Boat owners who keep or use a boat on waterways managed by the Environment Agency – and other interested parties – are being encouraged to participate in a public consultation over plans to increase boat registration charges.
Proposals for boat registration charges for 2019-20 and 2020-21 will include an increase of 5.7% for the River Thames, 7.5% for Anglian Waterways, 10% for Upper Medway Navigation and 7.7% for unpowered and boats covered by joint registration agreements.
“An increase in charges is essential to work towards creating a sustainable service that covers the cost of maintaining our valued waterways and delivering a safe and efficient service for our customers,” explained Mark Ormrod, national manager for navigation at the EA.
The planned increases will raise £930,000 to invest in the waterways over the proposed two-year period and form part of plans to create a financially sustainable service on waterways used by almost 30,000 boats.
The EA says the cost of running the service far exceeds the income generated from charges, risking a reduction in the levels of maintenance of waterway structures such as locks and the standard of customer service boat users expect.
The consultation will run until August 30, while the two-year proposal provides time to complete a wider review of navigation charges alongside bringing in other measures to make the waterways less reliant on government grant-in-aid funding.
New charges could be implemented from January 1 2019 on the River Thames and April 1 2019 for Anglian Waterways and the Upper Medway Navigation.
Read the proposal in full: Nav_charges_19-21_-_Consultation_doc_-_FINAL___190718_v2