Broads Authority approves 2.6pc toll charge increase to fund electric charging points
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
Thousands of boat-users will face rising toll charges for the second year in a row as they look to make the most of region's enviable Broads National Park.
However, Broads Authority bosses have said the increase will safeguard the continued maintenance of the famous features, by generating £3.44m over the next financial year.
BA members approved a 2.6pc increase to toll charges across the board for those using the waters, with this applying to boats of all sizes, both private and hire.
This means that while boat-users will face an increase, it will be a less significant one than the 3pc it rose for 2018/19.
The increase, which will come into effect in 2019, works out at a £1.10 rise for the smallest private sailing craft, £43.68 extra for the largest hired motor craft (56m/sq) and an additional £99.96 for 98m/sq passenger boats.
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On top of the routine maintenance costs, the revenue generated will allow the BA to install electric charging points at the 24-hour moorings at Acle Bridge.
John Packman, chief executive of the authority said: 'Last year the tolls rose by 3pc, which made provision for electronic speed signs and tree shears to help manage some of the more difficult vegetation on the riverbanks.
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'The proposals were discussed by our navigation committee and they agreed unanimously to recommend them.'
Haydyn Thirtle, BA chairman, said: 'The Broads Authority is entirely dependent on the income from boat owners to fund the costs of maintaining the navigation area in the Broads National Park.
'It is the only major navigation authority in the UK that does not regularly receive central funding for this role. As well as maintaining our level or work such as dredging and maintaining mooring, it allows us to invest in more efficient ways of doing some difficult work.'
Tony Howes, secretary of the Broads Hire Boat Federation, said he expected boat-users to be understanding of the increase.
He said: 'It is fairly accepted that work has to be done to maintain navigation on the Broads which has to be paid for and this increase is fairly in line with inflation.