Agency says it will look to "soften impact" of the hike

The Environment Agency (EA) today announced it will raise registration fees on its rivers by 12% a year for the next three years.

The move comes despite frenzied lobbying by waterways interest groups and yacht clubs, who claim such increases would decimate boating on the EA’s rivers.

Stuart Taylor, the EA’s national navigation manager, said: “For more than three-quarters of our boatowners, the new charges will mean a rise of less than £1 a week on their registration in the first year. By the third year, their registrations will have risen by less than £2.60 a week on 2005 prices.

“That said, our priority is to soften the impact of this latest rise and we are looking at ways for people to pay by installments and to offer concessions to hire boat and passenger boat operators – and will keep the situation under review.”

For more on this story, and full reaction from the boating world, see November’s MBM.