Sunday, 14 December 2014

In the interest of Honesty!

The National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) recently posted a court ruling about the distance a boat did or didn’t have to move as a continuous cruiser. In effect telling all and sundry that they didn’t have to comply with CRT rules. The NBTA were very selective in which bits of the courts decision they chose to print. What is interesting is the bits they chose to leave out were in direct opposition to their thinking and in effect what they say doesn’t change the status quo one iota. What NBTE did quote was sub-paras of 7.22, but tellingly not 7.21 or 7.22.1;

7.21 It seems to me that the expression
‘navigation’ clearly means the process of taking any purposeful journey from one specific point to another by water. The addition of the words "bona fide" import an entirely subjective element and merely mean that the journey must be undertaken for genuine purposes and not for the purpose of circumventing the legislation, when in reality the intention of the boat owner is to stay as nearly as possible in the same place.

7.22.1 It is, as I have already said several times, unnecessary for me to comment on whether the guidelines match the legislation. I do so in only two respects and with the express proviso that this does not form part of the decision.

So from this I gather the status ‘Continuous Avoider’ aka Bridge Hopper (those who are circumventing the legislation) is now no longer in the boaters dictionary.


John said...

Hi Maffi,
The judge went even further in paragraph 7.23.2 he says

"...If a boat were moved 500 metres within the parish of Anderton it would in my view be in the same place. If it were moved to Northwich, over two miles away, it would not."

This clearly implies (in contradiction to the NBTA statement) that distance is relevant; the judge thinks 500 metres is not far enough, but two miles would, in his view, satisfy the requirements.

He then in paragraph 7.25 further says

"...If he (the boater) did have a genuine reason for each movement it might well be 'navigating'.... If in reality he wanted to stay in the same 'place' and was just moving aimlessly to avoid the 14 day requirement, it would not."

The judge therefore seems to think that if the only reason for a pattern of movement is to avoid falling foul of the '14 day rule', but the intention of the journey or journeys is to stay in the same place then the boater is not actually navigating.

The implication of these two paragraphs is completely at odds with what NBTA says the judges ruling meant.

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