Fee hike will “price people off the waterways”

The Inland Waterways Authority slams a proposal by British Waterways to hike fees by 9%

The Inland Waterways Authority (IWA) has slammed a proposal by British Waterways (BW) to increase licence fees for boats on its waterways by 9% a year for the next three years.

The move by BW echoes a decision by the Environment Agency last year to start raising licence fees on its rivers by 12% a year following budget cuts made by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The IWA said: “We cannot condone such excessive price rises above the rate of inflation. By introducing these proposals, BW is adding to the ever-increasing burden that boaters are being called on to bear.

“The IWA is concerned that BW will simple price people, especially those with fixed incomes, off the waterways.”

Not subject to the consultation is the cost of a Gold Licence, which allows boaters to travel on both BW’s and the EA’s waterways. BW has decided that this should increase by 12% from 1 January.

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The consultation document outlining the fee hike can be found here. Boaters have until 7 January to respond.