News article created on 25 February 2016

The Boat Owners' survey gets a revamp

We're conducting a survey of boat owners’ views to help us plan for the future.

Bunting outside our Welcome Station Bunting outside our Welcome Station

We're going to ask around a third of boaters for their opinions on a range of topics including:

  • How boaters use our waterways and what their experience of them is like
  • The services provided for boaters such as moorings, facilities and the licence renewal process
  • The ways they would like to receive information and their views on how well they feel we are caring for the waterways. 

Using the feedback from boaters we will identify local examples of what is working well and what needs to be improved upon, so lessons can be learnt from best practice and improvements can be prioritised.

The online survey is accessed via a link in an email or letter, which is being sent to a third of our boat licence holders this week. It will be repeated each year with the aim of having contacted the majority of boaters on our waters in each three-year cycle. 

It is being carried out by the independent research consultancy BDRC Continental. Boaters will have until 25 March 2016 to complete the survey.

Passionate and knowledgeable

Mike Grimes, head of boating at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Boaters are a passionate and knowledgeable bunch and it’s important that we listen to what they’re saying. As well as contributing to the waterways’ upkeep via their licence fee, they are the eyes and ears of the towpaths and their lived experience should inform our work.  We’ll be publishing a summary of the results in May and I hope that they will give us an insight into both the general and the more localised subjects that matter most to boaters. I would urge every boater who receives a link to the survey to get involved and make their voices heard.”

Our Navigation Advisory Group, made up of boaters with a variety of backgrounds, has trialled the survey and it has been updated following their feedback. The survey combines aspects from the previous Boat Owners’ Views Survey (last carried out in 2013) and the Boat Owners’ Attitude Tracker (carried out in 2014-15).