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.
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.”