Friday, 16 September 2011

Most expensive waterway in the country?

Camboaters (that is, me and James on behalf of) have done some research and were shocked to discover that the Cam Conservancy Licence is the most expensive in the country in terms of cost per mile of waterway for an annual river licence (£77/mile as opposed to a canal licence which is 30p/mile). The next most expensive is more than three times cheaper.
Click to enlarge
The Cam Conservancy have sent out their latest consultation (yes, we have another one to wrangle with!) because they claim to have an income shortfall. One of the reasons they receive less money is that very few of the residential boaters in the area choose to buy a Cam Con licence. Instead most opt to buy an Environment Agency licence, which is the same price but allows navigation on nearly 150 miles of waterway in East Anglia, and access to the Cam via an interchange agreement. The agreement means that a small percentage (30%) of the EA licence fee is passed to the Cam Con.

If the Cam Con were to bring their fees more in line with the rest of the UK, then Camboaters are confident that many more owners of powered boats who moor in the area would buy a Cam Conservancy licence, and
purchase short term licences for when they go cruising. (We are in the process of gathering hard evidence for this, but it's a no brainer). This would significantly increase the Cam Con's income.

Camboaters have proposed this idea when the fee increase was first put forward last year. But we were disappointed to find that it has been dismissed out of hand and not included as an option in the latest
consultation. Instead, those who buy an EA licence would be hit with an additional river licence to pay, resulting in a 25% increase in costs, making the most expensive waterway in the country even more
expensive to use! 

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1 comment:

  1. I expect the conservancy will succeed in getting all the river user's to squabble amongst themselves and support price rises (but only for other user groups). The "consultation" is clearly designed to be divisive given the options offered and the answers expected from each user group are clear.

    I would love to see all the river user groups unite and tell the Conservancy with one voice no-one is willing to pay more and that the Conservancy must cut its costs.