Scottish Canals opens boating price consultation

A consultation which sets out a long-term plan for ensuring continued fair pricing for living and traveling on Scotland’s canals has been published following an in-depth independent review.

Boaters are now being asked to have their say on the document to ensure the future pricing of residential and leisure moorings, as well as navigation and transit licences, on Scotland’s inland waterways remains fair, reasonable and is implemented in a sensitive manner.

The pricing review and consultation follows moves by Scottish Canals in April 2015 to bring leisure, residential and transit charges in line with market rates, become more financially sustainable, and charge fair and reasonable prices for the products and services which the organisation provides.

Following customer feedback, property consultants Gerald Eve and GVA, working with British Marine and Royal Yachting Association Scotland, were procured to carry out an independent review of the price of leisure and residential moorings, as well as the cost of navigation and transit licences.

The comprehensive review saw consultants meet with boaters and organisations all over Scotland and visit every residential mooring site on the nation’s 137-mile canal network. As well as assessing the amenities, attractiveness, location and accesses of each leisure and residential site, the process also saw Gerald Eve and GVA compare the price of each residential mooring to the cost of an equivalent land-based, two-bedroom dwelling in the same area.

The subsequent report proposes a methodology for setting the market price of all residential and leisure moorings and licences on Scotland’s canals, as well as a clear plan for implementing future price changes. Individuals and organisations who use, live or work on the nation’s waterways are now invited to help decide how these recommendations should be implemented and over what timescale.

“Scotland’s canals attract 22 million visits per year from walkers, cyclists, anglers, paddlers, residents and boaters. All the income we generate from the products and services we provide is reinvested in these valuable heritage assets so locals and visitors can continue to enjoy them for many years to come."

Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals

Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals, continues: “As a public body we have a responsibility to ensure we adopt a fair and reasonable approach to pricing which benefits all our customers and not just a few. However, with varying amenities and customer demand between not only the canals but locations on each waterway, inconsistencies in pricing have developed over the years and some of our boating customers have ended up paying more than others for the same product.

“Invariably, as a result of this exercise some customers will see prices rise while others will see them fall. However, this independent review sets a benchmark for fair, reasonable and transparent pricing going forward and I would encourage as many people as possible to respond to the consultation on how the recommendations are implemented.”

Boaters have until 21st October 2016 to submit feedback and can do so at Anyone looking for more information on the consultation can email

Notes to Editors

About the pricing review

Scottish Canals increased prices for boats using Scotland’s inland waterways in April 2015 in order to bring leisure, residential and transit charges in line with market rates, become more financially sustainable, and charge fair and reasonable prices for the products and services which the organisation provides. This saw the cost of a navigation licence increase from £145 to £195; leisure mooring prices rise by between 3% and 9% and transit costs increase by between £1 and £12.30 per metre of boat depending on location.

The full Gerald Eve/GVA report can be viewed at

About Scottish Canals

Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of the Union, Monkland, Forth & Clyde, Crinan and Caledonian Canals. As well as the waterways themselves, Scottish Canals care for 251 bridges, 212 buildings, 256 locks, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies and 19 water supply reservoirs in locations across Scotland. The reservoirs cover an area equivalent to 7,494 football pitches and supply the canals with the 332 million litres of water which flow through them each day.

The Forth & Clyde, Union and Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, Scotland’s canals are now recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22million visits per year.

For more information, visit or follow @ScottishCanals on Twitter

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