Following the rumours that the Canal & River Trust (CRT) was considering a boating equivalent of the disabled blue badges (disability badge) seen in UK car windows, the Trust has now launched the scheme after developing it with the help of a series of meetings and an online Q&A session with disabled boaters.
A ‘Canal & River Trust Aware’ window disability badge (pictured) will be sent to all boaters with an ‘agreed equality adjustment’ – which usually means an agreement with CRT that the requirements to move (to conform with CRT’s interpretation of the legal requirement for boats without a home mooring to cruise) have been relaxed to a certain extent on grounds of disability. It is entirely up to the boater whether they wish to display the badge, but if they do it can reduce the likelihood of being wrongly thought to be overstaying.
This is one of a series of measures which will also include:
– Improving the CRT online accessibility map to include accessible toilet facilities and gates with ‘radar’ key access.
– An exemption to the widebeam licence fee surcharge (currently being phased in, and due to rise eventually to 20 percent for the widest craft) for boaters whose disability restricts them to wider craft.
– Adding subtitles to new and existing videos on the CRT website.
– Supporting those boaters setting up the Waterways Accessibility Forum on Facebook.
Read another CRT article: Canal & River Trust increases annual boat licence fee by 2.5% with widebeams set to pay more