CRT licence fees up but widebeams pay more
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The annual increase in boat licence fees for 2020 has been set by the Canal & River Trust
The annual increase in boat licence fees for 2020 has been set by the Canal & River Trust at 2.5 percent - but other changes implemented at the same time will include the first stage of a phased introduction of higher charges for wider craft.
The increase, based on a standard inflation index, will see the cost of an annual canals and rivers licence for a typical 'go anywhere' 57ft narrowboat rise on 1 April from £985.79 to £1,010.43. But at the same time, the first of a series of extra increases for widebeam craft (announced following the 2017 licensing review) will mean oeners of craft more than 2.16m (7ft 1in) wide face an additional increase of five percent, bringing the price for a 57ft widebeam up to £1,060.96. A second increase in 2021 will raise the widebeam surcharge to 10 percent, and for vessels over 3.24m (10ft 7¾in) wide it will be followed by a further two increases, creating a 20 percent price differential from 2023 onwards. The prices are eligible for a prompt payment, currently set at 5 percent. This is to be halved to 2.5 percent, but at the same time a new discount of 2.5 percent for online or direct debit payment will be introduced, so for many boaters these will make no overall difference.