Unnecessary action by Bargees

Published: Thursday, 21 December 2017

THE National Bargee Travellers Association has made great play of its success in arranging a shorter cruising distance for one of its disabled members, by taking court action.

Yet the Trust has its own welfare officer who examines all reported cases and makes provision to suit each case, but the Bargees ignored this route and took the matter to court, perhaps for publicity,that of course allowed for a shorter cruising distance.  A spokesman for the Trust explained to narrowboatworld:

Continuous cruisers

We welcome all boaters onto our canals, including those who choose to continuously cruise. We do as much as we reasonably can to help boaters stay on the water, with our own welfare officer who works to find ways to support anyone in difficulties.

It is important that we manage our busy waterways fairly for all the 33,500 boats on the network, especially as we are seeing a steep growth in usage in the most popular areas.

Genuinely moving around

In practice, a roaming lifestyle isn’t something that will suit most people—particularly if they are tied to a place because of a job or other commitments—and we have to remind people that if they choose to take a licence without a home mooring then they are required by law to satisfy us that they are genuinely moving around. We always urge people to think very carefully before buying a boat.

Whilst I can’t comment on the cases mentioned until I hear back from the Legal dept, our advice remains the same for boaters without home moorings: they need to cruise in line with our Guidance. There’s some pretty comprehensive FAQs here that should cover most points:


The FAQs also cover how we work with boaters with disabilities that may affect them being able to comply with the Guidance—we may be able to make reasonable adjustments as appropriate on a case-by-case basis.