Canal boat licence con

in Campaigns Corner
6 replies 10.6K views
The canal and river trust, despite its fluffy sounding name is heading deeper and deeper into illegality. At present it is openly lying to its boat licence applicants that the licence is a contract, its not, it is a statutory licence issued under three pre conditions stated in the 1995 British Waterways act section 17. Recently the Trust has declared that they will refuse to issue this statutory licence unless their own contract terms and conditions are agreed to, this is unlawful. This contract is an attempt to override the boat owners statutory rights, while it is unlawful and cannot be enforced by a court, boat owners face bankruptcy and years of legal cases to prove this, more often than not judges assume that big organisations are right, and the ordinary man faces an uphill struggle to be heard in court. The trust is willing to spend any amount to its lawyers ( Shoosmiths ) to either bankrupt the boat owner before the case gets to court, or seek to deny them legal help from Mackenzie friends. Its legal bills are in the region of half a million per year now.

As boat owners we are in the position of being forced to agree to a contract under duress, and being blatantly lied to by this Trust.


  • rochjarochja Forumite
    564 Posts
    A big assertion but as far as I can see you have not highlighted any adverse consequence of this so most of us have no idea what you are going on about
    Life is like a box of chocolates - drop it and the soft centres splash everywhere
  • Chrisblue1962Chrisblue1962 Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    What would be the consequence of not applying for a boat licence? Would it be a criminal offence or civil wrong (tort) not to have one?

    Only the police and the judicial system can enforce a criminal act. If it's a civil matter they would have to sue you for damages, presumably for lost revenue, injury or suchlike.

    BTW I'm not a lawyer :D
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  • Licences are mandatory and statutory, the authority has the right to seize your boat after a due process, possibly also a breach of bylaw.

    The point of my post was that no contract is required to obtain a statutory licence, but they are forcing applicants to agree to one as an unlawful pre condition.
  • Enterprise_1701CEnterprise_1701C Forumite
    23.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Mortgage-free Glee!
    Are they the only people able to issue the licence?

    What are the "unlawful" terms in the contract?
    What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare
  • They are the only valid licences for the waterways they are in charge of.

    They claim that any breach of their own terms and conditions, allows them to cancel a statutory licence, I thought that no contract term can override statute ?

    No breach of any canal bylaw is punishable by cancellation of a licence, yet this Trust has reworded some bylaws as contract terms, so which are " the rules" contract or bylaw ?
  • EachPennyEachPenny Forumite
    12.2K Posts
    Waterways issues regularly appear in the Private Eye magazine - they seem to have someone who knows quite a bit on the subject. You might want to get a copy, and possibly contact them to raise the issue you are concerned about?
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