Boaters’ Views Sought in Consultation in Proposed EA Charges

20 July 2018

Boat owners who keep or use a boat on waterways managed by the Environment Agency are being encouraged to have their say in plans to increase charges.

A public consultation into proposed increases to boat registration charges for 2019-20 and 2020-21 launched today and will run until the 30 August 2018.

The Environment Agency is the second largest navigation authority in the UK and is responsible for more than 1,000 km of navigable waterways including the non-tidal River Thames, River Great Ouse and Upper Medway Navigation.

The proposed charges form part of plans to create a financially sustainable service on waterways used by almost 30,000 boats. Currently the cost of running the service far exceeds the income generated from charges, risking a reductions in the levels of maintenance of waterway structures such as locks and the standard of customer service boat users expect.

The two year proposal gives 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.

Mark Ormrod, the 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.

This consultation is a valuable opportunity for our customers to tell us what parts of our service are most important and give us their ideas about how we should fund them so I would encourage as many boaters as possible to take part.

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.”

The proposed increases will raise an additional £930k to invest in the waterways over the proposed 2-year period. The increases by waterway are:

· River Thames: 5.7%
· Anglian Waterways: 7.5%
· Upper Medway Navigation: 10%
· Unpowered and boats covered by joint registration agreements: 7.7%

Subject to the consultation response, new charges could be implemented from 1 January 2019 on the River Thames and 1 April 2019 for our Anglian Waterways and the Upper Medway Navigation.

To take part in the consultation, please visit GOV.UK