Broads boat fees set to rise
Anthony CarrollBoat, yacht and dinghy users will find out today if they face another 6pc rise to use the Broads from next year.Anthony Carroll
Boat, yacht and dinghy users will find out today if they face another 6pc rise to use the Broads from next year.
The Broads Authority looks set to recommend a 6pc rise in tolls for 2010/11 for all boats at a full meeting at its Norwich headquarters this afternoon.
If approved, the new tolls will see the annual charge for a small dinghy rise from �43.60 to �46.22, an 18m square yacht increase by �7.84 and a 25m square motor boat rise from �222.80 to �236.17.
The suggested increase follows last year's toll rise of 6pc - which had originally been mooted at 9pc.
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But the higher figure was rejected last November after it was feared it would put people off boating.
In return for the proposed toll rise for 2010/11 the Broads Authority says it will concentrate extra resources on dredging and water quality after a survey of boat users said they should be the organisation's main priority.
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The 6pc rise will also help the Broads Authority's medium-term finances and could mean that toll rises from 2013 would only have to be in line with inflation at the time.
Today's meeting will hear that in suggesting the toll rises authority members had recognised the need to help boaters who are coping with financial pressures in the current economic climate.
The toll increases have been put forward by the authority's navigation committee, which has also recommended that the government is lobbied to provide extra funding to help clear a dredging backlog to improve the Broads.
Martin Broom, chairman of the navigation committee, said: "We recognise that boaters like everyone else are experiencing difficult economic times.
"A 6pc across the board increase in charges now will be sufficient to put the authority's finances on a sound footing for the medium term with the aim of achieving a situation whereby only inflationary increases may be necessary from 2013. I await the response of the full authority."
The Broads Authority dredging budget for 2010/11 is set to be �930,000, with 61pc of toll payers saying those operations should be the body's main priority.
The 2009 survey of 1,293 toll payers also revealed that improved water quality should be the next main aim of the Broads Authority and that more than 75c of respondents said that the authority offered fair or good value for money.
Since 2007 there has been a 20pc improvement in dredging in the Broads and in the last few months new mooring work has started or been completed at several spots, including Breydon Water and Horning Marshes.