Sent out monthly over the summer to a sample of cruising boaters, the survey aims to get up-to-date feedback on the waterways so we can react quickly to improve boaters' experience.
The findings are used by us to understand localised issues and help improve the day-to-day experience for boaters in their area as well as shaping national initiatives.
Prioritising problems boaters flag up
Jon Horsfall, our head of customer service support, said: “The Waterways Experience survey gives us a clear picture of what's affecting boaters as it happens. It helps us a prioritise problems that boaters flag up, whether that's overgrown weed, a stiff lock gate, or any of the other day-to-day occurrences that can impact a cruise. It will also help when it comes to planning our repair work – if there's a particular site that's causing trouble we want to know about it.
“The survey is aimed at cruising boats, who are important eyes and ears of the waterways and are often the first to come across any problems. We're starting a little later this year as boats, and their owners, are once again able to travel. The survey will run until the beginning of October.
“We want to make your experience on the water a relaxing and enjoyable one, and your feedback is invaluable – please take the time if you are invited to take part.”
The Waterway Experience survey and Perceptions survey
The Waterway Experience survey was introduced in summer 2019 and compliments the Trust's annual Perceptions survey (previously Boat Owners' Views). It is sent to a sample of boaters sighted on each waterway region every month between the end of June (normally May) and October.
The results of the Trust's annual Perceptions survey, which ran in March 2020, are available here. The survey showed boaters' satisfaction of their experience of the Trust's waterways stabilising at 60% (2019: 61%), while boaters who would recommend the Trust's waterways rose to 62% (2019: 58%). 43% of respondents scored the overall upkeep of the waterways as seven or more out of ten (2019: 41%).