Retired teacher ordered to pay two years of unpaid tolls after losing battle with Broads Authority
PUBLISHED: 13:48 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:00 29 January 2018
A retired teacher has lost his long-running battle against the Broads Authority (BA) over the payment of tolls.
Alan Fry, who lives on a boat on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, was yesterday ordered to pay the authority two years outstanding tolls amounting to just over £1,000 by the Norwich Magistrates’ Court.
He was also fined £100 for each of the two years, £200 court costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Fry had earlier argued that he was not liable to pay the full toll amount as his houseboat was moored permanently in a private marina at the Waveney River Centre and he did not use Broads waters.
He said he did not receive the same services that boats using the navigable area of the waterways received and should only be charged “reasonable” administrative expenses relating to registration and boat safety.
“I, therefore, submit that the toll for my houseboat is not the appropriate toll,” he said.
Solicitor Lorna Hall, who represented the Broads Authority, argued that legisation made it clear that the toll was appropriate.
In handing down the ruling, Magistrate Michael Flynn said while Fry had been a “very credible witness” he had not told the court anything that persuaded it to come to a different conclusion.
“So we find in favour of the Broads Authority,” he said.
While Fry has represented himself at every legal turn in the matter, the Broads Authority has spent tens of thousands of pounds on legal fees in fighting the case, which has been going on for nearly six years.
The case has gone before the lowest and highest courts in the country with the authority justifying the spend by saying it could not allow a precedent to be set.
Fry, a former teacher, owns a Dutch barge called the Adjo which he lives on with his wife at the Waveney River Centre.
His battle with the BA began in 2012 when he was billed a toll of around £500 for his boat.
The authority is allowed to charge a toll on boats outside of the Broads waters in what are called “adjacent waters”.
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