The British Marine Federation (BMF) can announce that the Port of London Authority (PLA) has lifted its ban on all hire boats on the Thames Tideway between Brentford and Teddington. From today boats which comply with the Tidal Thames Hired Narrow Boat Operations Guideand submit the relevant paperwork to the PLA will be applicable to travel this route.
In October 2014 the PLA prohibited hire boats travelling the Thames Tideway. Since then the BMF, along with its’ group association the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators (APCO), formed a Working Group with the PLA to see if a position could be established under which hire boat operations could continue in some acceptable form.
With the PLA By-Laws in mind, the Group created a set of clear, safe and practical requirements for commercial narrow boats to be deemed able to safely travel the Thames.
These take into account the generic feasibility and risk of hired narrow boat operations on the Thames, the technical build and construction of vessels, the hire company responsibilities and hirer’s qualifications and/or experience, operational considerations leading to safe practice and the application process to obtain PLA authority to operate.
Ann Davies, Chairman of APCO said: “The guide provided an excellent Code of Practice for the safe passage of hired boats between Brentford and Teddington on the tidal River Thames.”
The Guide is publicly available for all to view and download at http://britishmarine.co.uk/
Once operators have ensured their boats comply with the requirements they can apply to the PLA for a Certificate of Compliance to travel the Thames Tideway between Brentford and Teddington.
Work is ongoing between the PLA, BMF and APCO to reach an agreement for the Limehouse to Brentford route.