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Action to be taken over unlicensed boats on River Thames

Action will be taken over unlicensed and abandoned boats on the River Thames in Maidenhead.

Members of the Royal Borough and Boulters Riverside Community Interest Company met up with the Environment Agency (EA) to discuss such boats.

It is the EA’s responsibility to enforce the annual river registration plate fee that should be paid by boat owners.

The agency will be carrying out checks on all boats moored between Maidenhead Bridge and the Cookham end of the towpath to ensure that river users have a plate – taking action against those that do not.

This could include fines and removal of the boat at the owner’s cost.

The council is also looking at methods of regulating mooring arrangements along the river stretch.

Cllr Greg Jones (Con, Riverside) said: “The river is such a key part of Maidenhead and we want it to become a great leisure amenity for all residents as well as a great place for tourist boats to stop and visit. To do this, we need to have regulated mooring ensuring that space is available to passing river traffic who wish to stop and enjoy the town.”

Nick McKie-Smith, waterways operations manager for the Environment Agency, said: “The Environment Agency carries out thousands of boat-registration checks each year.  

“Boat-owners are required by law to register their vessel, also having a valid safety certificate and insurance. Registration fees help us maintain the river for everyone to enjoy.

“Unauthorised boats undermine the 20,000 registered boaters and organisations that pay their way on the Thames.

“The removal of boats moored to private land, including any that are unregistered, abandoned or sunken, is a matter for the landowner.”

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