Boats Are Homes! Prevent the Eviction of Boat Dwellers
This is the emotive heading for a petition on 38 degrees promoted by the National Bargee Travellers' AssociationHere is an extract from that petition:
Many boat dwellers work locally and some are key workers. Many require access to local services such as health care and schools and will be put to extreme difficulty if forced to move unreasonable distances. Like it or not, socio-political realities have made the waterways an affordable housing resource for many families.
So far, over 10,000 people have signed this petition but how many of them read and understood it ?
To keep a boat on the inland waterways a licence is required. There are two options available for the private boat owner depending on whether the boat has a home mooring or not. This petition relates to boats without a home mooring, so called Continuous Cruisers. Boats with such a licence are required by the terms of the licence to do what is says on the form - to cruise continuously. They may not, for instance, overstay on a restricted mooring or remain more than 14 days anywhere else. And before they moor again they must move to another place, typically the next village or neighbourhood. The terms which every holder of such a licence agrees to also precludes bridge-hopping or shuffling from one place to another and back again.
So what the NBTA is asking the public to support in signing this petition is the flagrant and intentional breach of contract not to mention the inconvenience caused to law-abiding boaters who are unable to moor in large parts of the canal system in London and near Bath because the moorings are blocked by these Continuous Moorers.
I think it is time for the general public to read and understand more carefully before adding their support to a call for illegal and selfish activity.