Coronavirus: CRT extends private boat licences by one month but defers business licences for 3 months

Canal & River Trust (CRT) is extending all private boat licences by one month in response to the continuing coronavirus pandemic. All private boat licences that are due to expire at the end of April will be extended by one month to run until the end of May. All other current private boat licences will be similarly extended by a month from their current expiry date.

For boaters who have already renewed their licence that expires at the end of April or May 2020, the new licence will run on for an extra month until the end of May or June 2021.

CRT will review this measure towards the end of May 2020 when more is known about the extent and likely timescales of the suspension of non-essential boat movements.

However, CRT is treating boating businesses more favourably than private boaters and has deferred all licence fee payments for boating businesses for three months. In addition CRT, British Marine, the IWA and the Broads Authority have jointly lobbied the Government to provide specific support for boating businesses, which typically cannot benefit from the current business grant support schemes.

Despite many complaints from liveaboard boaters about the risks to them of the lack of social distancing by cyclists, joggers and walkers on towpaths and the significantly increased use of towpaths for exercise, CRT is still refusing to close waterway towpaths to the public.

See CRT’s Boaters’ Update of 24th April 2020