National consultations

From time to time we have to make major decisions about how we look after our canals and rivers.

While we’re the experts and have highly qualified teams working for us, we also want to get your perspective on a range of subjects.

Although we are not bound by them, whenever we do publish formal national consultations we will often try to follow the Government’s Consultation Principles.

However, sometimes we want your feedback on a more local and informal level. You can check if there are any consultations happening in your area by visiting our regional pages.

Consultation on reducing boat emissions

The UK Government has announced plans for the UK to be "zero emission" by 2050 and this includes inland waterways.

Achieving a zero emissions waterway sector will take sometime and has many challenges. The Government is currently consulting to gain background information to help decide what actions, if any, they need to take to help in meeting that target. To help, us prepare our response we would be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete the following short survey.

Please note: all responses are anonymous and will be used only to inform the Trust's consultation response.

Take the survey here.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and World Heritage Site Management Consulation

To give your input on our management consultation, please submit the form below by Friday 1 March 2019.

English version

Welsh version

A consultation on proposed BSS requirements for carbon monoxide alarms on boats opens

A public consultation on a proposal to introduce mandatory new Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) Requirements for carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on boats opens today Friday 17 August and will run to Friday 9 November 2018.

The suggested change sees a fundamental shift recognising that CO poisoning, a silent unseen killer, could affect boat owners and crews from sources of CO generated outside of the boat by others e.g. the use of engines and appliances on adjacent boats.

The BSS stakeholder and management committees took account of evidence from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) findings published in May 2017 following the ‘Love For Lydia’ double-fatal tragedy, starkly describing the potential risk posed to other boat users by carbon monoxide-rich engine emissions.

The BSS has launched the consultation to keep people in and around boats safe when the results of further recent testing it had sponsored, reinforced findings of the MAIB.

The proposed mandatory new BSS Requirements will see checks introduced for suitable CO alarms in good condition and in suitable locations on all classes of boat with accommodation spaces.

The additional recognised benefit is the anticipated effectiveness of CO alarms in preventing death or injury to boat owners placed at risk in their own boats from running the boat’s engines or appliances. 

Alarms can also serve to alert craft occupants to moderate levels of CO which can be a long-term threat to health if left undetected.

Comments can be made in the next twelve weeks using the consultation form on the BSS website, the deadline is 16.30 on Friday 9 November 2018. For more information on the proposals and to make comments, go to

National Review of Boat licensing

The National Boat licensing Consultation is now closed.

We would like to thank the 11,000 boaters who responded. The results of the consultation can be found below in the following documents:

Hear from Damian Kemp, our Boating Communications Manager in the short video below. 

Previous documents related to the consultation process can be found below:

Stage one

The first step in a three-stage consultation started in February. In stage one, Involve interviewed representatives from the main boating organisations to find out their views on how the consultation should work and what it should cover.

Read the stage one report

Stage two

During the second stage Involve hosted a series of in-depth workshops with boaters across the country. Participants reflected the diversity in the boating community.

Read the stage two report stage 2 report.  The appendices are available here - stage 2 appendices

Stage three

The final stage will be a consultation for all boat owners to give their views on the options developed during the two previous stages. We’ll be emailing an invitation to participate in the final stage to all our boat licence holders for whom we hold email addresses, and sending invites by post to the others. 

You can now read the stage 3 summary here - This a summary of the consultation and not the consultation survey.  

Watch our boating strategy and engagement manager Matthew Symonds, explain why it's vital for boaters to play their part in the consultation, in the video below.  


Boat license terms and conditions consultation

Please download our PDF version of the boat license terms and condition consultation survey.

Last date edited: 30 September 2020