No chance of recompensation for stoppage

Published: Thursday, 18 November 2021

I AM AFRAID that there will be no compensation for Adrian Laughton for his interrupted holiday caused by a stoppage, writes Maurice Stephens.

Covered their backs

It would seem the hire companies are now well used to their boats being stranded in stoppages and have covered their backs in regards to compensation for hirers for interrupted holidays on their boats.

We hired a narrowboat last year on the Grand Union Canal for a week last summer but after three days came to a halt at a lock outside Leicester as it had to be repaired, and that was it.

Like Mr Laughton, we had the hassle and in our case the high cost of a taxi as we were a long way from the hire company base to get our car, then back to the boat to retrieve our belongings then back home.

Terms and conditions

We asked about compensation for our broken holiday but were shown the terms and conditions that we had signed, and I had a copy that read: (My underlining.)

The Company shall not be liable to pay any compensation, damages, costs or expenses for any claim arising from any cause beyond the Company's reasonable control which could not have been mitigated or avoided by the Company.including but not limited to: Death or personal injury of hirers their crew and passengers; Loss of or damage to any persons property (including the boat) non-fulfilment, interruption or delay to the Booking; breakdowns, mechanical problems, latent defects, damage to the boat; restrictions on cruising, obstructions, repairs, damage or closure of waterways, non-availability of routes, navigational works, storms, floods, droughts, ice, shortage of water or other weather or climactic conditions; rationing, shortage or non-availability of fuel; consequential loss, damage or expense which You incur including the cost of alternative transport, accommodation or other holiday provision.

Well sewn-up

As can be seen the hire companies (as I understand this is a normal section of terms and conditions) have it well sewn-up and as far as our losing half our holiday—we are stitched-up!

As to whether the hire companies can claim from the people who operate the canals I have no idea, but no doubt are well covered for such eventualities, as from what I am told this happens all the time.