On Friday 13th February 2015 the Canal and River Trust announced plans to extend a recent trial policy in Wales, to all continuous cruisers across the network. During the pilot scheme the Trust watched the cruising patterns of boats in Wales over the last year. As of May this year, boats across the whole UK network, without a home mooring who do not comply with the Trust’s guidelines for continuous cruising will not have their licences renewed, unless they agree to take a home mooring.

Read More: Trial Policy to be Extended to all Continuous Cruisers

The continuous cruising controversy is an ongoing issue, hotly debated among boaters, and discussed several times on our blog.

In September 2011 we published some tips for living aboard while continuously cruising, including advice about healthcare, council tax, libraries and voting. We also have some tips about using computers and the internet when living a nomadic lifestyle.

Later in 2011 Bristol County Court decided that in the case of British Waterways v Davies, moving up and down within a 10 mile stretch of the Kennet & Avon Canal without a home mooring could not be described as 'bona fide navigation' (a phrase from the 1995 BW Act, meaning in good faith.) After consultation with waterways user groups such as the National Associationof Boat Owners BW revised their previous cruising guidelines (published in2004) and the new guidelines were published on 12th October 2011.

In the summer of 2012 we wondered if BW was going to remove continually cruising boats from the Olympic Zone. Navigation controls were in place on much of London’s waterways during the Olympics and boats required special permission to moor in the restricted zone. However, there were concerns about how to relocate the large number of continuous cruisers living aboard in London.

In February 2013 The Canal and River Trust proposed some changes to the maximum stay times at popular visitor mooring sites and invited canal users in the south to comment on the suggestions. This article offers an overview of the different licence options available.

The Birmingham floating market is an opportunity to meet genuine continuous cruisers from The Roving Canal Traders Association. Floating traders who both live and work on the canals meet in Birmingham (and other locations) by boat to sell their arts, crafts, jewellery, palmistry, poetry and food.

In December 2014 the National Bargee Travellers Association published a press release suggesting that distance is not important in continuous cruising.

The press release reported that last year a judgement in a Section 8 case confirmed that it would be unlawful for Canal and River Trust to set a minimum distance that continuous cruisers must travel to comply with the law. (However, CRT has not published this judgement, unlike other judgements in section 8 cases.)

Most boating groups and associations recognise that boaters without a home mooring overstaying on visitor moorings is a difficult problem to resolve. Will this new approach be the answer that CRT are looking for?!

Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

Peggy Melmoth

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