British Waterways (BW) has completed its three-yearly market-pricing review for 12-month mooring permits to apply in England and Wales from April 2012. Following the review, customers on BW moorings will see an average price increase of 2.6 per cent - although there will be no price increase for customers moored at over half of BW’s directly managed sites.

Canal boat

The pricing review takes into account the condition, facilities, occupancy levels, strength of local demand and changes in supply at each individual BW mooring site in England and Wales. As a result of the review, mooring customers on leisure sites will face an average increase of 1.6 per cent. On average, those on residential sites will see a four per cent rise, but in London, where demand is strongest, the average increase will be eight per cent.

Jenny Whitehall, BW’s National Moorings Manager, explains: “Our regional mooring teams have spent a lot of time researching their local moorings market and understanding the price trends of tendered vacancies. The economic environment is still challenging and that’s reflected in the fact that 220 of our 413 directly managed sites won’t have any increase at all and seven will actually see a price reduction.”

Meanwhile, Alan Wildman, Chair of the Residential Boat Owners’ Association (RBOA), is actually quite upbeat about these latest developments: “Whilst the RBOA still has reservations about the moorings auction scheme itself, we are impressed by the amount of work and thought that BW has invested into these pricing reviews. It is perfectly right and proper that increased costs borne by the moorings operator are recovered through moorings charges and it is clear that this is exactly what BW are doing. Some residential mooring fees continue to rise faster than inflation which is extremely regrettable. The upside, though, is that BW is urgently seeking ways to increase the availability of legitimate residential moorings and as this happens we are confident that the related mooring fees will stabilise. RBOA looks forward to a continuing and positive dialogue with BW/CRT on behalf of residential boaters throughout the UK.”