Breakthrough for NABO

Published: Monday, 04 April 2011

Article Index

Other Acts

An added complication is that the 1995 Act only allows British Waterways to refuse a licence. Therefore, British Waterways has to refuse and then bring a prosecution for not having a licence under the British Waterways 1983 Act section 8 and British Waterways 1971 Act section 13. This is what is understood to have happened in the Davies case.

As stated earlier, this prosecution was something of a test case for British Waterways.

Case outcome

Part of NABO's complaint was that British Waterways  'may not legally deny or withhold a licence if a boater breaches the continuous cruiser guidelines which do not have the force of law but are stated as a requirement in the Terms and Conditions'.

Another part of its complaint states 'British Waterways does not have general powers to interpret the law and specifically not in the case of the British Waterways Act 1995 s 17 (c) (ii) to define mooring.

Time will confirm

Whilst time will confirm, it seems probable that this is now accepted. British Waterways  press release says he had 'not complied with the requirements of the 1995 Act' rather than he had breached British Waterways Terms and Conditions or not complied with guidance.

Indeed, further on, British Waterways' press release confirms that as a result of the judgement it is changing its Licensing Terms and Conditions.

Perhaps, British Waterways will now uphold these two parts of NABO's complaint.

Paul Davies

British Waterways' press release states that Davies has three months to remove his boat from its waters. However, whilst Davies concedes that the prosecution under section 8 of the 1983 Act was successful, he maintains that British Waterways' request that the boat be removed within 28 days was turned down with the judgement stating three months to remove and liberty to remedy the default.

The default could be remedied by cruising further or obtaining a 'home mooring', both of which would allow him to comply with the 1995 Act. Alternatively he could sell his boat.

Davies adds that he is minded to comply rather than appealing the decision, but is concerned that doing so might put his job and home at risk.