1 September 2021

A new Anglian Pass is designed to simplify boat licensing between the three navigation authorities in the region. These are the Environment Agency, Middle Level Commissioners and Cam Conservancy.

We welcome the overall aim of the new Anglian Pass launched earlier this year. However, as currently worded it makes visiting the River Cam from outside the Anglian waterways expensive for most boaters. We have raised these concerns with the Environment Agency.

CRT Licence Holders not eligible

Most notably, holders of an annual Canal & River Trust (CRT) licence are not able to apply for the Anglian Pass. This means that any prospective CRT visitor wishing to visit Cambridge will need to buy three additional licences:

  • a short term EA visitor registration (31 days for a 50ft boat) is £272.90*
  • a short term Middle Level registration (31 days for a 50ft boat) is £272.90*
  • and an annual Cam Conservancy licence (the Cam Conservators have had to remove the option of purchasing short term visitor licences due to a limitation of their own statute) for a 50ft boat is £1060*

The combined cost of these licences is well over £1,500. In contrast, the Anglian Pass costs £100* for a 50ft boat.

An alternative is to buy a Gold Licence but this has considerable limitations. For example, the Gold Licence is only valid annually from January to January, so requires boaters to plan a year ahead if they want to visit. This removes any spontaneity from planning boating trips, which is part of the appeal for many.

We are promoting a change to the wording the terms of the Anglian Pass to make it more inclusive. Boaters from outside East Anglia should be able to tour these waterways easily, and visiting the River Cam should be affordable. We will continue to work with the Anglian navigation authorities to find a solution for the next licensing year.

*Prices checked in September 2021