Monday, October 16, 2006

EA announces boat license price hike

Boat owners face a massive hike in licensing fees from the Environment Agency.

It's proposing to increase the costs of licenses by an inflation-busting 12 per cent for the next three years, meaning the cost or registering a boat will increase by more than a third by 2009.

In a letter to licence holders Stuart Taylor, the agency's navigation manager, said the increase was needed to stave off a £12m cut in government funding and pay for improvement works.

"We recognise that as a result of rising boating costs some boaters may move their craft from out waterways and some may leave boating," he said.

"Some may share boats and some may downsize to reduce costs. We do regret forcing these difficult decisions on owners."

He added a survey would be carried out to find out what improvements boaters wished to see.

The increases will take affect from January 1, 2007, on the Thames and from April 1 on other waterways.