Drop in boater satisfaction

The Canal & River Trust has seen a decline in boater satisfaction The Canal & River Trust has seen a decline in boater satisfaction
Industry Database

Inland waterways boater satisfaction has declined.

The Canal & River Trust’s latest Boat Owners’ Views survey, that records boaters’ opinions about the charity and the waterways it looks after, show 61% of boaters were satisfied with their experience of cruising the nation’s waterways, down from 70% in 2018.

The survey, carried out in March and April this year was sent to a third of the Trust’s boat licence holders and received 1,163 responses.

58% of the respondents said they would recommend the waterways to other boaters, down from 76% in 2018. 69% rated the overall upkeep as OK to excellent (2018: 74%); 59% boaters feel they know the Trust very well or a fair amount (2018: 53%); 56% trust the charity to look after the waterways (2018: 62%), while 47% feel favourable to the Trust (2018: 54%).

“We are disappointed in the drop in boater satisfaction,” said Jon Horsfall, head of customer service support at the Trust.

Year of change

“We recognise the past year has been one of change for our customers, including changes to the prompt payment discount and increased licence fees for boat owners with wider boats. 

“We also acknowledge the impact of last year’s drought and the effects of unpredictable infrastructure failures on customers throughout the year.”

And he said the Trust is spending more on the waterways than previously including an £8m programme of dredging and feeder improvement work to help with water management. 

In London the Trust is working to manage unprecedented demand with new moorings and facilities.

Across the regions, boaters in the West Midlands and East Midlands were most satisfied, at 68% and 67% respectively, while continuous cruisers also expressed satisfaction levels of 65%. Boaters in Yorkshire and the North East were least satisfied, with only 48% expressing satisfaction.

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