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Broads Authority agrees to 3pc increase in toll fees for 2018/19

PUBLISHED: 16:01 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:19 24 November 2017

Boats on the River Ant at How Hill.

Picture: James Bass

Boats on the River Ant at How Hill. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Around 10,000 Broads boaters will have to fork out more for their tolls for the 2018/19 period after the Broads Authority agreed to a 3pc increase for all categories of boats.

Boats on the River Bure near Horning.

Picture: James Bass Boats on the River Bure near Horning. Picture: James Bass

The increase is predicted to generate an income of £3.3m in 2018 providing funds for additional work to maintain the navigable waterways.

It equates to an extra charge of around £13.50 per square metre for a private petrol or diesel motor boat and £30 per square metre for a weekly hired motor craft.

The authority said the additional funds would allow it to:

• Purchase more plant and equipment for bankside tree and scrub management which would include hydraulic tree shears and an excavator;

TOUGH TIMES: Chief Executive of the Broads Authority, John Packman TOUGH TIMES: Chief Executive of the Broads Authority, John Packman

• Purchase five new safety speed signs following a successful trial this year to help combat speeding which can lead to erosion of the banks; and

• Provide for additional costs of existing work such as dredging and maintaining moorings to cover inflationary pressures.

Broads Authority chief executive John Packman, who recommended that members approve the increase at a meeting today, said: “The Broads Authority is entirely dependent on the income from our boat owners to fund the costs of maintaining the navigation area in the Broads National Park.

“It is worth noting that we are the only major navigation authority in the UK that does not regularly receive central funding for this role.”

Gary Cotton receives a National Park Hero Award from Broads Authority chair Jacquie Burgess. Picture: BROADS AUTHORITY Gary Cotton receives a National Park Hero Award from Broads Authority chair Jacquie Burgess. Picture: BROADS AUTHORITY

He said the authority’s review of the tolls system last year appeared to have helped raise the number of smaller private motor boats.

“And this combined with the good news about the hire fleet has generated more income than we had anticipated.

“The result is that the Broads Authority can increase its maintenance work and I am delighted that the members of the authority have agreed to the purchase of new equipment to mechanise the management of bankside trees and scrub.”

It was also agreed that no further changes were required to the pricing structure of tolls following a major review this year and that the printing of adhesive toll plaques would be stopped permanently following a successful two year trial.

The new simpler toll structure based on the size of boats in square metres was implemented this year and effectively reduced the charges for smaller boats.

National park hero

Broads Authority quay assistant Gary Cotton, who saved a four year old girl from drowning, received his National Park Hero Award today.

Mr Cotton attended a Broads Authority meeting at Yare House where a certificate and a bottle of sparkling wine was handed to him by chair Jacquie Burgess in front of members of the authority.

Mr Cotton related his actions on how he saved the young girl’s life at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station in August.

He said he had just finished helping a hire cruiser moor at the station when she fell in.

After realising he would not be able to pull her out from the bank, Mr Cotton jumped into the cold water after the girl and managed to grab hold of her before she was swept away by a strong current.

He pushed her upwards where members of her family grabbed her by the hair and dragged her out of the water.

He said the incident had lasted about 12 seconds.

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