Scottish Canals today (April 2022) published its response to an independent pricing review, consistent with long-term plans for establishing and maintaining fair pricing for living and travelling on Scotland’s inland waterways.

Frequently asked questions about the 2022 pricing review can be found here.

In 2016/17, Scottish Canals commissioned two independent specialist consultants (Gerald Eve and GVA) to conduct a pricing consultation in order to develop a fair and transparent process for determining the rates of residential and recreational moorings and transit and navigation licences moving forward. As a result of the pricing consultation new fees were agreed and introduced in 2017. You can read more about the 2017 consultation process and findings here.

It was agreed as part of the pricing consultation that an independent pricing review would take place every five years, with the first one scheduled for 2021/22. In November 2021 we appointed two independent specialist consultants; The Tourism Resource Company for the leisure industry and Gerald Eve for the residential market, to carry out the scheduled review.

In March 2022, Gerald Eve and The Tourism Resources Company published the report: Scottish Canals Pricing Review which sets out their recommendations

Following detailed discussions with Scottish Waterways for All, a constituted boating group comprising representatives from Lowland Canals Association, canal societies, Inland Waterways Association and boating customers, our report has been published today (April 2022), and can be downloaded below:

The original pricing consultation set out a clear methodology for setting and reviewing prices and this included a provision for changes in market circumstances, demand and infrastructure investment, to be taken into consideration when setting out the new fees for the next five years. This methodology has been used by our independent consultants to assess the price of our moorings and licences.

The 2021/22 review recommends a new price for each residential and leisure mooring site, as well as transit and navigation licences. Any price change to moorings will come into effect at the stage a boater renews their annual fees from 1st June 2022 onwards.

Throughout the process we have engaged with our partners at Scottish Waterways for All (an umbrella organisation for canal boaters), Royal Yachting Association Scotland, Sail Scotland and British Marine. You can read more about our engagement and public updates here.

Scottish Canals has had detailed discussions with Scottish Waterways for All (SWfA) throughout the pricing review and the following outcomes have been agreed by both parties:

  • By March 2023, Scottish Canals will carry out an assessment of boater storage to establish how they are distributed, with the goal of implementing a system for leasing storage huts separately across the canal network.
  • Scottish Canals will consider establishing a deposit scheme for potential customers who wish to be added to a waiting list for future mooring availability.
  • In low-demand areas, Scottish Canals may offer lower fees as an incentive to attract new customers.
  • The baseline residential percentage for marinas will be cut from 50% to 48.5%.
  • Auchinstarry will continue to be classified as an offline marina.
  • Four locations on the Forth & Clyde Canal will receive price increases phased in over the next five years to reduce the impact on customers, as these locations will face higher increases than elsewhere on the network. These are:
    • Bowling
    • Applecross
    • Southbank
    • Cadder
  • Prices will continue to increase in line annually with the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • Scottish Canals will work in partnership with SWfA to create a facilities improvement plan by March 2023 which will set out future investment in boating facilities and timescales prioritised by customer needs.
  • Scottish Canals will work collaboratively with SWfA to create a Customer Charter that outlines services customers can expect in exchange for the fees they pay.