Boat owners on the non-tidal Thames face an inflation-busting increase in registration fees.

Boat licences for 2014 will be increased by 4.8% - despite protests from boating organisations.

The new charges consist of July’s Consumer Price Index figure – 2.8% - plus a 2% surcharge because of a funding shortfall

Details of the new charges were revealed to a meeting of the Thames Navigation Users Forum.

Protests about the increase have been led by the Association of Thames Yacht Clubs.

The Environment Agency has yet to comment.

A statement from the ATYC said: “We are advised that the proposed registration increase is expected to be 2.8% in line with July CPI inflation.  

“But EA are also going to surcharge the private boater by a further 2% making the charge for 2014 4.8%.   

"Whilst the 2% might appear have no significance it must be remembered that we will have now been surcharged 6% over the last two years plus this and that is based on charges that were plus 12%, 11% and 7.9% which has built the charge significantly.  

“We recognise that the EA have to work under the Government’s austerity measures but the private boater cannot subsidise all those who do not pay!  That is what Grant in Aid is for!”

EA Waterways Manager Matt Carter has been invited to the ATYC general meeting on November 6th to explain the agency's positon.

As reported by RTN the latest annual report from the EA estimated that around 10% of boats evaded registration.

Story dated October 5th 2013