Scottish moorings shake-up
SCOTTISH CANALS is planning a major overhaul of moorings charges, which it says is aimed at achieving a “fair and reasonable” approach to pricing, but which will result in steep rises for some boaters.
Fees for berths on the lowland and highland waterways having “emerged over the years” with no logical pattern and considerable inconsistency, so in 2015 SC launched an independent study aimed at building a framework for the future. This compared existing fees with the CRT network, coastal marinas and with the cost of renting a flat in the area as a comparison.
It led to a matrix of proposed charges based on location (ranging from attractive villages or towns to areas in need of regeneration) and facilities (from full boatyard services to a plain unserviced length of bank), ranging from £39 to £260 per metre per year.
Relative to current fees, this could mean anything from a slight fall for a few boaters to a rise of over 70 percent for others; the average increase being just over 30 percent on the lowland canals and 15 percent on the Caledonian. Following a consultation, SC will implement the new matrix this year, but it will limit increases so no boater faces a single fee hike of more than £100 plus inflation. Meanwhile, Scottish licence fees, which were raised substantially in 2015, have been pegged to the price index.