Broads Authority set navigation tolls for 2018

The Broads Authority has agreed a 3% increase for tolls for all categories of boats in 2018 in line with the current rate of inflation (CPI) following consultation with the Tolls Review Group and the Navigation Committee.

The increase is predicted to generate an income of £3.3M in 2018 providing funds for additional work to maintain the navigable waterways. This is likely to include:

  • the purchase of more plant and equipment for bankside tree and scrub management (hydraulic tree sheers, an excavator and extra NATO floats) to manage areas of overhanging vegetation, fallen trees and roots obstructing waterways
  • purchase 5 new safety speed signs (following a successful trial this year) to help combat speeding which can lead to erosion of the banks
  • provide for additional costs of existing work such as dredging and maintaining moorings to cover inflationary pressures.

It was also agreed that no further changes were required to the pricing structure of tolls following a major review this year and that the printing of adhesive toll plaques would be stopped permanently (other than for short visit tolls) following a successful two year trial.

The new simpler toll structure based on the size of boats in square metres was implemented this year and effectively reduced the charges for smaller boats with 44% of all boats seeing a reduction whilst larger boats were charged more. It is thought that this move helped to reverse the decline in the numbers of smaller private boats using the broads with an increase of 10% in these categories in 2017 whilst numbers of larger private craft were virtually unchanged (3 less boats over 50 square meters). The hire boat fleet which had previously also been in decline has increased by 13 craft in 2017 and this has thought to be largely due to better working with the tourism industry under the aegis of Broads Tourism and marketing of the Broads National Park.

John Packman, Chief Executive of the Authority said:

“The Broads Authority is entirely dependent on the income from our boat owners to fund the costs of maintaining the navigation area in the Broads National Park. It is worth noting that we are the only major navigation authority in the UK that does not regularly receive central funding for this role.  

“The Authority’s review of the tolls system last year appears to have helped raise the number of smaller private motor boats, and this combined with the good news about the hire fleet has generated more income than we had anticipated. The result is that the Broads Authority can increase its maintenance work and I am delighted that the members of the Authority have agreed to the purchase of new equipment to mechanise the management of bankside trees and scrub.”

Friday 24 November 2017