THE Environment Agency will increase the cost of boat registrations on its waterways from 2019 to help ensure a sustainable service for thousands of boat users as well as maintenance of waterway structures such as locks and customer services.
The new charges for 2019-21 will be invested in waterways enjoyed by around 29,000 boat users, helping to meet the shortfall between the cost of running the service and the income currently generated from annual boat registrations.
Across the EA’s waterways, the majority of boats (98%) are used for private pleasure. For these users, annual boat registrations will increase by between £6 and £100 over two years depending on the size and type of boat, although specific costs vary by location. See a full breakdown of the increases here.
The EA is the second largest navigation authority in the UK and is responsible for more than 1000 km of navigable waterways, which include the non-tidal River Thames, River Great Ouse, River Nene and Upper Medway Navigation. It is estimated the charge increases will bring in an additional £930,000 by 2021.
Mark Ormrod, national manager for navigation at the Environment Agency, said: “Our navigation service plays an important role in protecting our waterways and supports both recreation and business for thousands of people. We realise an increase in charges is never welcome news but it is essential to keep the levels of service and maintenance which boaters tell us is needed.
“In addition, we are exploring new income streams to make our service even better and to spread the cost among everybody who benefits from our waterways.”
The Environment Agency carried out a consultation on the new charges across July-August 2018. A summary of the consultation responses can be found here