation’, and whether this was permissible under CRT's rules.
The essence of this new case was that Mr Brown, although wishing to stay in and maintain his connections with the local area, stated that he was effectively being required by CRT "to make a progressive journey throughout the canal network". While he was on waters within the jurisdiction of CRT he was required to observe mooring time limits of less than 14 days or else pay a penalty at certain locations. This made finding a mooring more difficult, especially in popular locations. The costs of having to move his boat every 14 days were also significant, in terms of the necessary fuel. The sanction for failing to move was the removal of the relevant boat and his expulsion from the jurisdiction of CRT.
The main issue raised was whether waterways owned or managed by CRT could be used without having to comply with the terms and conditions set by CRT and, in particular, without having to pay for a home mooring.
Mr Brown’s essential challenge, was that the lawfulness of CRT’s decision to publish the revised 2011 guidance which, he argued, misstated the correct legal interpretation of s.17(3)(c)(ii) of the 1995 Act. He argued further that s.43(3) of the Transport Act 1962 did not permit CRT to impose terms and conditions which go beyond the requirements of s.17(3). He also alleged that CRT may, at some point in the future, be in breach of the rights of boaters, of which he was one, under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Finally, he argued that in publishing the 2011 Guidance CRT acted in breach of the Equality Act 2010.
Mrs Justice Cox in a detailed written judgement on 16 November 2012 stated that:
“The 1995 Act also requires that the bona fide navigation is "throughout" the period of the licence. This will be for at least three months and will usually be for a period of 12 months, emphasising the requirement for a genuine passage or transit for the entirety of the licence period. S. 17(3) (c)(ii) also includes a requirement that the vessel does not remain continuously in any one place for more than 14 days. In contrast to the word "mooring", the word "place" clearly indicates, in my view, that Parliament did not intend the words to be limited to a vessel remaining on the same mooring for a period of more than 14 days. As the 2011 Guidance states, in my view correctly,
"'Place' in this context means a neighbourhood or locality, NOT simply a particular mooring site or position…
What constitutes a 'neighbourhood' will vary from area to area – on a rural waterway a village or hamlet may be a neighbourhood and on an urban waterway a suburb or district within a town or city may be a neighbourhood. A sensible and pragmatic judgement needs to be made.
It is not possible (nor appropriate) to specify distances that need to be travelled, since in densely populated areas different neighbourhoods will adjoin each other and in sparsely populated areas they may be far apart (in which case uninhabited areas between neighbourhoods will in themselves usually be a locality and also a 'place').
Exact precision is not required or expected – what is required is that the boat is used for a genuine cruise."
She further stated that: “The consequences, if the Claimant's arguments were correct, militate against the Claimant's suggestion that the relevant statutory provision should be given the wide meaning for which he contends. If he were right it would be unnecessary for a boater to obtain a home mooring, which would plainly encourage people who currently hold "off line" moorings to remain on the inland waterways and cause congestion in popular areas. Further, there would be substantial interference with those cruising from mooring during the course of their cruises, in particular near popular places and various attractions. Mr Steele [CRT] also draws attention to the serious financial consequences that would flow from decreased income if home moorings were not obtained.”
The Judge rejected all parts of the appeal and supported CRT’s costs.
Speaking on behalf of IWA, Les Etheridge, national chairman said:
"IWA continues to support continuous cruising throughout the system. We therefore welcome the clarification of the validity of the CRT Mooring Guidelines and of the rejection of bankside shuffling within a close geographical location every 14 days as bona fide navigation. I hope that this will encourage CRT in its efforts to resolve the overstaying problem on our waterways, so that all those making progressive journeys and other leisure users may also have equal access to moorings in busy areas of the system ."
Waterway Recovery Group launches its Canal Camps for 2013
IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) runs a programme of unique week-long residential volunteering opportunities, known as ‘Canal Camps’ designed to restore the derelict canals of England and Wales to their former glory. Canal Camps give you the chance to do your bit for the environment whilst having a fun holiday.
WRG has 23 Canal Camps planned for 2013 giving volunteers the chance to get involved in various activities such as the reprofiling and lining of the Lancaster Canal at Stainton, to the restoration of damaged brickwork on the Swansea Canal; or the rebuilding of towpaths on the Chelmer and Blackwater to the construction of a new lock on the Chesterfield Canal.
See an overview of Canal Camp locations and dates for 2013.
For more information contact Jenny Black by emailing email@example.com or phone 01494 783 453 ext 604
IWA National Festival 2013 Update, Watford
IWA’s 2013 National Festival will be held at Cassiobury Park, Watford, on the Grand Union Canal over the weekend of the 19th to 21st July.
Working closely with Watford Borough Council, Wendover Arm Trust and Rickmansworth Waterways Trust, IWA’s Festivals team together with IWA Chiltern Branch intends to initiate and create a sustainable legacy of an annual waterways festival for the community.
The event chairman will be Michael Stimpson. Michael has been an active member of IWA for more than 35 years and was awarded IWA’s Richard Bird Medal in 2002, having served in many roles at branch, region and national levels including as a member of Council. Before settling ‘on the land' he was also chairman of the Residential Boat Owners Association. In his professional life he has been able to combine business with pleasure by offering a specialised insurance service to inland waterways boat owners which is based in Rickmansworth. He is currently a director of BMF Thames valley, serves on the Rickmansworth Town Team and is well known locally for his involvement in folk music and Morris dancing.
In Announcing the 2013 Festival, Ian West, chairman IWA Festivals said:
“IWA’s National Festival at Cassiobury intends to leave a lasting legacy in the form of a template for an annual festival for the waterways in Watford to complement the current Rickmansworth festival. We believe that the scale and organisation of the IWA Festival volunteers can help deliver this by galvanising the local interests and bring a scale and confidence to the event that can inspire local communities to take the project on and grow it after we have gone."
Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation Apartments
In 1992-93 IWA Chelmsford Branch spearheaded the restoration and reopening of the derelict Springfield Basin, on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, in Chelmsford town centre. This was soon followed by a series of new waterside developments incorporating apartments, shops, offices, restaurants and a new marina basin, all encouraged by a series of Planning Briefs produced by Chelmsford Borough Council. All these developments provided public access around the Basin, probably for the first time.
Since that time, Chelmsford has become a city and IWA, through its subsidiary company Essex Waterways Ltd, has taken responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the 14 mile Navigation.
Springfield Basin is just minutes from the city centre and it remains a very popular location to live and play and this is confirmed by the commencement of another new development of 48 one and two bedroom chic waterside apartments by Taylor Wimpey. Indigo Wharf will incorporate residents parking and cycle storage and a secure dinghy store. The new wharf frontage will also provide moorings with services which will be available through Essex Waterways and will have cruising access to the whole length of the Navigation.
King’s Norton Clean Up
A joint initiative between five waterway organisations saw dozens of people converge on King’s Norton Junction over the weekend of 17th and 18th November for a canal clean up and work party weekend.
The event was organised by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch and supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch, Worcester Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society and Stratford-upon-Avon Canal Society and by the Canal & River Trust who provided all the tools, equipment and a work boat.
Many of the volunteers (there were 35 people on the Saturday and 31 on the Sunday) were members of the two IWA branches and the two canal societies, but there were also several people from the local community who came along to take part. A group of cubs and scouts from the 218th Birmingham Woodgate Pioneers Scouts helped out, as well as members of a local history society and the Friends of King’s Norton Park.
Litter picking was carried out from the junction in all three directions – as far as Wast Hill Tunnel on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, to Brandwood Tunnel on the Stratford Canal and for some distance on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal heading north.
Much vegetation clearance was also carried out in all three directions, including removing trees and shrubs overhanging the towpath and clearing weed and grass that had encroached on to the towpath. Each day there was a small team armed with paint and brushes who painted railings, signs and gates. Meanwhile the workboat was used on the Saturday by a team of people with grappling hooks who removed a boat full of rubbish from the canal. On the Sunday the workboat was used for offside vegetation clearance.
The rubbish pulled out of the canal over the weekend included 2 huge sections of pipe bridge railings, a wheelchair and a motor scooter, as well as the usual assortment of tyres and bicycles.
Thanks are due to the Patrick Motor Group for the use of their car park and access to the canalside wharf adjacent to the car park, which itself was cleared of overhanging trees and a build up of debris, leafmould and vegetation.
The clean up event also celebrated the work being carried out by contractors working for Canal & River Trust, to the iconic guillotine lock at King’s Norton Junction, which is a Grade II* listed Scheduled Ancient Monument. After many years of being subjected to vandalism and neglect, Canal & River Trust has obtained funding from the Peoples Postcode Lottery and English Heritage to contribute towards its restoration.
There will be open days on the Caldon Canal, 8th December and at Guillotine Lock, Stratford-upon-Avon-Canal, 9th December
IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch Cheshire Locks Work Party
A further work party on the Cheshire Lock flight of the Trent and Mersey Canal took place on Tuesday 20th November, where despite a forecast of rain a number of stalwart volunteers turned out. The volunteers continued the work previously started at Lock 53, completed the vegetation clearance and applied more undercoat to the railings. CRT supplied tools and paint and supported the event. Unfortunately the weather prevented the application of the top coat, but it is hoped that it will be done at the next work party on Saturday 19th January. Work will also be carried out to Bridge 140 adjacent to the Broughton Arms at Rode Heath.
Photo (by Bob Luscombe) shows vegetation clearance near Lock 53 (Thurlwood) on the Trent and Mersey Canal at Rode Heath. The mound on the right of the picture is the site of Thurlwood Steel Lock, this being one of the Cheshire Locks that is no longer duplicated.
IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch Work Party on Caldon Canal
IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch, in partnership with the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, held the first of a monthly mid-week work party on Thursday 8th November. Volunteers met at Froghall, and carried out vegetation clearance including cutting branches overhanging the towpath, strimming, and clearing leaves and weeds from steps and pathways. The fence around the boater’s rubbish disposal area was also painted, and by the end of the day the area around Froghall Basin, and the towpath as far as the tunnel, looked much smarter.
The plan is to have a further work party at Froghall in March, to spruce it up ready for the spring and summer. It is intended that the pattern of an autumn and spring work party day at Froghall will become an annual feature of the monthly mid week work parties, which will take place on the second Thursday of each month throughout the year. The next work party, on Thursday 13th December, will be vegetation clearance on the Leek Arm. Future tasks over the winter are likely to include hedge laying.
IWA East Yorkshire Branch Hosts Mikron Theatre
IWA East Yorkshire Branch held an evening of entertainment by Mikron Theatre Company on 15th September who performed ‘Losing The Plot’, one of their 2012 plays. The Theatre Company tours on its narrowboat, Tyseley, in the summer.
The branch sold enough tickets to fill a venue with a capacity of 140. Tickets were sold via regular monthly meeting attendees, and the event was advertised through an article about IWA and Mikron in the local free monthly magazine Cottingham Times. The local Parish Council allowing the branch to display a notice on each of their notice boards and posters circulated around nearby allotments.
The scheme means that if an IWA branch takes a sales stand or other fundraising activity to local events (a local festival, etc) then Barclays will send along one of their staff to help on the day and then, after the event, will match fund the amount raised.
For details, contact your local Barclays branch.
IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch has successfully used this scheme in 2012. Branch Treasurer Alan Chetwyn is happy to give details and further information if required. Contact him on 01782 279277.
IWA homepage on the website has been updated and we would appreciate your feedback, perhaps answering the following questions:
Please send your views and any other questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Winter 2012 edition of IWA's Waterways Magazine is now available to view online
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:
East Midlands Region - Aegre - December 2012
South East Region - Cargoes - Winter 2012
Ipswich Branch - Anglian Cuttings - Autumn 2012
Lichfield Branch - Lichfield Lines - Winter 2012
Middlesex Branch - Middlesex Matters - Autumn 2012
Northampton Branch - Endeavour - November 2012
Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch - Shroppie Fly Paper - Winter 2012
The following IWA region and branch magazines have also been added in recent weeks:
West Midlands Region - Navigation - Autumn 2012
Chiltern Branch - Grapevine - Autumn 2012
Great Ouse Branch - Ouse News - Autumn 2012
Lichfield Branch - Lichfield Lines - Winter 2012
Peterborough Branch - Hereward - Autumn 2012
South Yorkshire Branch - Keels & Cuckoos - November 2012
West Riding Branch - Milepost - October 2012
Photos have been submitted for the 2014 IWA Calendar competition and are available to view online in our gallery of competition entries.
We are offering three free calendars to the photographers whose photos are used in the final calendar. Photos for the Calendar need to be digital with a resolution of at least 300 DPI and at least 2100 pixels x 1500 pixels (can be landscape or portrait). You can usually adjust the settings on your digital camera to take high resolution photos.
Photos for the competition need to be submitted by 31st January 2013. The photos will then be shortlisted and then put to a public vote.
See more information on the calendar competition and uploading photos
We are saddened to report the death, on 26th November, of Michael Payne, past president of IWA’s North West Region, a former chairman of the region and of IWA’s Manchester Branch. Michael was an astute and assiduous campaigner for waterway users throughout his terms of office, and was greatly respected by colleagues and members in the area.
We are saddened to report the death in November of George Smith at the age of 97. George was a former working boatman and first husband of IWA vice-president Sonia Rolt. The funeral was held on 29th November.
Have a look at the list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. There is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches at: www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies
EA Provides River Thames Conditions Advice for Boaters
The Environment Agency is expecting flood conditions on the River Thames to improve soon, and are therefore encouraging boat owners still moored on the river to check the security of their boat's moorings if possible. However the Agency has cautioned boaters not to put themselves or others at risk in doing so.
As water levels decrease there is a risk that some boats may become caught up on the river bank or mooring structures. EA urgies boat owners who are able to gain safe access their boats to check the position and condition of mooring lines and fendering.
As flood water recedes and river levels come back within the banks, the flow rates will increase in speed. Red strong stream warning boards are currently displayed throughout the river and are likely to be out for some time. EA advice to boaters remains not to navigate because the strong flows make it difficult and dangerous. In addition, boat wash can worsen the situation for properties already at risk of flooding.
Extremely cold weather over recent nights means tht some areas affected by flooding may now be experiencing frozen floodwater. Frozen flood water next to rivers is dangerous and EA urges people not to walk on it. It’s easy to lose your footing on ice, and skid toward the river without any way of stopping yourself.
Boaters, walkers, cyclists and anyone working near a river should also take extra care, watching out for ice and avoiding it wherever possible.
The River Thames is currently very high, very fast, and extremely cold, anyone falling in would immediately find themselves in extreme difficulty. If you see someone in difficulty, call the emergency services on 999 immediately.
There is more information on dealing with changing river conditions on the EA website.
IWA endorses this sound advice, which is equally applicable on many other waterways that have experienced high rainfall recently.
The Great Western Canal at Tiverton in Devon breached near Halberton on 21st November as a result of heavy rain. This section of the Canal is owned by Devon County Council, having been acquired from British Waterways in 1971.
Twenty families were evacuated from their properties and spent the night in a local village hall over fears the second side of a canal would collapse. Engineers worked overnight to stabilise the canal.
See video on the BBC website
Boat Fire Safety Check Scheme by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service
In response to the increasing risk of fire on Warwickshire's waterways, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service has introduced a boat fire safety check scheme, using operational personnel to deliver key fire safety information to boaters.
The Fire Service has recently attended a number of boat fires, some of which have been life threatening and is keen to ensure that those using the waterways do so in a safe manner. The intention of the scheme is to raise awareness of boaters to the dangers of fire breaking out and the simple preventative measures that can be taken to minimise the risk.
The initiative has been produced in consultation with the Boat Safety Scheme and has already attracted interest from a number of Fire and Rescue Services. The service is hoping that the scheme will be adopted nationally.
Download Fire Safety on Boats PDF for more information.
To request your free boat fire safety check (Warwickshire registered boats) or for further fire safety information and advice please email email@example.com or telephone 01926 466282, Monday to Wednesday between the hours of 0900 hrs and 1700 hrs.
The penultimate Thames21 canoe clean-up of 2012 was featured on ITV and BBC Sport on Friday 16th November and can be viewed on ITV's website. Thames21 was visited by Ed McKeever, the Team GB’s Gold medal winning kayaker.
The 2012 Olympic programme of canoe events introduced people to the sport, and proved to be an effective way of removing floating litter and invasive water weeds from the River Lea and other waterways which characterise neighbourhoods around the Canary Wharf area.
More information is available from Thames21's website
Non-native Invasive Shrimp Found in the Thames
An invasive shrimp which could be damaging to native species has been discovered across England, including the Thames.
The Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust are now urging water users such as boaters, anglers and canoeists, to help slow the spread of this invasive species by checking, cleaning and drying all their equipment after use, before using it at another location.
Boaters must be particularly careful to ensure that portable boats and kayaks are drained, cleaned and dried. Boat trailers must also be thoroughly cleaned after use. Anglers should take particular care to ensure their nets are thoroughly cleaned and dried before reuse. Boat users need to ensure that any debris or wildlife on hulls, particularly zebra mussels, are removed and disposed of safely – more advice available on the Environment Agency website.
Invasive species now cost the UK economy an estimated £1.7billion each year. They cause damage to riverbanks, increase flood risk, crowd out and kill off native wildlife and become so prolific on waterways that fishermen, boaters and anglers are unable to use them.
Dikerogammarus haemobaphes is the less aggressive relative of Dikerogammarus villosus, the ‘killer shrimp’, which was first discovered at Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire, in 2010. Many waterbodies in Western Europe have undergone major ecological change due to the arrival of these species, which come from Eastern Europe. They often completely replace many native species in their preferred habitats.
Although Dikerogammarus haemobaphes is the less aggressive relative of the ‘killer shrimp’, its impact on our ecosystems may be even greater because of its ability to survive in more varied habitats. It is essential to reduce the spread by checking, cleaning and drying all equipment used in the water.
The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:
Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers' discretion.
To see details of how to take advantage of these offers, please go to www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/members_area/member_discounts_special_offers_public
For IWA members who receive a printed copy of this bulletin in the post, please contact the membership team on 01494 783453 for the details of the offers.
Members can also support IWA with a NarrowBoat subscription
IWA has an arrangement with insurers Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue that provides top quality boat insurance and access to the basic waterway rescue service for boat owners, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and thus furthers our charitable work for the waterways.
See more information about the IWA insurance scheme for boaters
Santa visited Tapton Lock to meet a host of VIPs on 24th November. The Mayor of Chesterfield, a local MP and chairs of local councils brought members of their families to enjoy a cruise on the canal with Santa. Luckily he had remembered to bring presents for the children. The Trust provided pie & peas for everyone, plus of course mince pies. The adults enjoyed a cup of seasonal cheer. And Santa will be back each weekend until Christmas!
You can book a trip with Santa yourself. A gift for every child, a mince pie and a drink for every adult; £6 per person.
There will be trips running all day every Saturday and Sunday to 23rd December. They leave from Tapton Lock in Chesterfield on the Tesco roundabout: S41 7JB. Booking is essential, ring 01246 551035.
|IWA Canalway Cavalcade - Little Venice, London||
4th - 6th May
|IWA National Trailboat Festival - Bodiam Castle, East Sussex||
25th - 27th May
|IWA National Festival - Cassiobury Park, Watford, Hertfordshire||
19th - 21st July
Have you got a waterway event or activity to promote? - Anyone can add details of a waterways event or activity to this area on the website. You don’t even need to register with the website or provide any sort of password. Simply use the upload event form.
13th December - Caldon Canal (IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch)
Details: Monthly mid-week work party on the Caldon Canal (second Thursday each month). Wear old clothes, stout shoes and bring waterproofs and a packed lunch. This work party is being organised jointly between IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch and the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, working in Partnership with Canal & River Trust.
15th December - Lapworth, Stratford Canal (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
Details: Regular twice monthly work party at Lapworth. Tasks vary each time but include lock painting, litter picking, veg clearance and path work. Work parties take place on the third Thursday and the third Saturday of each month.
20th December - Lapworth, Stratford Canal (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
Details: Regular twice monthly work party at Lapworth. Tasks vary each time but include lock painting, litter picking, veg clearance and path work. Work parties take place on the third Thursday and the third Saturday of each month.
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/
6th December Morning Walk near Atherstone (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: Morning Walk near Atherstone. A circular walk of about 5½ miles including Baddesley Common, countryside and the Coventry Canal towpath at Atherstone Locks. Rising to the common, then gradual descent to canal and return uphill. 3 stiles, so may not be suitable for larger dogs. Meet at 10.00 for a 10.15 am start at St Nicholas Church Hall car park, Baddesley Ensor, Warwickshire, CV9 2EL. Free parking. Optional lunch on return at Rose Inn, Baxterley (a short car journey). Leader: Ed Rule.
Contact: Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/
IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton