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EA 'lock' mooring fees - changes

TrueBlue

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Joined
30 Apr 2004
Messages
4,397
Location
Sussex
Hacking around the web (as one does) I discover that those shysters at EA have awarded (despite opposition last time around) the management of ALL EA Thames short term moorings to that carp company - District Enforcement - effective from tomorrow 1st. October 2020 (probably in the hope that nobody will take any notice - if at all - until next boating season, when it will be more than too late to protest / do anything..

I object for several reasons.
1. DE's sineage is poor and their website is vague about exactly where / extent of the moorings
2. I don't go cruising with a smarphone on / available just for DE's benefit
3. I don't want the scum of DE having access to my personal details
4. DE's sineage is poor whether by design or by action form those who disagree with them. For example the signs at Hampton Court Palace are vague in that the extent of the moorings is unclear. Some say it's just the short stretch 'by the railings', others say it's the whole run down to Kingston bridge.
5. I'm of the opinion that DE make good money from their penalty charges, thus there's little incdentive to make their systems fair, accurate or timely

Whereas I have great respect for EA folks on the ground and don't want to inconvenience them in any way, I have less respect for the layers of management who have obviously ignored any complaints from the boating organisations. (They did last time)

It would be great if others agree with me in whole or part - but I'm not holding my breath.


My protest to EA wil take the form of -
  • I will pay my registration fees as and when they fall due
But -
  • I will take steps to conceal my boat's name (difficult)
  • I will NOT display my registration plate
  • I will NOT engage with lock staff if they query the lack of details
Boating should be fun - but the uncertainty of what moorings are fairly priced or not, indeed some have had their signs removed by others, and I fear DE will ignore that and bully me into unreasonably paying a penalty.
Their business model is very much grab exccss fees rather than the base fee.
 
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TrueBlue

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Joined
30 Apr 2004
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4,397
Location
Sussex
Agree with all of that...
Worse thing is having to report your time of arrival even if staying for less than a chargeable period.
Echo that - we tend to stop just overnight, do a quick shop and move on to where it's quieter.
 

Old Crusty

Active member
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28 Aug 2017
Messages
673
I agree with all TrueBlue says too.

Note though, that failure to display the registration plate is no longer the offence it was, that changed under the IWO 2010 wherein S.16 of the TCA 1966 requirement to produce the launch certificate/registration plate on demand was abolished (see IWO Schedule 6 Part 1).

If you refuse to display the reg plate, vessel name or give lock staff any details, you commit a very minor offence that will never be pursued.

Unlike many EA Waterways staff, DE employees are not warranted by the EA under the Environment Act 1995 or the Water Resources Act 1991 so have no authority to demand anyone's details, caution offenders or enter premises, that is, climb on your boat, without your expressed consent. If you catch them on your boat looking for clues, repel boarders in any way you wish, preferably to the out board side where its a bit wet. I can't express here how ####### angry this makes me.

The mooring rules do not cover heaving to alongside but say 1 metre offshore, anchoring then putting out a gang plank.

I have never paid so called penalty charges as they are merely an invoice for perceived services that are covered by civil law. DE is a bullying company that trades on fear of having to go to court, something I enjoy and I will always be content to take them on. That said, I have been in court often.
 

TrueBlue

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30 Apr 2004
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Sussex
I'm obliged m'Lud Crusty.
Being a simple and peacable boater - I just don't want any hassle, and I feel sure that EA would pass my home address details onto DE, whether or not they had any contract "because they have to" ( oh, yeah...). If you're silly enough to compete DE's form, you give them your email as well so that mebe will be subject of further hassle.

I wonder,
If lockies no longer have to manage their moorings and campsites - is there less need to have 'so many' lockies - an underhand ploy from Reading??
 

Old Crusty

Active member
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28 Aug 2017
Messages
673
I wonder,
If lockies no longer have to manage their moorings and campsites - is there less need to have 'so many' lockies - an underhand ploy from Reading??
I doubt it, given there are about half the lockies there used to be and relations between frontline staff and management are at an all time level (see what I did there?) What goes on between the ears of the waterways manager is anyone's guess.
 

Outinthedinghy

Active member
Joined
18 May 2008
Messages
894
Location
Limehouse hole
Thanks for that info Old Crusty.

All this DE nonsense is just a scam nothing more. It's annoying when scams get into your head when enjoying the River.

Putting the name of the boat on liferings hanging from strategic points is quite good. Liferings can be turned around as required....

Screenshot_2020-09-30-14-36-04-274_com.android.chrome.jpg
 

AuntyRinum

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Joined
30 Jul 2003
Messages
10,859
Location
Travelling
I moored at Hampton Court last week, then at Kingston on the Hampton side and got talking to the DE man when he did his rounds. He told me that he visits 3 times a week and his manager visits once, so between them they visit the mooring sites 4 times a week between visiting car parks. He was only on site for about 20 minutes. He started at Portsmouth in the morning then travelled to Lancing, then to Brighton, then to to Reading, Kingston, Hampton Court, back to Portsmouth and lots of points in between. He doesn't enforce anything. All he does is photographs all the boats on the mooring and emails them to his head office. The head office then checks against the photographs and, when they find the photo of a boat that hasn't registered on their website, they issue a fixed price notice. I forget how much it is.
All very simple and not 100% efficient. While I was moored I saw many boats come and go, overnight, lunch etc. and I doubt very much whether they registered or were photographed.
I stick to the rules to avoid any grief; after all, to moor at Hampton Court for £32 for 5 nights is a gift and not worth worrying about. Many will not pay though and not all of them will be caught.
 

Outinthedinghy

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18 May 2008
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894
Location
Limehouse hole
There used to be a royal parks bloke coming round taking money from willing boaters. A bit like Steve SRB at Henley. No worries.

Then something changed. Probably abuse and agro from hideous idiots and it forced the involvement of a parking company.

Yes the mooring there is a nice spot and worth paying for it you want a few days. Nobody can argue with that but it would be much better if it was a mooring manager collecting rather than a parking company whose business model relies on fear tactics.

You just don't want that as leisure boater. Not interesting..

I've known that area of the River very well since the 80s but the last few years it seems to have gone a bit rotten.
 

kdb8

New member
Joined
2 Sep 2020
Messages
7
Hacking around the web (as one does) I discover that those shysters at EA have awarded (despite opposition last time around) the management of ALL EA Thames short term moorings to that carp company - District Enforcement - effective from tomorrow 1st. October 2020 (probably in the hope that nobody will take any notice - if at all - until next boating season, when it will be more than too late to protest / do anything..
Trueblue, Are you able to post a LINK to this information on the EA website, please. I've tried but failed to find it so far!
 

TrueBlue

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Joined
30 Apr 2004
Messages
4,397
Location
Sussex
Trueblue, Are you able to post a LINK to this information on the EA website, please. I've tried but failed to find it so far!
There's no information on EA's website. I found a comment or tweet (I don't do such things, hence can't remember) - which has since been removed. "1st. October" was my mistake the 'announcement' said 'early Octber' but no details as to what, sorry.
 

kdb8

New member
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2 Sep 2020
Messages
7
Thanks, Trueblue, for prompt response. I can't find anything on DE's website either (other than them claiming to be bosom buddies with the EA!)
I have always maintained that DE's requirement to register arrival regardless of intended length of stay is not lawful and would not stand up to proper scrutiny if challenged in court.
The Thames Conservancy Act 1932 at Section 136 (amended slightly by the 1972 Act) provides that "no charge shall be made for vessels tied up or moored at night or for a reasonable time when not at work unless the traffic of the Thames is thereby impeded." The right to moor overnight or for a reasonable time without charge has never been superseded by subsequent legislation or EA byelaws. No charge must by definition include penalty charges.
DE's signs suggested that they would impose a penalty charge "where no pre-payment had been made" and appear to me to be in direct conflict with the provisions of Section 136.
If that is still their position and they attempt their unlawful extortion then I shall look forward to watching them (and the EA) being pasted in court.
 
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ianc1200

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6 Dec 2005
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Henley on Thames
Surely penalty charges to stop those abusing the system are a good thing even if it slightly inconvenieces the rest of us.
 

Old Crusty

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28 Aug 2017
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673
Thanks, Trueblue, for prompt response. I can't find anything on DE's website either (other than them claiming to be bosom buddies with the EA!)
I have always maintained that DE's requirement to register arrival regardless of intended length of stay is not lawful and would not stand up to proper scrutiny if challenged in court.
The Thames Conservancy Act 1932 at Section 136 (amended slightly by the 1972 Act) provides that "no charge shall be made for vessels tied up or moored at night or for a reasonable time when not at work unless the traffic of the Thames is thereby impeded." The right to moor overnight or for a reasonable time without charge has never been superseded by subsequent legislation or EA byelaws. No charge must by definition include penalty charges.
DE's signs suggested that they would impose a penalty charge "where no pre-payment had been made" and appear to me to be in direct conflict with the provisions of Section 136.
If that is still their position and they attempt their unlawful extortion then I shall look forward to watching them (and the EA) being pasted in court.
I'll be pleased to attend court with you. There is no lawful requirement to register arrival at an EA mooring under the TCA.
 

DWT

Member
Joined
16 May 2006
Messages
274
Location
Reading, Berkshire
Surely penalty charges to stop those abusing the system are a good thing even if it slightly inconvenieces the rest of us.
Whilst I don’t particularly like having to register for the free 24 hours it isn’t really that difficult and so I’m inclined to agree with this
 

Outinthedinghy

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18 May 2008
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Location
Limehouse hole
I would agree too if it did "stop those abusing the system" but not convinced that it will do so.

It seems quite likely that abuse will continue anyway, precisely because the whole arrangement is not fully legal.

The only effect of this is to add a level of stress and agitation to those enjoying the River. People who are intent on pushing things won't feel any negative effects from this.
 

pjimd

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22 Aug 2014
Messages
5
Location
south bucks
I have never seen so many "no mooring" signs on the river.
Finding a half decent mooring for an overnight stop or lunch is getting harder.
Whilst the registration requirement and threats of penalties might be despised, if it deters overstaying and frees up some space for a short term stop then this might not altogether be a bad thing.
 

Old Crusty

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28 Aug 2017
Messages
673
Surely penalty charges to stop those abusing the system are a good thing even if it slightly inconvenieces the rest of us.
Agreed but PCNs are not applicable on the Thames as there is no provision for them in TCA law. PCNs have been discussed at EA Towers for years but no action to date as it falls in the 'too difficult' box.

Any charge demanded by DE is merely an invoice for their perceived services/contract, has no basis in law and should be resisted. It would be a civil matter anyway, not a magistrates or crown court, a matter of opinion on contracts, actual or imagined.

Anyone receiving such an invoice ought to issue a counter invoice for the time required to deal with it.
 
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