The Canal & River Trust’s annual national boat count shows that licence compliance on its waterways remains high with 96.2% of boaters holding a valid licence (2019: 96.4%). This is the fourth highest compliance figure in the last 10 years and is the eleventh successive year with evasion below 5%.
The national boat count sees the Trust’s teams physically recording boats on every stretch of waterway to check if they are correctly licensed. The COVID-19 restrictions meant they were unable to access some marinas and stretches of canal, while flooding and high-water levels have also prevented access to some rivers to obtain sightings. This will likely explain a reduction in the overall number of boats sighted on the waterways this year with 33,672 boats sighted across England & Wales, down 1,568 boats on 2018/19. The numbers of boats sighted on waters where Trust licences are required also reduced by 323 to 31,110. In comparison, the Trust’s licence system showed that 34,435 boats held valid licences at 31 March 2020, a slight uplift on the previous year (31 March 2019: 34,367).
You can read about it here.