CRT’s licence fees rise ahead of inflation
CANAL & RIVER Trust boat licence fees are to rise by 2.5 percent from 1 April 2017, anticipating a rise in inflation rates over the coming months.
Following three years of licence fees being pegged to the previous summer’s inflation index, the 2017 increase will instead be based on next year’s
prevailing rate, which CRT says is “widely forecast to rise between now and next summer”. The Trust’s Head of Boating Mike Grimes said that “Although the cost of a licence will be increasing slightly, I’m pleased to say that overall proportion of the Trust’s income coming directly from boaters is decreasing as we generate more income from other sources.”
The increase will push the cost of a 12-month canals and rivers licence for a typical 57ft ‘go-anywhere’ narrowboat (including prompt payment discount) up from £840.36 to £861.37.
For the longer term, CRT has announced that following feedback a “wide-ranging review of the
structure of boat licence fees” will take place to “help guide potential changes to the structure”. Subject to consultation, this will be implemented when the following licence fee review falls due in April 2018
Meanwhile the Broads Authority has proposed a radical licensing shake-up. Until now, its fees have been made up of a fixed cost plus a variable amount relating to area of craft. In future, fees will be directly proportional to boat area (i.e. with no fixed part).
As a result ( subject to approval at both Navigation Committee and full Authority meetings), smaller boats (44 percent of total craft) will see a fall in costs next year, but larger craft ( 56 percent) will pay more.