Important: please respond to CRT licence fee consultation before 18th December

Boaters on Canal & River Trust (CRT) waterways may have received an email or a letter from CRT with a link to the online consultation questionnaire for CRT’s review of boat licensing.

This consultation contains two proposals to increase the cost of a boat licence without a home mooring. There is no legal justification for this. Increasing the licence fee for Bargee Travellers will drive some of our community off the water and into homelessness. We believe that this is another attempt by CRT to drive Bargee Travellers off its waterways.

The NBTA is opposed to all increases in boat licence fees, except for increases in line with inflation. We don’t believe that CRT should use licensing to make harder for some boat dwellers to live on the water, and we don’t believe that the way boat dwellers are treated by CRT, especially those without home moorings, justifies a fee increase. The NBTA is considering further action including demonstrations and protests. In the mean time here are some posters for boat windows or to paint on the side of your boat or somewhere else No licence fee increases poster

The NBTA is asking its members to complete the consultation questionnaire opposing any increase in the licence fee for boats without a home mooring and for widebeams. The most important questions are 24, 25 and 26 (increases in fees without a home mooring) and 1 (increased fees for widebeams). Also important are question 14 (proposals to get rid of the prompt payment discount that many rely on to make the licence affordable) and question 27 (phasing in any increases over a set period).

Here is a short example consultation response with the tick boxes filled in Example response CRT licence review

It does not include answers to the questions that ask for suggestions, opinions and comments. The NBTA will be publishing its full example consultation response and analysis of the proposals as soon as possible. The consultation ends at midnight on Monday December 18th 2017, so if you wish to wait for the NBTA’s full suggested consultation response, you will still have enough time to get your questionnaire in before the deadline.

CRT has stated that all boat licence holders will receive a link to complete an online consultation questionnaire either by email or by post. If you need a paper copy of the survey, you can get one by phoning CRT’s main number 0303 040 4040 then Option 3. The NBTA also has paper copies of the survey if you prefer to get one from us: just phone 0118 321 4128 and provide a postal address.

You will need to phone CRT if you have not received a link to the survey and you want a link to complete it online. However you may be able to complete the survey online using this link without needing to wait for CRT to send you a link:

There is a paper copy of the questionnaire to download here if you need to read it through and think about the questions before you respond or if you wish to print it and complete it on paper Print version CRT survey 1.1doc

If you need to discuss this consultation with the NBTA, you are welcome to ring 0118 321 4128 or email