BW officials take to the towpaths to seize license evaders

Enforcement teams from British Waterways are out combing 2,200 miles of the UK’s canals and rivers looking for unlicensed boats.

Between now and 21 November British Waterways will be out on foot, bike and boat as part of its annual National Boat Check, according to a press release.

The annual Check takes place in November when most boats are at their home mooring for the winter.

BW officials have already seized 130 unlicensed craft this year – some of which have been sold to recover costs, while those with little or no value are generally crushed.

The 30,000 boats on the waterways require a licence to use the nation’s canals and rivers. The revenue from boat licenses helps to ensure vital activities, such as dredging, keeping towpaths safe and maintaining 200-year-old locks and bridges.

Denise Yelland, national enforcement manager, says: “The income from boating activity is very important in helping us maintain the network and most boaters are fully paid up contributors. There are however a small minority of licence evaders and we will be working hard to make sure we know who they are and where they are, so we can take the necessary action.”