Two illegal boaters from Bedford fined as part of massive crackdown
Register your vessel or pay the price, warns Environment Agency
Nine boaters across the Anglian region were fined more than £9,000 between them for breaking the law.
In Bedford, Howard Kirtley and Jessica Ibbotson were among the nine to be fined - and the Environment Agency is warning other boaters who fail to register could face thousands of pounds in penalties, walk away with a criminal record, and even have their boats permanently confiscated.
Howard Kirtley, of Priory Marina, Barkers Lane, Bedford, was ordered to pay £1,149.24 after his boat was found unregistered at Priory Marina. He pleaded guilty.
And Jessica Ibbotson, of Spencer Road, Bedford, was ordered to pay £1,014.24 after her boat was found unregistered at Priory Marina too. She pleaded guilty.
Boat owners are legally required to register any vessel they keep, use, or let for hire on Environment Agency waterways, and to clearly display a valid registration plate.
So far this financial year, enforcement action against those avoiding registration charges has led to the recovery of £97,650.
These funds – as well as the properly paid registration charges – are reinvested back into Anglian waterways to protect and maintain them.
Nathan Arnold, Waterways team leader at the Environment Agency, said: “Our waterways are part of our nation’s rich heritage and beauty, and they contribute to our environment, our health and wellbeing, and our economy.
“But boaters who break the law by not registering their boats are putting the future of these historic and precious waterways at risk – so we won’t hesitate to take action against them.”
If you suspect a boat is illegal, contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 or email [email protected]