Proposals for shake-up in Broads tolls receive a largely warm reaction from committee

Norfolk Broads Guide.Pyes Mill, Loddon

Norfolk Broads Guide.Pyes Mill, Loddon - Credit: Nick Butcher

People responsible for managing navigation on the Broads have – on the whole – backed a major shake-up to the way boat tolls are calculated.

The Broads Authority's navigation committee yesterday supported three recommendations relating to the proposals, which would see a switch to one fixed charge based on the size of the craft.

The scheme would remove the current system of both variable and fixed costs and has been hailed as the most significant change in 35 years.

Boats would be divided into one of 14 categories – split between private or commercial – which would determine how much they are charged per square metre.

Speaking during yesterday's meeting, which saw the plans split into three recommendations, Greg Munford said: 'I think it's important that we don't make the same mistakes as in 1981 [when the system changed from tonnage to area] and make something far more complicated than it needs to be.

'To me, these are simple, easy to understand make sense.'

But Brian Wilkins, who spoke on behalf of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, said the body had 'deep concerns' in relation to 'fairness and flexibility', citing potential toll rises of more than 40pc for some boaters.

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Max Heron said while there 'will always be winners and losers', he believed the body was 'keeping sight of what we are trying to achieve'.

'This certainly has my full support,' he added.

Generally, smaller boats are likely to pay less if the changes come into force, with bigger boats likely to be charged more.

All three recommendations were given committee approval and will now go to the full authority for the final verdict.

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