Three boaters prosecuted for speeding offences on the Broads 

Broads Authority Ranger Tobi Radcliffe on the River Ant at How Hill, Norfolk. Picture: James Bass Ph

Broads Authority Ranger Tobi Radcliffe on the River Ant at How Hill, Norfolk - Credit: JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY

Three boat owners have appeared in court after being caught speeding and failing to navigate safely on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.

The Broads Authority highlighted the recent prosecutions following numerous counts of boaters breaking the speed limit and failing to navigate with care and caution. 

Broads landscapes

Broads landscapes - Credit: © Tom Mackie

All three individuals were convicted in court earlier this month, appearing at both Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court and Norwich Magistrates' Court. They all received a fine, totalling more than £2,000, and were ordered to pay a victim surcharge. 

In one of the cases, the boat owner was also fined for navigating without care and caution, with unacceptable manoeuvres, excess speed and failure to obey and conform with lawful direction.  

The Broads Authority recently appointed Jon Hopes as its senior ranger to work on compliance and safety, and to process prosecutions and compliance with the Boat Safety Scheme.  

His work will free up time currently spent by rangers preparing case files for offences such as speeding and non-payment of tolls. His role will also allow rangers to spend more time out on the Broads, helping new and experienced visitors. 

Boats on the Broads

Boats on the Broads - Credit: Tom Barrett

He said: “Preparing a prosecution file for a hearing at criminal court is time-consuming and takes rangers away from their other duties.  

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“We want to raise awareness to river users of the importance of keeping to speed limits, and navigating with care and attention. These cases should be a deterrent to others. 

“Maintaining the 126 miles of navigational waters is expensive, and all the money raised from our boat owners’ tolls is spent on maintenance, dredging and navigational improvements.” 

Going above the boating speed limits increases boat wash, damaging river banks through erosion. Wash from a speeding vessel can also cause damage to moored vessels and capsize smaller craft, like kayaks and canoes. It also causes distress to other people and is a real danger to wildlife and has the potential to cause serious damage and injury. 

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

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