THE fee for licences for boat hirers on Loch Lomond is likely to go down, a committee will hear.

Council bosses are bringing in a licensing scheme after the Marine Accident Investigation Board (MAIB) looking into the sinking of a passenger ferry in 2012.

West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) currently charges £1,423 for a three-year boat hirers licence, with Stirling Council saying they would be willing to take on a matching level and share regulation. Argyll and Bute Council, however, charge £251 for a one-year licence and previously said they required their own licences.

Boat operators expressed concern they would potentially need separate applications to cover the three councils governing Loch Lomond.

Next week's licensing committee will hear negotiations are ongoing. The council held a consultation in October about their proposed conditions but there were no responses.

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Rules will include making sure the maximum number of people on a boat at any one time does not exceed the licence. They will also require insurance of no less than £5million.

The Vixen, which was found to be in poor condition, went down in September 2012 with six passengers and its skipper on board.

Some of the passengers were able to swim to shore, and others were rescued by a nearby boat.

The MAIB concluded the weight of the passengers, as well as bilge water was enough to sink the boat, 50 yards from the banks of Loch Lomond. Nobody was injured.