Britain’s narrowboat users spared in key vote in European Parliament

But LibDems vote in favour of proposals to hit canal boat tourists

Strasbourg, April 25th — The threat to British narrowboaters of increased prices has been averted after Conservatives lobbied MEPs to vote down proposals to hike passenger health and safety insurance on Britain’s canal users.

The Liability of carriers of passengers by boat in the event of accidents (Costa Report), would have required operators to carry liability per passenger up to around £325,000, a four fold increase from the current level. For a small passenger boat operator this could have wiped out any profit margin and seriously affected the viability of the business.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Conservative Deputy Leader in the European Parliament, says: “This is a fantastic result but vigilance is the key to avoid proposals like this from hitting our industries again. The fact LibDems voted to hurt our canal boat tourists is a scandal which the public should know about at local election time. It is all a question of proportion. The cost of insurance must reflect the level of risk involved and these proposed requirements appear to be far in excess of the level of risk actually involved for tourists using Britain’s canals.

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