Time For Licence Fee Change01 March 2017
IWA believes that CRT has the opportunity to make positive changes to its boat licensing system that would allow it to focus resources and give boaters a fairer deal. The current licensing arrangements have remained largely unchanged for more than two decades and are often cited by boat owners as being complex, out of date and inequitable.
The proposed review of CRT’s licensing structure could potentially address the issue of overcrowding in certain stretches of the waterways system and how services, originally provided for occasional navigating boaters, can be adequately resourced. IWA also acknowledges that the present method of charging by length of boat, rather than length x beam, could be seen as unfair to boaters with smaller, narrower vessels. A further pricing differential would encourage people who would like to start out on a life of boating.
CRT's consultation will be run by Involve, an independent charity and will aim to ask boaters their views on the fairest and simplest way to split the important financial contribution made by the different types of boats and boaters towards the upkeep of the waterways.
The first step in a three-stage consultation is just starting. In stage one, Involve will interview representatives from the main boating organisations to find out their views on how the consultation should work and what it should cover. IWA will be taking part in this and will be putting forward proposals to CRT on possible future licensing options that have been agreed by its Navigation Committee.
During the second stage, which will run from April, Involve will host a series of in-depth workshops with boaters across the country. Participants will reflect the diversity in the boating community.
The final stage will be a consultation for all boat owners to give their views on the options developed during the two previous stages and IWA would encourage members to participate.