Three-month consultation leads to surprise announcement from British Waterways

British Waterways (BW) have announced a smaller than anticipated increase in licence fees for 2008, following a three-month consultation.

The boat licence fees applicable from April 2008 will be an 8.3% increase for private boat licences (rather than the previously proposed 12.4% increase). Workboat and trade plate licences will also increase by 8.3%. Leisure business licences will rise by 3.3% in line with BW’s cost inflation index, whilst a relative licence fee increase of 5.35% will apply to small traders and cargo carriers.

The 10% discount for prompt payment will be retained and penalty for late payment will be one of the new measures to reduce licence evasion.

Robin Evans, BW chief executive, comments: “The breadth and depth of submissions to the consultation were well argued and passionate. In the short term we’ve recognised the concerns about increasing cost pressures on the boating community by revisiting the licence fee increases for 2008 and in retaining the prompt payment discount which benefits many of our boating customers.”

A copy of the nine-page consultation report is downloadable from BW’s website at