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 Thames boaters urged to renew registrations after two-day crackdown catches 49 evaders

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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Thames boaters urged to renew registrations after two-day crackdown catches 49 evaders   Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:09 pm


16-Apr-2013

Boaters on the River Thames are being urged to renew their registrations or face prosecution, the Environment Agency said on Tuesday.

The reminder comes after a two-day operation on the lower reaches of the non-tidal Thames saw waterways officers serve 49 boaters with registration enforcement notices.

Waterways officers, supported by officers from the Met’s Marine Police Unit (MPU), targeted 46 vessels moored on the river bank near Teddington on Wednesday (10 April, 2013), serving 22 enforcement notices to those failing to display a valid registration. On Thursday (11 April, 2013) a further 69 vessels were checked on the stretch above Molesey Lock and 27 enforcement notices issued.

The Inland Waterways Order 2010 (IWO), introduced in April 2011, requires all boats kept on the river Thames to properly display a valid annual boat registration plate.

Matthew Carter, Waterways Operations Manager, said: “The income we raise from boat registration fees helps to pay for the upkeep of the entire non-tidal navigation between Teddington and Lechlade, a length of 144 miles, including 45 locks. All boats kept on the river must display a valid annual registration plate.

“The Thames is the oldest and most famous public navigation in the world, and we need every penny of registration income that we are due to keep it in the best condition possible. Our crackdown on non-registration will continue throughout the boating season.”

Environment Agency officers were joined for last week’s enforcement operation by officers from the London Boroughs of Richmond and Kingston Upon Thames. The councils were serving notice to quit upon illegally moored boats near Teddington, several of which appeared to being used as houseboats.

The councils served notices to quit on vessels along the stretch upstream of Teddington on Wednesday (10 April, 2013), with the Met’s MPU officers in attendance to prevent a breach of the peace.

Information and advice on how to purchase a boat registration can be found on our website at: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/129937.aspx

If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact us by phone on 03708 506 506 or by email at boatreg@environment-agency.gov.uk.




As the navigation authority for the River Thames between Cricklade, Wiltshire and Teddington, Middlesex, the Environment Agency’s lock staff and enforcement patrols monitor all boats on the river. Anyone keeping or using a boat on the non-tidal Thames including in a marina needs to register it, and display a valid registration plate: failure to do so will lead to prosecution.

You cannot keep or use a boat on the non-tidal River Thames without it first being registered with the Environment Agency. This applies to all types of craft, including motor cruisers, sailing boats, narrow boats and unpowered craft such as canoes or rowing boats.

An annual registration charge is payable and covers the period 1 January to 31 December. A registration plate is then issued which must be displayed on the boat. Visiting boats also need to be registered to cover the period of the visit.

Anyone taking up boating on the non-tidal River Thames should make themselves aware of the relevant rules and regulations. This information can be found on our website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/riverthames
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Richard Crimp
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PostSubject: Re: Thames boaters urged to renew registrations after two-day crackdown catches 49 evaders   Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:19 pm

About bloody time too.


Richard
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Neil Depledge

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PostSubject: Re: Thames boaters urged to renew registrations after two-day crackdown catches 49 evaders   Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:12 pm

It is but it doesn't sound like they're doing anything about illegal mooring.
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Trevor Ward



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PostSubject: Re: Thames boaters urged to renew registrations after two-day crackdown catches 49 evaders   Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:36 am

Depends what you mean by illegal mooring? I live on a boat on the Thames and know that the EA mainly has juristiction of it's own moorings which are all 24h or you have to pay for longer stays. Elsewhere mooring is down to the individual landowners responsibility and is a matter of civil law not criminal. Most of the boaters I know take a caring approach towards the Thames and report pollution etc to the EA and pick up litter left by holiday makers and from some fishermen (like emtpty cans of corn and spam and lure packets). Live and let live I say, why do some folk have to be anti- all the time? Besides, we all know the best place to catch those nice big Thames perch is besides a big moored barge!

The EA actually only requires boats to move from safe moorings when there are no warning boards up; this last year the river has virtually been un-navigable fo at least 50% of the time!

There is of coarse a minority of boaters that give the rest of us a bad name; but there is also a minority of fisher folk that give angling bad press. Would it be reasonable for all boaters to look down on anglers because of what that minority does? Think not! So think leave us alone, we might be helping the river more than you give credit!
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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: Re: Thames boaters urged to renew registrations after two-day crackdown catches 49 evaders   Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:41 pm

The last couple of years there have been practically no accessible swims left between Teddington Lock and Half-Mile Tree because the entire reach has been bunged up with boats.

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Trevor Ward



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PostSubject: Re: Thames boaters urged to renew registrations after two-day crackdown catches 49 evaders   Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:26 am

Ed I sympaphise with that dilema, I'm lucky that on the stretches that I moor there are only a few boats, and we all prefer to move. It's only when danger boards are out we stay in one place for more than a few weeks, and we tend to stay away from fishing areas, not that we see many fishing!

I suspect there MAY be created a bigger and wider problem if all those boats were moved off, but I agree something should be done about them, especially if they are causing problems on the bank.

My friends and myself had actually had the opposite problem; false accusations made against us whilst mooring in one spot over winter whilst red boards were out, all because a dog walker felt intimidated walking past our boats, even though she never saw or talked to us. My friend ended up having to ask his solicitor to write a letter to the EA to either disclose the name of the accuser or prosicute this person for making such allegations. One allegation concerned his dog barking and scaring her dogs; his dog was actually very old and dying at the time and could not even walk and died about a week later. Another allegation was leaving rubbish on the tow path, when the EA officer came to talk to us about these allegations I was quite happy to show him a bag of empty lager cans that I had a few days earlier picked up from a another mooring that some idiot had left! Another allegation was the cutting down of trees along the tow path. When checked, the EA found the local park authority was responsible. The EA officer revealed to us that he himself lived on a boat on the Kennet & Avon canal and fully understood our dilema and said that he also found on the canal that many boaters face this blatant factless discrimination, whilst all most boaters want is peace and quite and cause no problems to others; others that often treat the rivers and canals as play grounds. I could go on but I'll stop there; only to say the EA ended up by having to tell my friend the accusers name and sent the accuser a stiff letter that threatened prosicution should more false complaints be made! We heard no more!!
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