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Inland Waterways: Fees and Charges

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on British Waterways' proposed increases in (a) licence and (b) mooring fees for boats using the inland waterways network; and if he will make a statement. (164674)

These are operational matters for British Waterways. However, I have received various representations, in the form of letters, emails and parliamentary questions from hon. Members.

British Waterways is currently out to consultation on its proposals to increase its licence fees. On mooring fees, British Waterways has assured me that it is committed to a full formal consultation on its moorings trial after completion of a six month trial period. The results of this consultation, as well as the practical experience gained from the trial, will inform its decision as to whether it continues the trial and whether it makes it a permanent arrangement or not.

I have written to the chairman of British Waterways asking to be kept informed of progress and have his assurance that British Waterways is committed to engaging with its stakeholders on this and other issues. I plan to meet with a cross-section of waterway stakeholders in December to discuss a range of issues of concern to them.