We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

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 the Canal & River Trust, 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.

National Review of Boat licensing

We are holding an independent consultation about how boats are licensed on our waterways. The current licensing system has remained largely unchanged for more than two decades and is often cited by boat owners as being complex and out of date.

The consultation is being run by Involve, an independent charity specialising in public engagement. It aims to ask boaters the fairest and simplest way to split the important financial contribution made by the different types of boats and boaters towards the upkeep of the waterways.

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.  


Last date edited: 12 October 2017