River Thames mooring fines scheme extends to Surrey

River barge
Image caption The £100 fines will be issued by a parking enforcement company

Fines are to be brought in for boat owners who stay too long at moorings on the River Thames in Surrey.

A trial scheme that started in Oxford will begin on Thursday at three sites in Weybridge and Walton-on-Thames.

The Environment Agency said the aim was to ensure as many people as possible could benefit from its free moorings.

Under the scheme, anyone who overstays their mooring is subject to a £100 charge. The fines will be issued by a car park management company.

'Widespread misuse'

Enforcement manager Nick McKie-Smith said the agency had seen a "positive response" to the scheme in Oxford where boat owners were paying upfront and agency staff had not issued any fines three weeks into the trial.

"Misuse of moorings is widespread along the River Thames and our customers tell us this is one of the biggest problems for them," he said.

It was hoped that enforcing mooring rules would make more moorings available to more customers, he added.

He said the trial could lead to a river-wide approach that could be adopted by all landowners to tackle illegal mooring.

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