The Broads Authority has backed a proposal by local boating groups in deciding its toll structure for boats using the Broads next year.
The move is intended to support the hire boat industry after reports of businesses struggling in the harsh economic climate. The largest hire boats will only see their toll go up by £8.77 (0.6%). It will see charges for the largest private motor boats rise by 1.2% (£10.08) and the smallest vessels by 3% (£2.70) with the highest rise for a private motor boat, those measuring 14m2, set at 5.1% (£8.64).
The Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, which represents private boaters, and the Broads Hire Boat Federation, which represents 26 hire yards, put forward a proposal to the Authority’s Navigation Committee in October. The proposal was subsequently amended to reflect concerns over the impact on small boats.
The figures (which represent a 2.8% increase in charges overall) are in line with inflation and with the Environment Agency and the Canals and Rivers Trust who are raising their charges by 4.8% and 2.8% respectively.
The money raised from tolls is spent maintaining the waterways including upkeep and improvements to the network of free 24 hour moorings, dredging to increase water depth, patrolling, replacing old equipment, tree clearance and improving safety on Breydon Water.
Broads Authority chairman Stephen Johnson, said: “This year we have continued to make only the minimum possible increase that will enable us to continue necessary levels of maintenance in recognition that the tough economic climate continues to affect all boaters. In addition, members listened to the local boating associations and to concerns that the hire boat industry should be supported. We will be carrying out an in depth survey of all Broads boat users in the New Year which we will use to inform our toll setting for next year.”
Thursday 1 January 1970