Environment Agency officers are out in force along the River Thames reminding boaters to ensure that they register their boats and display their registration plate appropriately.
The new legislation, the Inland Waterways Order 2010 (IWO), was introduced in April 2011 and requires all boats 'kept' on the river Thames, not just 'used', to display a valid annual boat registration plate. Owners of boats not displaying valid registration plates could face prosecution, so it is important that they are aware of and adhere to this requirement.
Environment Agency waterways officers have checked over 1000 boats in the last week alone, and aim to check every boat on the river by the end of December. Every reach of river will be checked at least once, including in all marinas and side channels, and officers will re-visit areas where there is a regular turnover or higher numbers of boats.
The Environment Agency also has a zero tolerance approach to speeding boats on the river, and will be carrying out a number of speed checks over the coming weeks. The speed limit is 4 knots or 8kmh; ignorance of these regulations is not a valid excuse. If caught speeding boat owners will be prosecuted.
Environment Agency’s Thames Waterway Operations manager, Matt Carter said: "The income we raise from boat registration fees helps to pay for the upkeep of the entire non-tidal navigation between Teddington and Lechlade, a length of 144 miles, including 45 locks. All boats kept on the river which includes berths in marinas, must display a valid annual registration plate."
"The Thames is the oldest and most famous public navigation in the world, and we need every penny of registration income that we are due to keep it in the best condition possible."
Information and advice on how to purchase a boat registration can be found on our website at: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/129937.aspx
If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact us by phone on 03708 506 506 or by email at email@example.com.