The Canal & River Trust has confirmed it will increase boat licence fees by 6% 1 April 2024 for both private boat owners and boating businesses.
The rise is based on the latest Bank of England forecasts that inflation will remain at around 4.5% through until April 2024.
Previously announced surcharges for boats without a home mooring and wide beam boats, and changes to the prompt and online payment discounts, will be applied in addition to this rise.
“The Trust has been heavily impacted by the adverse economic environment,” said Richard Parry, Trust chief executive. “Over the past few years, we’ve faced significant increases in a range of our costs, notably the prices of energy, fuel, materials, and other construction demands.
“Meanwhile our government grant is reducing in real terms and is due to be cut sharply after 2027, unless our Keep Canals Alive campaign and the multi-organisation Fund Britain’s Waterways campaign persuade Government to revisit its decision. We must act now to plug the funding gap, or we risk seeing canals decline and, ultimately, the risk of closures.”
And he explained that the Trust will continue to secure as much income as it can through its commercial and charitable activities while focusing resources on priority works which are required to support navigation.
The cost of the licence accounts for around 11% of the Trust’s income. Fundraising income is projected to grow by 10% each year and other commercial waterways income, including from anglers, paddle sports and moorings, is also set to increase.