Liveaboard boaters must move neighbourhoods

From May 1st liveaboard boaters must move every 2 weeks and spread their moorings evenly over most of a 20k section of the congested western Kennet and Avon canal between Bath and Devizes.

In a recent report Canal & River Trust say that large numbers of moored boats, complaints about boats moored in one area for long periods of time, and concerns from boaters and other stakeholders about the continued growth in boat numbers, led them to support the development of a local plan for this part of the network.

The new restrictions which came in force on May 1st are included in a Local Towpath Mooring Plan developed by a K&A Waterway Partnership made up of a group of local stakeholders. C&RT is implementing the bulk of the proposed plan from 1st May.

Kennet & Avon neighbourhoods
The section has been split into 14 ‘neighbourhoods’ (see C&RT map above). Boaters without any home mooring must move to a new neighbourhood every 14 days and spread their mooring pattern evenly across at least 12 of the 14 different neighbourhoods covering a range of at least 20km. Going to and fro between just a few neighbourhoods isn’t sufficient. Those who adopt the range of movement and mooring described will not face enforcement action by the Trust for a 12 month interim period.

Boaters with a home mooring within the local area are asked to return their boat to its home mooring when not being used for cruising. Boaters with a home mooring elsewhere visiting the canal  are asked to follow the guidance until they leave the local plan area.

14 day mooring will not be allowed on Visitor Moorings between Bath and Foxhangers. Maximum stay times are 48 hours from 1st May 2014 along with no more than 7 days being spent at the site during any one calendar month. An extended stay charge of £25 per day will apply. These stay times will apply to all boats with the exception that holiday hire boats will be exempt from the ‘7 days in a calendar month’ rule.

C&RT says that its checkers will record the location of each boat at least once every 14 days and use the resulting data to shows the extent to which you boaters meet the terms of the plan. Boaters are recommended to keep their own movement log.

Special temporary arrangements may be allowed when something crops up that means you can’t comply, such as illness or boat breakdown. Winter mooring permits will probably also be available.

However C&RT stresses that this is a temporary arrangement and at the end of the 12-month local plan period boaters must start following the national guidance.

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