Whilst the rights of individual authorities vary, a navigation authority will typically have a right to:
- Implement a registration or licencing scheme for boats on waterways under their control
- Levy a licence fee, tolls or both on vessels using the waterway
- Lay down rules regarding the manner in which vessels shall be navigated.
Again, responsibilities vary, but will usually include:
Ownership of the waterway
Whilst a navigation authority may own the land over which the waterway runs, and usually does in the case of artificial waterways, this is not invariably the case, and particularly in the case of river navigations, the land beneath the river may belong to riparian landowners.
- Canal & River Trust - most canals and approximately half of all rivers
- Environment Agency
- Basingstoke Canal Authority (Basingstoke Canal)
- Broads Authority
- Conservators of the River Cam
- Manchester Ship Canal Company
- Port of Tyne
- Middle Level Commissioners (Middle Level Navigations)
- National Trust (River Wey and Godalming Navigations)
- Port of London Authority (Tidal River Thames)
- British Transport Commission. "General Canal Byelaws 1965" (PDF).