Boaters criticise licence price rises with banners at London protest

Boaters from across the UK have gathered in London to protest against price rises in boat licences that will come into force next week.

The National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) organised a march and community fair in Little Venice, west London, during the boaters’ Easter regatta on Saturday.

The group are unhappy with plans by the Canal and Rivers Trust (CRT) to raise the cost of boat licences and introduce a surcharge on continuous cruisers, people who live on boats but do not have a home mooring where they stay for longer periods.

Boaters protest
(Victoria Jones/PA)

Those attending by water displayed banners on the sides of their boats, while some of those on foot carried handmade placards.

The fair, held at the canal side exit of Paddington station, included a series of speeches by boaters and performers wearing decorated hats and purple masks.

Pamela Smith, chairwoman of the NBTA, previously said the CRT price rise was “discriminatory, unpopular, financially illiterate and quite possibly unlawful”, and that anger with the trust was “at a fever pitch”.