[Talk-GB] Boat permissions (c.f. waterways map)

Tom Chance tom at acrewoods.net
Fri Jan 21 14:48:55 GMT 2011

On 21 January 2011 14:15, Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net> wrote:

> Tom Chance wrote:
> > Can our resident waterways experts comment on the most appropriate
> > tagging for navigable rivers in the UK?
> > For example, I see you’re allowed to use a boat on the Thames along
> > navigable parts with a license… does that mean it should be “boat=yes”
> > or “boat=permissive”?
> Short answer: I'd say boat=yes. You have to tax a car, get it through its
> MoT etc. to use public roads but we still tag them as motor_vehicle=yes
> rather than =permissive (well, it's implied by the highway tag, but you
> know
> what I mean). It's pretty analogous to that.
> Long answer: there is actually a public right of navigation on the Thames
> and several other rivers. The right is subject to boats being "registered"
> (that's what they call it on the Thames, as opposed to "licensed" on the
> canals) with the successor body of the Thames Conservancy, which is
> currently the Environment Agency. But as long as you fulfil the
> requirements
> of registration (fee paid, current Boat Safety Certificate, etc.) then you
> have a legal right to use the river. That's why the red and yellow boards
> at
> Thames locks tell you that navigation is discouraged in times of flood
> rather than prohibited.
> There is no such right on the canals: it was abolished by the 1968
> Transport
> Act (IIRC). Your navigation is by permission of British Waterways. In
> practice there's no difference to rivers like the Thames - you pay your
> licence, you get your BSS, you're allowed on - but there is a theoretical
> difference in law. So if there were a case for =permissive tags it would be
> on the canals, but again, I'd say that since this permission is always
> granted and is what's expected for such thoroughfares, =yes is more
> appropriate.
> Waterway law is fascinating, archaic, uneven and rarely understood. BW's
> lawyers still have to refer to a 13th century Act to tell them what the
> organisation is permitted to do on the River Lee, for example.
Thanks Richard, you can always rely on talk-gb for interesting arcania!


http://tom.acrewoods.net   http://twitter.com/tom_chance
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