The Environment Agency has listened to Royal Yachting Association concerns on registration charge proposals.
In response to comments on its registration charge proposals, the Environment Agency has announced that it would not implement charges based on boat area on any of the waterways, that current charging mechanisms for powered and unpowered craft would be retained, and that charges would be increased by 4 per cent in 2022, 4 per cent in 2023 and 2 per cent in 2024.
The RYA welcomes the final outcome given that it had made clear that an opportunity had been missed to create a strategic and viable financial plan for EA waterways and that no explanation had been given for the considerable regional pricing variations that were proposed.
The EA claims that the revised approach provides a much improved and consistent charging framework and will help to secure the necessary funds to cover operating costs over the next three years. The final proposals have received approval from the Secretary of State for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs.
EA will implement the changes from January 2022 for the Thames and April 2022 for the Anglian Waterways and the Medway Navigation. The charging scheme will remain until it is reviewed following monitoring over the three years of the charge plan.
EA has said it will work with stakeholders on each navigation to continue developing understanding of the waterways and to improve charging mechanisms for the future, using feedback from this consultation to inform those discussions.
Mel Hide, RYA director of external affairs, said: “A significant number of RYA members who enjoy the inland waterways do so on EA navigations. We are pleased that our concerns have been listened to and welcome the final outcome. We look forward to a constructive relationship with the EA as it develops its plans for the future. Vibrant inland waterways are a vital part of our heritage and our physical and mental well-being.”
Further information about national navigation boat charging schemes from 2022 can be found on the GOV.UK website.