There has, as boaters will be aware, been many discussions on canal forums and in any place boaters congregate with the British Waterways act of 1995 being the talking point. Section 17 is the part that causes a lot of rows and in particular the words I have underlined below.
(ii)the applicant for the relevant consent satisfies the Board that the vessel to which the application relates will be used bona fide for navigation throughout the period for which the consent is valid without remaining continuously in any one place for more than 14 days or such longer period as is reasonable in the circumstances.
CRT have issued the following guidelines as to reasonable but none of the reasons are in the act and this is the centre of nearly all discussions with some boaters declaring they(crt) have no legal right to stop people mooring for over 14 days.
“14 days or such longer period as is reasonable in the circumstances”
Circumstances where it is reasonable to stay in one neighbourhood or locality for longer than 14 days
are where further movement is prevented by causes outside the reasonable control of the boater.
Examples include temporary mechanical breakdown preventing cruising until repairs are complete,
emergency navigation stoppage, impassable ice or serious illness (for which medical evidence may
Such reasons should be made known immediately to local Trust enforcement staff with a request to
authorise a longer stay at the mooring site or nearby.
Now our way of looking at all this is that our normal lifestyle is to cruise all over the canal/river system but medically this has been a problem for two years now.
So rather than get involved in legal squabbles with CRT we follow their guidelines and inform them of our need to stay longer than 14 days. Attaching the admission letter to the e mail request just makes their decision both easier and quicker. In the past on one occasion we offered no paperwork and still got overstay permission.
We have in the past had nothing but help from CRT and once again permission has been granted to overstay.
The three places we have been allowed to overstay are spread over 110 miles- in case anyone thinks we are always in the same area for the overstays. Also our cruising has extended further during the healthy periods.
At both ends of our 5 miles the canal is closed for maintenance of locks. Yes that`s right we couldn`t go anywhere so why bother to tell CRT. I suppose we could have stayed two weeks at Radford then two at Leamington etc. you get the picture.
Problem with that is we need to get water that is only available at one end of the 5 mile prison. Shopping and fuel will have to be purchased from the centre part of our prison and the best moorings amongst fields is at Radford the other end of the prison complex.
So much easier to tell CRT we will be seen within the prison walls on a regular basis.
As enforced confinements go this one is not going to be too bad as we have everything we need in most cases canal side. We have a choice of four food supermarkets canal side and one (Asda) within half a mile of the Radford mooring.
The town centre of Leamington Spa is within half a mile of the canal.
Two stations Leamington Spa and Warwick for trains to London if I need hospital appointments.
The GP Jaq has attached herself to is a half mile from the canal and best of all the Hospital for Jaq`s surgery is canal side.
All sounds good so what`s the downside I hear you thinking. The only downer is that there are no diesel supplies. Two yards Kate Boats and Delta Marine do not sell diesel during winter and with the lock maintenance no fuel boat can get through.
All is not lost though as we have two 20 litre Jerry cans and a 25 litre drum. Everything including the tank was filled about two weeks ago. We have a petrol generator that we can use to eke out our diesel stocks. Three of the supermarkets sell fuel with the closest being Tesco. Our plan is to fill a Jerry can and add it to the main tank each week or so as we pass by to get water or food supplies.
This will keep us with good stocks in case the canal freezes. We have a decent stock of logs having found some in the last few days and our coal stocks on the roof are good. The Saltisford Arm Trust in the canal arm at the extreme end of our 5 miles sells coal and Propane but not diesel. The trust also offers winter moorings with electricity and services but they were fully booked when we tried before Christmas. It seems boaters book a year in advance and I can understand why with it being not part of the main towpath, decent walkways and a lack of mud underfoot.
Let me show you around our prison.
|Radford Semele is the rural and preferred part of our five mile stretch. Just two miles east of Leamington Spa. No boats in either direction.|
|Across the canal is a farmers house and St. Nicholas church. The field is usually the feeding ground for a lot of Pheasant.|
|Just a quarter mile from the Radford moorings and the same distance through a housing estate/sub division this bridge gives access to our nearest food supermarket Asda. That`s Walmart to our U.S. readers.|
|Across the towpath just fields leading down to the River Leam.|
|This is bridge 40 leading up to the old high street and within half a mile of the town centre, with all the usual high street names, of Leamington Spa. We are 1.5 miles from our start at Radford Semele|
|No sooner having left Leamington central we come to our first canal side food supermarket Morrissons. Adjacent is a Costa coffee handy if that`s your daily fix. A hundred yards to the right is Leamington Spa station.|
|Not sure who these campers are but they seem settled in and not just passing through. I guess these might be homeless folk who find themselves in luxury accommodation, just above cardboard box level.|
|Just across from the camp site is the Leamington Shires retail park. In addition to the usual retail outlets we have our second food supermarket, Sainsbury`s. Immediately adjacent to the shops we have an industrial area that has amongst others a Screwfix and Toolstation plus our third food supermarket Aldi. We are 2 miles from Radford Semele.|
Within half a mile yet more food in the shape of our fourth supermarket Lidl.
So having pushed the bow out I left things in the capable hands of Jaq to walk the stern along the bank. Very little effort is needed. Two things to remember here. You need a boat no longer than 58 feet and you need a calm day with any wind blowing from the direction of the lock. Using the engine is likely to get you in a lot of trouble so best to walk it. If the bow should ground the boat is moving so slowly it won`t be serious and the maneuver can be easily reversed. This point is four an a quarter miles from Radford and just a quarter mile past the hospital.
So as you can see we have food, retail shopping, DIY, train stations, hospital, fuel and doctors. The only thing we haven`t got is our freedom to cruise more than five miles.