In this case, the Yorkshire Derwent Trust sought to be able to repair a set of locks on a cut on the river, thus re-enabling navigation. The owners of the land on which the locks stood (Brotherton and others) objected. The Trust sought to use the 1932 rights of way act to establish a right of way existed over water, as on land. This argument was rejected by the court which said the act did not apply to waterways.
Many commentators quote this case when saying that there is no public right of Navigation on inland waterways. However what the court decided was that a public right to navigate could NOT be claimed under the 1932 highways act as a river is not a highway as defined in that act.
However the court did confirm that a Navigation Act did create a public right to navigate a river, subject to tolls if carrying cargo.