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Byelaw 72 - A Broads experience

Posted: May 11th, 2017, 4:40 pm
by Dances With Otters
In 2015 I was issued with a ticket by a Broads Authority ranger, or rather I was blue booked which is basically a written warning. I knew at the time this was coming as I had been warned about the over zealous nature of a particular ranger which does happen on rare occasions, however, I must stipulate that the vast majority of rangers I have found to be very professional.
I had removed my propeller to be repaired as I had snagged a rope which had a metal ball mud weight attached to it. This did, in fact, destroy the propeller and I only learned of the scale of the damage when I sent it off to be repaired. I, therefore, ordered a new one and awaited its arrival.
This meant I had overstayed on a BA mooring by a couple of days in the winter. I was the only boat there.
I filmed the ranger issuing the ticket and also myself quoting 3 times a reference to Byelaw 72. My reference to Byelaw 72 went in vain.
When I posted the video on Youtube it also found its way onto a Broads forum where I was subjected to a veritable barrage of bigoted comments and anti liveaboard comments and trolls who were adamant that I was breaking the law.
I repaired my propeller and went about my business.
I knew the ranger had issued a ticket in error and that also the comments I received online were wrong so I waited patiently for a year plus to see if the Navigational Byelaws were updated. Byelaw 72 and Byelaw 61 clearly must be contradicting each other as I was issued a ticket apparently legally and amendments must follow but they did not.
I decided to seek clarification from the Broads Authority solicitor and monitoring officer to clarify this confusion once and for all and did this through a freedom of information request.
It was actually rather interesting as the solicitor himself also tried an ambiguous definition of Byelaw 72 and tried to add his own interpretation of it online too. When I asked him to cite the source of this extra information he did conclude that it was actually not law at all and an opinion of his that had no basis to the Byelaws at all.
I wanted clarification as to whether Byelaw 72 applied to BA 24 moorings and it does just as I believed all along.
You can read his response to my F.O.I. request yourself through the link below but please read all the way through it as it contains multiple responses before I finally got my complete clarification.
Rangers do not have the legal authority to issue tickets when boats have broken down on 24 moorings. ... ion_byelaw

Re: Byelaw 72 - A Broads experience

Posted: May 11th, 2017, 8:35 pm
by Slocom
Glad to read that matters were resolved. I have mostly found, the rangers (who are often volunteers) do their best to be supportive.

Re: Byelaw 72 - A Broads experience

Posted: May 12th, 2017, 7:43 am
by Dances With Otters
I could not agree more.
They have a tough job to do and have a laudable purpose.