Potential boat charging on the Wye from Hay downstream

The Environment Agency has just published the results of its consultation on Boat registration charge proposals from 1 January 2022, which included a ‘forward look’ into whether “boat users on the Rivers Wye and Lugg should make a contribution towards the service we provide for their benefit”. There are no firm proposals for doing so at the moment BUT 376 respondents agreed that users should pay; and only 36 disagreed – so it seems quite likely that this will be something the Environment Agency might explore further in due course. SWOAPG was one of the respondents who disagreed (we said “In principle it might seem reasonable that users should make a contribution BUT this is fraught with difficulty and without more information about how this might work in practice, we cannot support this proposal. For example, how would it apply to commercial paddlesport operators who use the river(s) only occasionally; how would fees be allocated for operators with multiple craft which are not all used at the same time; would fees be waived or reduced for not-for-profit users; would this mean an increase in the licence fee that individual canoeists currently pay via National Association membership?”). We have asked to be involved in any further development of these ideas.

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