Why are we increasing the fees?
Income from private boat licences accounted for around 10% of our annual income last year and helps ensure that the vast amount of work necessary for keeping the waterways available to boaters can be carried out. As our navigations and our associated historic infrastructure become older, and the changing climate brings more extreme weather, it is necessary to spend more money to care for them and keep them in working order.
We continue to keep licence price increases broadly in line with inflation forecasts to shield boaters from a more substantial contribution to the full costs of looking after the network.
Gold Licence holders will be advised of any changes to their licence fees following the results of the Environment Agency's consultation on boat registration charges, expected before the end of the year. From 1 April 2022, Gold Licence holders wishing to visit the Middle Levels will need to purchase an Anglian Pass from the Environment Agency.
From April 2022 the Trust will continue the phased introduction of additional pricing bands for boat widths over 2.16m (7ft 1”). This means that licence fees for boats in the top width band, over 3.24m (10ft 7 ½”) wide, will be subject to an additional 5% in addition to the 4% annual rise from 1 April 2022.
These changes to the structure of licence fees were announced in 2018, following the Trust's national consultation, and ensure that the financial contribution made by boaters towards the cost of looking after the waterways is spread fairly across the boating community. The changes for wider vessels have been applied over a five-year period from 1 April 2020 to avoid a sudden impact on any boaters.
More information on boat licences, including discounts, can be found on our our boat licensing page.
We publish a Boater Report showing how the charity uses income from boating, and other sources, to maintain the canals and rivers for navigation: as a charity all funds raised are reinvested in maintaining the network.