Search

Thousands of pounds spent in five-year row over barge toll on Norfolk Broads

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:52 14 September 2017

Alan Fry on his barge the

Alan Fry on his barge the "Adjo" at Waveney River Centre has been battling with the Broads Authority for years in a row over tolls. Photo: Archant

Archant

The Broads Authority has spent tens of thousands of pounds on legal fees fighting a five-year battle with a retired teacher over tolls.

Alan Fry on his barge the Alan Fry on his barge the "Adjo" at Waveney River Centre has been battling with the Broads Authority for years in a row over tolls. Photo: Archant

Alan Fry, pictured right, has been disputing the authority’s attempt to charge him hundreds of pounds a year in tolls since 2012 for living on his boat on the Norfolk-Suffolk border. The case has gone before the lowest and highest courts in the country, but still continues.

Mr Fry, 66, said he had not spent a penny on legal fees, as he was teaching and representing himself at every legal turn.

The Broads Authority has hired a QC and as of last year had spent at least £30,000 on the case. It justified the spend by saying it could not allow Mr Fry to set a precedent by not paying tolls on his boat.

The teacher owns a barge called the Adjo which he lives on with his wife at the Waveney River Centre.

In 2012 the Broads Authority billed Mr Fry a toll of around £500 for his boat.

But because he does not use the Broads waters - he is moored in private waters permanently - he refused to pay.

The authority is allowed to charge a toll on boats outside of the Broads waters in what are called “adjacent waters” but the charge must be “reasonable”, according to the Harbours Act.

Mr Fry disputed the authority charging him the same toll as a vessel moored and using the main river as he already pays council tax and pays the owner of his marina, James Knight to upkeep it.

He was found guilty at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court in March 2012 and again in 2015 for not paying tolls.

But he appealed the conviction to Ipswich Crown Court who overturned the magistrate’s decision.

The Broads Authority then appealed against that decision and both parties ended up in the High Court of Justice in London in November 2015.

Judges allowed the authority’s appeal and the case was sent back to Crown Court to decide whether the full toll was a reasonable charge. Judges said it was. And Mr Fry is now being prosecuted for not paying tolls. He is appearing before magistrates at the end of September.

In 2013/14 the authority said Mr Fry paid the toll but he had not paid since.

A spokesman for the authority said the toll was a “statutory charge” which had to be paid to “comply with the law”.

They said: “Any failure by the authority to contest the appeals by the owner would have, by that default, permitted an unmeritorious legal argument to set a precedent affecting the authority’s ability to carry out its function of collection tolls.”

Related articles

Other news

15 minutes ago

A double whammy of roadworks close to Lowestoft’s Bascule Bridge lasting a total of 15 weeks will cause “chaos” for drivers and traders in the run-up to Christmas, businesses have warned.

10:24

A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after coming into collision with a camper van during the morning rush hour.

16 minutes ago

An energy services company has put a £250,000 vote of confidence into a Lowestoft industrial estate where it hopes to create a new business hub.

13:17

Police are appealing for witnesses after a Range Rover was forced off the road by a driver going the wrong way.

Most Read

Yesterday, 21:08

Police are investigating the death of a man in the Lowestoft town centre.

Read more
10:24

A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after coming into collision with a camper van during the morning rush hour.

Read more
James Paget University Hospital
Yesterday, 11:58

A new restaurant, beach huts, public toilets and fitness and play areas and more could be on the way to Lowestoft as part of a radical redevelopment.

Read more
Lowestoft Town Council
Saturday, September 22, 2018

A teenager was arrested after being found in possession of a knife in Lowestoft.

Read more
Lowestoft Police
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Details of a third arson attack involving a makeshift petrol bomb have come to light as police increase patrols.

Read more
Norfolk Police

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 4°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Lowestoft Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy