Mixed results from CRT boater satisfaction survey

PUBLISHED: 10:51 27 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:51 27 February 2020

Canal & River Trust customer satisfaction survey results are in (photo: da-vooda, Getty Images)

Canal & River Trust customer satisfaction survey results are in (photo: da-vooda, Getty Images)

Archant

Levels of boater satisfaction with the Trust’s waterways has been reported in the monthly and annual surveys

Some considerable variation in levels of boater satisfaction with the Canal & River Trust's waterways has been reported in the monthly and annual surveys carried out by the Trust.

Launched in 2019 to complement the more detailed annual Boat Owners' Views survey, the new Waterway Experience Survey was distributed to boaters out and about on the network in "fortnightly waves" from April through to September. Its results appear to show that these boaters have a higher opinion of the waterways and their upkeep than those surveyed in the annual survey - and that their perception improved as the summer went on.

This is shown in these figures for whether boaters are satisfied with their overall recent experience of CRT's waterways, and whether they would recommend them to others.

Very or slightly satisfied? - Annual survey: 61% / Experience survey (April): 64% / Experience survey (all summer): 67%

Would recommend? - Annual survey: 58% / Experience survey (April): 64% / Experience survey (all summer): 69%

It could be that "boaters out and about on the waterways are reporting a more satisfying experience than those who were asked to think back", as CRT's Matthew Symonds suggested.

Those sampled in the West Midlands and North Wales seemed happiest, while the lowest satisfaction ratings came from London & South East, Yorkshire & North East, and South Wales & South West. Issues which were felt to need more attention included overhanging vegetation, non-compliant boaters, and availability of facilities, while respondents felt the Trust did better at managing congestion, visitor moorings, and condition of locks.

…while CRT promises to act

The Canal & River Trust has come up with a list of actions which it says it will take in response, including:

- Working with regional teams on "getting the basics right" - facilities, fixing faults and informing boaters.

- Increasing boater participation

- Improving stoppage notices

- Quicker response to enquiries and better feedback to customers

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