The way I see it is that even if CaRT don't have a legal basis for exclusively renting out sections of the towpath as permit holders moorings some poor sod has paid for that spot so I will just find somewhere else to moor. However on the odd occasion it just isn't possible; last year we did the Peak Forest Canal, we wanted to go to Tescos at the junction at the end, so rather than turn left towards the basin we went straight on. The first section of towpath outside Tescos is permit only which stops at the bridge and was pretty full of boats; the next section after the bridge was empty so we moored up. The sign post had a sign quite obviously missing, didn't worry about it as it was getting dark and raining, next day walked to the other end of the moorings to find that it was also permit holders only.
This section is a dead end with an empty stretch of permit holders mooring, a pathetically short stretch of visitors moorings (about two boats max) on a canal that is hard to find a decent bank to moor against. So obviously some disgruntled boater has pulled the permit holders sign down.
As it rained heavily for the next three days we just stayed put as there was no sign saying we couldn't; did this actually break any rules?