Boat users given fines over £16k for breaking rules on Norfolk Broads

A Broads Authority ranger warns boat users to 'slow down' as they travel along the national park's waterways

A Broads Authority ranger warns boat users to 'slow down' as they travel along the national park's waterways - Credit: Julian Claxton

Boaters on the Broads received fines of over £16k in the past year.

Breaking the speed limit and failing to navigate with care and caution are among the offences reported.

A total of £16,898 were handed out by the courts since February 2021 to 13 people who had broken navigational byelaws on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads waterways.

Thirteen people were given fines totalling over £16k for boating offences on the Broads National Park waterways

Thirteen people were given fines totalling over £16k for boating offences on the Broads National Park waterways - Credit: Julian Claxton

The Broads Authority has warned boat owners that they will be prosecuted as a "last resort" if they are found to be putting the Broads or other users at risk.

Broads Authority senior ranger for compliance and safety, Jon Hopes, said: “It’s important to make clear that prosecution is always a last resort, used once all other conversations and avenues have failed.

“The Broads Authority takes these offences seriously and we hope these prosecutions send a clear message that keeping to speed limits, and navigating with care and attention helps to protect the Broads National Park and all its users.

“They also show how seriously the courts (through fines) take these matters and demonstrate that they too have a low tolerance for dangerous behaviour.”

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The Broads Authority say that piloting over the speed limit creates "excess boat wash" and dangerous boat causes "distress to people enjoying the Broads".

This can cause damage to river banks as well as to moored vessels.

It also is a "real danger" to wildlife and has the potential to cause "serious damage and injury".

Of the 13 boaters prosecuted, there were 15 counts of failing to navigate with care and caution, 12 counts of breaking the speed limit and creating excess wash, and two counts of failing to respond to rangers' request for information.

The offences took place at various places, including Brundall, Reedham, Salhouse, Horning, Breydon Water, Barton Broad, Oulton Broad and on the Rivers Ant and Waveney.

The authority has asked anyone who witnesses speeding or carelessly driven boats to note details such as the name or registration, take photos or videos if they can and report the incident to Broads Control on 01603 756056 or by emailing Broads.Control@broads-authority.gov.uk.