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EA 'lock' mooring fees - changes

Outinthedinghy

Active member
Joined
18 May 2008
Messages
907
Location
Limehouse hole
Mooring in Desborough Cut is not permitted and if I can find the relevant regulation I will post it here. While based out of Shepperton Nav Office, that is just 200m across the river, we used to slap any boats with harbourmaster's directions to move and then tow away if they failed to comply. It ain't difficult.
Must say I always assumed it was not allowed because you never used to see boats there until recently.

It would be interesting to see the "relevant regulation".

Patrol boats certainly were more active in years gone by.
 

Pump-Out

Active member
Joined
6 Feb 2011
Messages
378
Location
Lurking in the Thames Valley
While based out of Shepperton Nav Office, that is just 200m across the river, we used to slap any boats with harbourmaster's directions to move and then tow away if they failed to comply. It ain't difficult.
Ah, but those were in the days that we had Harbourmasters and a Navigation Authority.
Today we have Waterways Managers and a wildlife agency.
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
681
Ah, but those were in the days that we had Harbourmasters and a Navigation Authority.
Today we have Waterways Managers and a wildlife agency.
We still have harbourmasters but the current crop don't seem to know what their role is - that is, upholding the legislation pertaining to the river.
 

TrueBlue

Well-known member
Joined
30 Apr 2004
Messages
4,398
Location
Sussex
Doomed - doomed
We're all blurry doomed...

I'd go back on the ditchy stuff - but they're worse..

It's winter (forget autumn) , tissing wiv rain, blowing a gale, can't get to the boat in case I catch the Pox,
some tit about to stop anyone mooring,
too much water (that's OK - happens every year)
Nothing on the telly
Some *expletive* pestering for TV licence when the BeeB isn't what it used to be,
other channels are carp..

Never mind The Management is a -cooking a magic supper and the rain is drowning all the rabbits..
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
681
Just seen this on facebook:

We, the undersigned, represent three National Boating organisations whose members use the Thames and are represented on the Thames Navigation Users Forum.
We are disappointed by the aggressive and unwelcoming approach indicated by this signage. Users had been given to understand that the intent was to achieve effective management of short term moorings and not a modified car parking scheme designed to deter anyone from mooring.
It would seem that the advice you have been given by District Enforcement may have misled you. We have taken legal advice with the assistance of the Royal Yachting Association and their lawyer's comments follow below.
Section 136 of the Thames Conservancy Act 1932 as amended by section 23 of the Thames Conservancy Act 1972 reads:
“The Conservators may from time to time demand and receive in respect of vessels using any of the moorings in the Thames belonging to the Conservators the charges appointed by the Conservators from time to time save 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”.
In recent years, by custom and practice, a reasonable time has been taken to be 24 hours. There is no requirement to report arrival or departure.
It would seem from the example signage that your new arrangement exceeds these powers significantly. While the 24 hour free mooring continues there is now a requirement to register on your agent's website or by telephone. Registration attempts to bring with it a contract between the boat owner and District Enforcement to pay fees, including punitive fees for any errors, apparently set and demanded by them, and tries to give them a lien on the vessel should we default. This is beyond any powers that EA currently has under the TCAs or IWO 2010 for moorings as explained in more detail below
There is no clear appeal procedure and no reference to Waterways Thames who are the Navigation Authority and successors to the Thames Conservators. This contract should be suspended and not introduced without further consultation with users and legal advisers on its legality, unfair terms, and intent.
We look forward to your proposals for taking this issue forward.”
Signed by three National boating organisations represented at TNUF
Mike Rodd Chair - National Association of Boat Owners
Charles Foster Chair - Residential Boat Owners Association.
Andy Soper Vice-Chair - DBA - The Barge Association
RYA legal advisor’s comments on District Enforcement example signage
1. The Agency has no power to require a person who moors his or her boat alongside a public facility provided by the Agency to enter into a contract, licence or other arrangement with District Enforcement Ltd (“DEL”). That person’s relationship should be directly with the Agency. Consequently, DEL cannot unilaterally impose any terms and conditions on the use of the mooring facilities provided by the Agency.
2. The relationship between the Agency and the owner of a moored boat is not that of licensor and licensee. The owner of a boat does not need a licence to moor his or her boat temporarily at a public facility on the river – he or she has a right to moor the boat (for a reasonable period of time) subject to the Agency’s power to levy a charge. DEL cannot, therefore, legitimately assert that the mooring of a boat is subject to the licence conditions set out in the proposed signage.
3. Any mooring charge levied by the Agency under article 23 of the 2010 Order is recoverable only as a civil debt – a person who does not pay a mooring charge in respect of a boat does not commit an offence under article 18 of the 2010 Order. There is consequently scope for that person to dispute the amount of that charge and/or that the charge is due at all. It is incumbent on the Agency to demonstrate that the charge is due and the amount of the charge (i.e. when the boat arrived and when it left). A boat-owner’s failure to register a boat on arrival cannot, of itself, be used by the Agency (or DEL) as the basis for imposing a higher charge.
4. An unpaid mooring charge levied by the Agency does not amount to a debt owed to DEL.
5. Neither the Agency nor DEL may exert a “general lien” over a boat for unpaid mooring charges. The exercise of a “general lien” over property is conditional on the person exercising it being in possession of the property – a “general lien” cannot, for example, be exercised over property in the owner’s possession or in a public place. A boat moored alongside a public facility provided by the Agency would not thereby be in the Agency’s or DEL’s possession.
6. Given that litigation is a reserved legal activity under the Legal Services Act 2007, it is unclear as to by what authority DEL could conduct debt-recovery litigation on behalf of the Agency.
7. DEL may be in some difficulty under the Data Protection Act 2018 if it were to install cameras on a public facility on the strength of the proposed signage alone.
8. DEL cannot use the proposed signage unilaterally to impose an indemnity obligation on the master of a boat moored at a public facility provided by the Agency.
In short, a boat moored alongside a public facility provided by the Agency is in a fundamentally different position from that of a car parked on someone else’s private land. Nevertheless, DEL appears to be under the misapprehension that it may approach mooring charge enforcement on behalf of the Agency in the same way that it approaches car parking enforcement on behalf of private land-owners.
Environment Agency River Thames Waterways Team - the wording on the signage from DEL is disgraceful and, as per legal opinion, far exceeds your powers never mind DEL’s. This is a shameful approach to how you view your users and not at all welcoming to visitors.
I hope you grasp this situation with some alacrity as you run the risk of losing the support of your users in a rather spectacular fashion.
 

AuntyRinum

Well-known member
Joined
30 Jul 2003
Messages
10,859
Location
Travelling
We, the undersigned, represent three National Boating organisations whose members use the Thames and are represented on the Thames Navigation Users Forum.
We are disappointed by the aggressive and unwelcoming approach indicated by this signage. Users had been given to understand that the intent was to achieve effective management of short term moorings and not a modified car parking scheme designed to deter anyone from mooring.
It would seem that the advice you have been given by District Enforcement may have misled you. We have taken legal advice with the assistance of the Royal Yachting Association and their lawyer's comments follow below.
Section 136 of the Thames Conservancy Act 1932 as amended by section 23 of the Thames Conservancy Act 1972 reads:
“The Conservators may from time to time demand and receive in respect of vessels using any of the moorings in the Thames belonging to the Conservators the charges appointed by the Conservators from time to time save 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”.
In recent years, by custom and practice, a reasonable time has been taken to be 24 hours. There is no requirement to report arrival or departure.
It would seem from the example signage that your new arrangement exceeds these powers significantly. While the 24 hour free mooring continues there is now a requirement to register on your agent's website or by telephone. Registration attempts to bring with it a contract between the boat owner and District Enforcement to pay fees, including punitive fees for any errors, apparently set and demanded by them, and tries to give them a lien on the vessel should we default. This is beyond any powers that EA currently has under the TCAs or IWO 2010 for moorings as explained in more detail below
There is no clear appeal procedure and no reference to Waterways Thames who are the Navigation Authority and successors to the Thames Conservators. This contract should be suspended and not introduced without further consultation with users and legal advisers on its legality, unfair terms, and intent.
We look forward to your proposals for taking this issue forward.”
Signed by three National boating organisations represented at TNUF
Mike Rodd Chair - National Association of Boat Owners
Charles Foster Chair - Residential Boat Owners Association.
Andy Soper Vice-Chair - DBA - The Barge Association
RYA legal advisor’s comments on District Enforcement example signage
1. The Agency has no power to require a person who moors his or her boat alongside a public facility provided by the Agency to enter into a contract, licence or other arrangement with District Enforcement Ltd (“DEL”). That person’s relationship should be directly with the Agency. Consequently, DEL cannot unilaterally impose any terms and conditions on the use of the mooring facilities provided by the Agency.
2. The relationship between the Agency and the owner of a moored boat is not that of licensor and licensee. The owner of a boat does not need a licence to moor his or her boat temporarily at a public facility on the river – he or she has a right to moor the boat (for a reasonable period of time) subject to the Agency’s power to levy a charge. DEL cannot, therefore, legitimately assert that the mooring of a boat is subject to the licence conditions set out in the proposed signage.
3. Any mooring charge levied by the Agency under article 23 of the 2010 Order is recoverable only as a civil debt – a person who does not pay a mooring charge in respect of a boat does not commit an offence under article 18 of the 2010 Order. There is consequently scope for that person to dispute the amount of that charge and/or that the charge is due at all. It is incumbent on the Agency to demonstrate that the charge is due and the amount of the charge (i.e. when the boat arrived and when it left). A boat-owner’s failure to register a boat on arrival cannot, of itself, be used by the Agency (or DEL) as the basis for imposing a higher charge.
4. An unpaid mooring charge levied by the Agency does not amount to a debt owed to DEL.
5. Neither the Agency nor DEL may exert a “general lien” over a boat for unpaid mooring charges. The exercise of a “general lien” over property is conditional on the person exercising it being in possession of the property – a “general lien” cannot, for example, be exercised over property in the owner’s possession or in a public place. A boat moored alongside a public facility provided by the Agency would not thereby be in the Agency’s or DEL’s possession.
6. Given that litigation is a reserved legal activity under the Legal Services Act 2007, it is unclear as to by what authority DEL could conduct debt-recovery litigation on behalf of the Agency.
7. DEL may be in some difficulty under the Data Protection Act 2018 if it were to install cameras on a public facility on the strength of the proposed signage alone.
8. DEL cannot use the proposed signage unilaterally to impose an indemnity obligation on the master of a boat moored at a public facility provided by the Agency.
In short, a boat moored alongside a public facility provided by the Agency is in a fundamentally different position from that of a car parked on someone else’s private land. Nevertheless, DEL appears to be under the misapprehension that it may approach mooring charge enforcement on behalf of the Agency in the same way that it approaches car parking enforcement on behalf of private land-owners.
Environment Agency River Thames Waterways Team - the wording on the signage from DEL is disgraceful and, as per legal opinion, far exceeds your powers never mind DEL’s. This is a shameful approach to how you view your users and not at all welcoming to visitors.
I hope you grasp this situation with some alacrity as you run the risk of losing the support of your users in a rather spectacular fashion.
I like that. Thanks for posting.
 

Outinthedinghy

Active member
Joined
18 May 2008
Messages
907
Location
Limehouse hole
EA launch spotted today near Henley. I ticked the box in my boat spotting book. A rare sight these days.

It was Seven Springs. One of the Mitchell's .
I wonder where they were going.

Maybe down to Sunbury to have boat taken out of water for winter ?
 

Outinthedinghy

Active member
Joined
18 May 2008
Messages
907
Location
Limehouse hole
We look forward to your proposals for taking this issue forward.”
Interesting.

I wonder if the EA would be able to do some sort of lease whereby they bypass the TC act problem.

I'm in favour of free moorings don't get me wrong but in some areas specially down towards Teddington there are some significant problems with inappropriate use of moorings which does seem to need some enforcement work.

No way do we want Kurpil doing it though .
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
681
EA launch spotted today near Henley. I ticked the box in my boat spotting book. A rare sight these days.

It was Seven Springs. One of the Mitchell's .
I wonder where they were going.

Maybe down to Sunbury to have boat taken out of water for winter ?
If it was coming out for refit it would be likely done at Caversham Lakes
 
Last edited:

oldgit

Well-known member
Joined
6 Nov 2001
Messages
23,094
Location
Medway
Amazed the subject of managing the EA moorings by a car parking company has generated so little comment.....
If the EA get away with this it is going to bite everybody who moors on the Thames.
Any thought of the EA farming out the moorings to a private car park agency should be resisted at all costs.
It is gratifing to know that somebody (wonder who) ? is taking sufficent interest in the arcane Thames regs to have uncovered the major error in the proposal and to point out...................
A. The EA are actually prohibited from doing it.
B.The consequences for boaters if it goes ahead.

Anybody who has been on the wrong end of parking ticket issued by a private car parking company, will appreciate...... they only survive if they raise revenue.
Many will be aware of problems if you are merely 9 or ten minutes beyond your car park exit time and the aggressive response which follows .
Do nothing now and just wait until the third lot of paperwork mentions the bailiffs when you were totally unaware of the need to prove you arrived at 11.30 not 10.40...
...and its going to cost you £100.00 cos you have no idea what the hell a parking " APP" is and you are still trying to work out how to take a call on your phone without cutting the caller off.
Unlike in car park where there will be an alternative somewhere, there is no alternative moorings, they will have you by the short and curlies.

It is vital not to confabulate the squatters epidemic with your leisure boaters and try to use the same sized stick to regulate both. ?
 
Last edited:

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
681
Not only that, with the backlog in the courts system, you may assume that the EA won't be pursuing boaters who don't buy a licence next year as it won't be in the public interest. FYI, once a boat has been slapped with an unregistered report, the EA has 6 months to get the case in court - the back log is 6 to 12 months so cases will likely time out.

I might save myself 500 quids in 2021 ;)
 

kdb8

New member
Joined
2 Sep 2020
Messages
7
Here we go again!

I wrote to the EA early in 2017 when it first started its new Moorings Management Scheme using Thames Visitor Moorings. I asked them (in a Freedom of Information request) to provide me with their statutory authority to make any charge for vessels moored overnight or for a reasonable period


Dear Environment Agency,
I refer to recent changes in your management of public visitor moorings provided and owned by the Environment Agency on the River Thames. Boaters, we are informed, must now register their arrival within 15 minutes of arrival at any of the EA visitor moorings with a private unincorporated company, Thames Visitor Moorings. Failure to register arrival, we are told, will lead to an automatic assumption that a boat has been moored for 24-hours. 1. Please provide a copy of the Contract or Agreement between Thames Visitor Moorings (or the principal or owner) and the Environment Agency in relation to these arrangements. The notice advising these new arrangements details charges of up to £100 to be made for each day or part thereof after an initial free period of 24-hours. However, the Thames Conservancy Act Section 136 prescribes that no charge may be made for a reasonable period or for overnight mooring. It also states that any charges are to be those appointed by Byelaws of the Conservators for the time being in force: "Charges for Mooring - Section 136 -The Conservators may from time to time demand and receive in respect of vessels using any of the moorings in the Thames belonging to the Conservators the charges appointed by byelaws of the Conservators for the time being in force save 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." 2. Please provide a copy of the relevant Byelaw by which any charges for use of the Thames EA visitor moorings are appointed (or in the absence of any such byelaw, any other statutory authority to make charges for use of EA moorings. Thank you.


There was no satisfactory response.

I made a further attempt to obtain the information and a copy of any Contract between the EA and Thames Visitor Mooring, The EA claimed that no such Contract was in place. I referred the matter to the Information Commissioner and the EA finally provided a copy of the TVM Contract and a schedule of amounts paid to TVM during the period 1st Nov 2016 - 31st October 2017 - £4,850 and 1st November 2017 - 31st March 2018 - £2,020.

There was still no satisfactory response to my request for their "lawful authority" but the scheme was soon withdrawn.

Now, of course, it's worse with a predatory parking company involved.

Anyone bored enough in the coming lockdown to read all the FoI correspondence? It's here:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/thames_visitor_moorings#incoming-935608

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/thames_visitor_moorings_2
 

oldgit

Well-known member
Joined
6 Nov 2001
Messages
23,094
Location
Medway
Not only that, with the backlog in the courts system, you may assume that the EA won't be pursuing boaters who don't buy a licence next year as it won't be in the public interest. FYI, once a boat has been slapped with an unregistered report, the EA has 6 months to get the case in court - the back log is 6 to 12 months so cases will likely time out.

I might save myself 500 quids in 2021 ;)

We will be meeting a well known parking company in the county court in early 2021. The ticket was issued in early 2019. :)
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
681
We will be meeting a well known parking company in the county court in early 2021. The ticket was issued in early 2019. :)
That'll be county court for a civil claim will it not? EA registration cases go to mags courts as it's a criminal offence. Or did you get a ticket on the Thames at one of the council moorings?
 

oldgit

Well-known member
Joined
6 Nov 2001
Messages
23,094
Location
Medway
Or did you get a ticket on the Thames at one of the council moorings?

Naa................. car park in Essex.
Took the boat to Titchmarsh , kids came up to see us.
We decided to go to the coast . 15 mins to get out of the car park and they did us for being 10 mins beyond our paid for time .
Always did think Essex was a place best avoided. :)
 
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