Weybridge on the River Thames

Private ‘traffic wardens’ will be issuing £100 fines for over staying boats on three E A moorings on the River Thames. A new moorings enforcement scheme, using a firm of private contractors, is being trialed by the Environment Agency (EA) at three of its moorings including Weybridge above.

Basically –  unless otherwise indicated – boat owners can stop free of charge for up to 24 hours on public open land owned by the EA, but some sites have a charge, either for mooring at any time, or after an initial free period. Some boaters do not pay the charges and overstay longer than they are entitled to.  EA says that misuse of moorings is widespread and causes constant problems for boaters on the River Thames.

Dealing with misuse is an expensive issue and is often more than the value of the outstanding mooring fees. It is therefore looking for a faster enforcement solution with an aim to increase access to free 24-hour moorings and allow EA enforcement officers to spend more time dealing with other important issues such as boat registration.

EA began a six-month enforcement trial at three of its mooring sites at Oxford, Weybridge and Walton-upon-Thames on 1 August; working with car park management company District Enforcement to apply the same civil enforcement rules used to monitor private car parks.

During the trial, any boat owner who breaches the mooring conditions will be issued with a penalty charge of £100 (£60 if paid early). If an offence is committed, EA officers will submit a report to District Enforcement who will then send a Mooring Charge Notice to the registered boat owner. District Enforcement will pursue payment using County Court proceedings if necessary.

Thanks to Harry Arnold and Waterway Images for this report and image.

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