Fenland fees in force

PUBLISHED: 12:23 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:23 27 March 2020

Boats on the Middle Level at March (photo: Martin Ludgate)

Boats on the Middle Level at March (photo: Martin Ludgate)

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Boat licensing for craft on the formerly free-to-navigate Middle Level Navigations will come into force soon

Boat licensing for craft on the formerly free-to-navigate Middle Level Navigations will come into force on 1 April 2020, navigation authority the Middle Level Commissioners (MLC) have confirmed.

The introduction follows the passing of an Act of Parliament and the creation of bylaws enabling licensing to be introduced, and also involves a new requirement for insurance and (from next year) for a Boat Safety Scheme certificate. For boats based on the Middle Level, a network of Fenland waterways connecting the Nene and Great Ouse rivers, the annual fee for the first year (1 April 2020 - 31 March 2021) will be set at 75 percent of the Environment Agency registration fees for those rivers, but will rise to 100 percent for boats not licensed by 1 June.

For the initial year, these boats will also be able to cruise the Nene or Great Ouse systems by purchasing an EA visitor licence from the MLC at a price capped at 25 percent of the full fee. Meanwhile visiting boats holding EA or River Cam registrations or ‘Gold’ (combined EA and Canal & River Trust) licences will be able to visit the Middle Level without extra payment.

The Commissioners point out that these figures are only for the first year; arrangements for following years may differ as they will need to await the completion of the EA’s current review of its charges.

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