Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
If you don't like what you see click the Report button or...
Read More...
Navigating and living on the waterways of Great Britain & Ireland and news of canal developments.
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Additional Thames specific advice

Additional Thames specific advice 08 May 2020 15:18 #115798

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
The widebeam sank as EA were 'recovering' it from the weir - it broke loose in the floods earlier this year........

The Princess 33 is a resident in Penton Hook marina - he is reported to be using his boat for essential food shopping - habd winding to two locks to get to his grounding.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 08 May 2020 13:56 #115796

  • Balliol Fowden
  • Balliol Fowden's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 2510
Photo from Facebook (not that I do it!)
The boat on top has been removed.
The one underneath should be easy enough.

Balliol.
Attachments:

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 08 May 2020 11:48 #115795

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
No - the EA stance has been described as 'work distancing'

Although the list kooks huge most of it is normal day to day issues which will be restored as soon as EA return to work. The two bigger issues are the sunken wide-beam boat at Sunbury (but the River Canal Rescue team would probably raise that in a day or so if tasked by EA) and the transit van above Osney - but not many of us can get that far.
The following user(s) said Thank You: William and Lucinda Voorhees

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 08 May 2020 10:31 #115794

  • William and Lucinda Voorhees
  • William and Lucinda Voorhees's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 9
No doubt there is a large effort required to get the Thames infrastructure back in shape after the prolonged period of red boards over the winter. Now that the flow has dropped, does anyone have an idea when EA will start work on “the list” while of course adhering to government social distancing guidance?

Thanks,
William

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 07 May 2020 18:55 #115781

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
Today's EA Thames update - the list of problems gets longer:
Hello
Please find updated Harbour Master notice attached.
The boat which had got stuck on top of the sunken boat upstream of Sunbury Lock has now been removed; Osney Lock has a mechanical fault and cannot currently be used.
We’re sorry for any inconvenience these restrictions may cause and will update you as soon as we can.

This message has an attachment file.
Please log in or register to see it.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 06 May 2020 19:42 #115761

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
Today's update - Little change apart from the date - there are reports that the Princess motor boat that ran aground on the sunken widebeam at Sunbury has now been recovered but there is only one buoy marking one end of the sunken boat.

Hello
Please find attached an updated Environment Agency Harbour Master's notice for the following lock restrictions due to Coronavirus:
When: Wednesday 6 May 2020 until further notice.
Where: Iffley reach, Sandford, Abingdon, Marsh, Hambleden, Cookham, Bell Weir, Sunbury and Teddington Locks.
What’s happening: The government has put in to place restrictions across the whole of the United Kingdom to slow the spread of Coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives. These restrictions to our locks aim to minimise contact, and stop all non-essential travel to slow the spread of the virus.
Hambleden, Cookham, Bell Weir and Teddington Locks do not have suitable hand-wind functionality. Passage through these locks is by prior arrangement and on an exceptional basis only. This can be sought using the email address or phone number below however there may be considerable delays in facilitating requests.
Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 03708 506 506.
A transit van has sunk mid-channel approximately 150 metres upstream of Folly Bridge in the Iffley reach.
Sandford and Abingdon Locks have been damaged through misuse by a boater.
Marsh Lock has a tree blocking vessel passage.
Update: Sunbury Lock has a sunken boat in the main channel above the lock cut. Another boat is now stuck above it and has been secured in place by the emergency services. Lines securing the boat stretch across to the towpath on the Walton riverbank presenting a further hazard. No attempt should be made to navigate in this area.
Passage is not possible through these locks. As soon as our Operations teams are able to recommence their activities, these looks will be reopened.
We’re sorry for any inconvenience these restrictions may cause and will update you as soon as we can.

Many thanks
Waterways Operations Team



Visit the GOV.UK website to see a full list of closures and restrictions. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject heading ‘Unsubscribe from Harbour Master’s notices’. The River Thames mailing list privacy notice explains how we use your personal information.

This message has an attachment file.
Please log in or register to see it.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 20 Apr 2020 18:56 #115384

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
More obstructions in the river ........

Please find attached an updated Environment Agency Harbour Master's notice for the following lock restrictions due to Coronavirus:

When: Monday 20 April 2020 until further notice.
Where: Iffley reach, Sandford, Abingdon, Marsh, Hambleden, Cookham, Bell Weir, Sunbury and Teddington Locks.
What’s happening: The government has put in to place restrictions across the whole of the United Kingdom to slow the spread of Coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives. These restrictions to our locks aim to minimise contact, and stop all non-essential travel to slow the spread of the virus.
Hambleden, Cookham, Bell Weir and Teddington Locks do not have suitable hand-wind functionality. Passage through these locks is by prior arrangement and on an exceptional basis only. This can be sought using the email address or phone number below however there may be considerable delays in facilitating requests.
Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 03708 506 506.
A transit van has sunk mid-channel approximately 150 metres upstream of Folly Bridge in the Iffley reach. Sandford and Abingdon Locks have been damaged through misuse by a boater. Marsh Lock has a tree blocking vessel passage. Sunbury Lock has a sunken boat in the main channel above the lock cut. Passage is not possible through these locks. As soon as our Operations teams are able to recommence their activities, these looks will be reopened.
We’re sorry for any inconvenience these restrictions may cause and will update you as soon as we can.

Many thanks
Waterways Operations Team

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional and more comprehensive Thames specific advice 09 Apr 2020 19:50 #115206

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
Update from EA Thames today attached.

They now include the information that Sunbury has a widebeam sunk in the upstream cut and is probably impassable to most boat. It sank while being towed off the weir by EA.

Abingdon is now reported as closed due to boater damage (they are learning this excuse from CRT!)

Boat safety certificates falling due between now and the end of April do not need renewal.

On Cookham reach we still have joy-riders - motor boats, canoes and SUPs................................it will probably get worse over the Easter weekend. Some people don't understand 'Stay at Home'.

This message has an attachment file.
Please log in or register to see it.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 07 Apr 2020 08:26 #115164

  • Balliol Fowden
  • Balliol Fowden's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 2510
Belgian waterways are of course subject to a blanket ban on pleasure craft movement imposed by the waterway authority.

In the U.K. C&RT and the EA have stopped short of a blanket closure. We are asked not to move, but can move. Perhaps a cunning plan?

Balliol.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 06 Apr 2020 21:58 #115155

Christopher Wyles wrote: Winter aside, no-one cares about an odd week or two, or even a month during the season. The vagaries of the weather cause as much most years. However, this is a manifestly different situation, where we’re paying the full amount, but getting no benefit apart from floating.

Right or wrong, the licence is to float while we boaters have the expectation to cruise. There is a parallel in Belgium where Flemish Waterways' licence is for floating, enforced by a heavy drive a few years ago. Under the circumstances, they have very unexpectedly volunteered a suspension of charges until the government-imposed movement restriction ceases bt their income from commercial craft may be rather higher than for the EA. Effectively they are admitting that it is primarily a cruising licence, which EA may not want to do.
VWW may also be considering that they just incresed their charges 300% (for a 25m barge), so may be avoiding a strong reaction from boaters, though they have no more influence here than on the Thames.
My point is simply that some water authorities have made some allowance for the imposed movement restriction.

Pete
The following user(s) said Thank You: Andy Soper

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Pete Milne, Quo Vadis , Gent.

Additional Thames specific advice 06 Apr 2020 21:41 #115154

  • Christopher Wyles
  • Christopher Wyles's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 10
Chris

1. I wasn’t criticising Andy. I was questioning the situation in which we all find ourselves. I’m certain we’re all professionals who, surely, don’t have such delicate sensibilities.

2. Everything you describe above, vis-a-vis floating vs use of the river, I already knew and knew even before my first post on the subject.

3. My point is whether we accept this state of affairs in extremis?

4. The current lockdown situation is likely to last for many more months, effectively wiping out this year’s boating season. The Government has a £330Bn programme to aid businesses of all sizes.

The EA ought to fall under this protective umbrella, just as any other business. It would be strange if its customers have to bail it out? At least, this is my opinion.

Winter aside, no-one cares about an odd week or two, or even a month during the season. The vagaries of the weather cause as much most years. However, this is a manifestly different situation, where we’re paying the full amount, but getting no benefit apart from floating.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 06 Apr 2020 21:10 #115153

Christopher,
I too salute the work that Andy has put into this organization. Many of us have benefited from that dedication and are very grateful for that commitment. Therefore, please excuse the protective response to any perceived criticism. Likewise, please forgive the lack of volunteers to lift their heads above the parapet in a way that you suggest. Some who have had a few years living on the waters of the Thames, have seen campaigns between the E.A. and various groups or users come and go.
Whilst some of these campaigns have had success, one thing has been clearly established. If your vessel floats in the river, or in any adjacent water upon which you can navigate to the river, you are liable for the license fee. Two things to note here. This legislation is regardless of who owns the area under the water and, it is regardless if you navigate, or otherwise. The fee you pay to the marina allows you to moor to their piles and pontoon and keep your vessel within the area they govern. It does not include the cost of floating your boat.
Having said all that, please feel free to have another go at the E.A. I am sure you will get some encouraging cheers from the sidelines.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Andy Soper, Pete Milne, Martyn Fryer

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional and more comprehensive Thames specific advice 06 Apr 2020 19:18 #115152

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
Updated Thames notice: Adds Bell Weir - that they forgot cannot hand wind without power (like Cookham) and all until further notice. Still silent on the sunken wide beam Merrimac in Sunbury lock cut! Sunk by an EA team as they cleaedr the weir.

Directions for navigation and general information during these restrictions:
 The government has put in to place restrictions across the whole of the United
Kingdom to slow the spread of Coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives. The
restrictions aim to minimise contact to slow the spread and in line with this we have
switched powered locks along the non-tidal Thames to hand-wind self-service only to
protect our staff and river users. The restrictions also aim to stop all non-essential
travel in any event and so it is not expected that there will be many, if any,
movements during this time.
 Marsh Lock has a tree blocking vessel passage. This will be removed as soon as
our operations teams are able to recommence their activities.

 Hambleden, Cookham, Bell Weir and Teddington Locks do not have suitable hand-
wind functionality. Passage through these locks is by prior arrangement and on an

exceptional basis only. This can be sought using the email address or phone
number below however there may be considerable delays in facilitating requests.
 If you need to use these locks and feel your journey is essential and in line with the
current government restrictions please email us at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 03708 506 506
Please note: this email inbox is monitored during normal business hours from
Monday to Friday. It is not monitored at weekends.

This message has an attachment file.
Please log in or register to see it.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional and more comprehensive Thames specific advice 06 Apr 2020 15:59 #115151

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
I am not sure that this adds much to our knowledge base but posted for completeness:

Dear TNUF Members (dated 6 April)

In response to the message from our Chief Executive James Bevan that we sent you on 20 March, we have received some questions from you. As mentioned we propose to circulate the answers to questions raised by individual Members to all Members:

Q What enforcement activity will you continue to carry out while Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are in place?
A So far as we are able, with all waterways staff working from home in line with government guidance, we will progress existing enforcement cases. All other activity is suspended until government restrictions are eased. The only exception to this will be if our staff are needed to support the response to a major incident, and even then, only if the risk of our staff contracting or potentially spreading the virus can be adequately mitigated.

Q When do you intend to remove the sunken vessel currently preventing use of Sunbury Lock?
A We have made arrangements to refloat and remove the boat as soon as the government Coronavirus restrictions, which are preventing the specialist contractors we require for this operation from working, have been eased.

Q Do you still intend to implement a new moorings contract and if so, when?
A Evaluation of the responses has not yet been completed due to our response to the Coronavirus pandemic needing to take priority over all other activities. Subject to the suitability and affordability of the responses, we do still intend to introduce new arrangements, but this will not be possible until government coronavirus restrictions have eased.

Regards
Vicky

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional and more comprehensive Thames specific advice 30 Mar 2020 20:30 #115022

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
From EA Thames today:

Directions for navigation and general information during these restrictions:
 The government has put in to place restrictions across the whole of the United
Kingdom to slow the spread of Coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives. The
restrictions aim to minimise contact to slow the spread and in line with this we have
switched powered locks along the non-tidal Thames to hand-wind self-service only to
protect our staff and river users. The restrictions also aim to stop all non-essential
travel in any event and so it is not expected that there will be many, if any,
movements during this time.
 Marsh Lock has a tree blocking vessel passage. This will be removed as soon as
our operations teams are able to recommence their activities.
 Hambleden, Cookham and Teddington Locks do not have suitable hand-wind
functionality. Passage through these locks is by prior arrangement and on an
exceptional basis only. This can be sought using the email address or phone
number below however there may be considerable delays in facilitating requests.
 If you need to use these locks and feel your journey is essential and in line with the
current government restrictions please email us at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 03708 506 506
Please note: this email inbox is monitored during normal business hours from
Monday to Friday. It is not monitored at weekends.
Barry Russell MBE
Harbour Master
30 March 2020

See attachment for contact details

But sadly not comprehensive as it doesn't mention the closure at Sunbury due to the sunken widebeam. And they are not working at weekends - even form home! Raining now so the river levels may rise again.

This message has an attachment file.
Please log in or register to see it.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 22:42 #114989

One of the many reasons why so many dba members boat on the continent is the contrast between atttudes there and here, licence fees a fraction of ours and now with coronovirus Belgium and France both offering a rebate or extension on the much smaller licence fee. Andy is correct though the EA regard boaters as a nuisance and the pigs will be flying before they give any rebate.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Andy Soper

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 20:06 #114983

  • Christopher Wyles
  • Christopher Wyles's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 10
I think you’ve had a sense of humour bypass. Try tea. 😍

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 19:47 #114982

I don't plan to enter into a discussion with you on this Christopher. I simply chose to inform you with slightly more detail about Andy's qualifications as you, yourself, said your were ignorant of them.

I prefer a glass of Leffe at this hour, thank you and I certainly don't need to calm down or to be told so to do.

Best wishes,

Bob
The following user(s) said Thank You: Andy Soper

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette
In DBA Barge Register:
barges.org/members/bargeregister/bargeregister-search?assetaction=detail&vesselid=165

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 19:34 #114981

  • Christopher Wyles
  • Christopher Wyles's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 10
Wow! We are sensitive. It’s only a debate, Bob, not War & Peace. I cast no aspersions about Andy’s abilities, nor about his work for the DBA, as you seem to imply, when you rushed to his defence. Being a new member, I was totally unaware he’d appointed you as his spokesperson and I had to pass everything through you first. (Could that be humour?)

We all have differing views on topics, that’s the nature of a debate. No-one has used ad hominems and you won’t find my throwing any. There are never any right or wrong answers, in a general debate, only a range of views with which you may agree or not.

It was a genuine question. Andy rushed to defend the EA and, as a new member, I seriously had no idea if any affiliation existed of which I was not aware.

Have a cup of tea, Bob, and calm down; there are more pressing matters about which to raise your blood pressure at the moment.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 18:48 #114976

Christopher Wyles wrote: I’m fairly new to the DBA, thus not familiar with the personalities, so I’m not sure if you are actually employed by the EA, Andy.


I am impressed that Andy didn't take offence at that remark and I have to say his link to the webpage that details his current responsibilities in DBA doesn't tell anything like the whole story as it says (correctly) he was elected to the Board in 2020. May I point out that all directors have to resign and put themselves forward for re-election at three year intervals.

Here is a speech I delivered to the 2018 AGM which might educate and enlighten.

I have been a member since inception and have seen and worked under all previous Chairmen.

Andy stands head and shoulders above just about each and every one for his devotion, determination and dedication to DBA.

So, Andy Soper... This is Your Life.

Nobody has done more and deserves recognition more than Andy Soper. And, we shouldn't forget that behind every good man is, more often than not, a supportive woman. Caroline more than fills that spot.

The story goes that in 1997 they were about to move house when Andy suggested living on a boat...his dream! Well, Caroline thought about it for all of two minutes... just enough time to come up with her conditions... must have a Rayburn, a heated towel rail and a spa bath!

Done, he said and Neeltje came into their lives. Well, it wasn’t quite as quick as that. There was joining DBA, buying and consuming The Barge Buyers Handbook and sqeezing the lemon from as many barge owners as they could meet.

Does that sound familiar?

Well, in order to repay all that lemon juice he had received he decided to become a volunteer and took on the job of Membership Secretary which job he passed over to Caroline when in 2002 he was voted onto the Board. So that’s getting on for sixteen years he has spent helping others, eleven of those as head boy, or Chairman. It is that position he is relinquishing but staying on the board to ease whoever takes over the reins into the job.

So, shortly after the turn of the millenium they were to be found living on their new-to-them...but a hundred and four year old... Hagenaar, a Dutch ex-sailing barge that lived its life without an engine for 23 years.

As well as memorable rallies on the Thames they took Neeltje, well it was called Cormorant, them, to my favorite city... Paris to join 55 other members’ barges in the Bassin de la Villette. A wonderful gathering enjoyed by all.

This last year, our 25th anniversary year saw Andy and Caroline taking Neeltje to Chatham where Caroline had organised the UK celebratory rally and then they both hot footed it to Auxerre for the Continental celebratory rally. Neeltje didn’t manage the crossing so they stayed in a Dutch cruiser on the rally site where they both helped master Continental rally organiser John Best and his wife Catherine.

And I now defer to JB to take it from there.


I hope, Christopher, that helps you understand with whom you are debating. Also, just take a look to the left of any of Andy's posts to see how many times he has chosen to inform, educate and entertain the DBA membership.

Best wishes,

Bob
The following user(s) said Thank You: Andy Soper, Balliol Fowden, Sam Archer

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette
In DBA Barge Register:
barges.org/members/bargeregister/bargeregister-search?assetaction=detail&vesselid=165

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 15:55 #114969

  • Christopher Wyles
  • Christopher Wyles's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 10
Again, I beg to differ; the EA is a business. It may be a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), sponsored by DEFRA, aka a quango, but it raises revenue, has running costs and allocates its profits to various projects. It has a P&L account and a balance sheet. It’s a business, with responsibilities to its customers.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 11:21 #114965

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
Sadly EA is not a business - it is part of the Environment Agency an arms length body of DEFRA.

barges.org/homepage/board-and-volunteers

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 11:13 #114964

  • Christopher Wyles
  • Christopher Wyles's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 10
”This is not the time to plead special measures.”

Au contraire; this is exactly the time. The EA is a business, like any other, and needs to be forward planning the consequences of the situation and its ramifications. I’m fairly new to the DBA, thus not familiar with the personalities, so I’m not sure if you are actually employed by the EA, Andy.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 10:48 #114962

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
The EA Registration system is not ideal. Its review is stalled at the moment due to other priorities (which included Thames staff being diverted to flood relief for much of the winter.

This is not the time to plead special measures.

If any member is suffering financial hardship and is having difficulty paying their registration fees then I am sure individual approaches to EA officers will get a fair hearing (CRT have already said this - see my CRT posts). Am happy to provide appropriate contact details for anyone needing them - PM or email me.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 10:29 #114960

  • Christopher Wyles
  • Christopher Wyles's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 10
Guys!! This is not a debate on whether staying in a marina is exactly equivalent to SORN. I used it as an analogy. I started a debate to canvas views on who should pay the licence fee this year if, as is very likely, we lose a substantial part of the season or, indeed, all of it.

Andy, ref the red boards, I have already addressed that point and would refer you to the answer I gave earlier.

Interestingly, no-one seems to want to put their head above the parapet and actually state whether they feel we should suck up the charge or whether we should be given a mulligan this year.

Bear in mind that the coronavirus situation will only finally end when one of two things happen. Either, a very large percentage of the population catch it, or a vaccine becomes available. Home-isolation will slow the rate of infection, in order to allow the NHS to cope, but it won’t eradicate the virus. We could be having the identical debate a year from now.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 10:20 #114959

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
Mike wrote - Do you need a licence to be afloat in your marina?

Christopher is on the Thames - all Thames marinas were included in Thames water by IWO2010. A dozen or so boaters took EA to court claiming that the marinas were not Thames water. The magistrate agreed but a higher court overturned the judgement. All Thames non-tidal marinas require boats to be registered.

Following on from that there is an on-going discussion as to whether marinas should pay accommodation charges for their structures - piles and jetties. It is bit of a two edged sword as marina operators would probably try and pass some of that onto the moorers - but - online marinas such as Bourne End and boat clubs such as Thames Motor Yacht Club already pay accommodation charges for their structures but cannot charge more for competitive reasons.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 10:13 #114958

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
Hello Christopher,

Sorry but Thames law (Most recent update IWO 2010) requires all boats afloat on Thames water must be registered.

Vehicle SORN requires the vehicle to be off the public road.

The boating SORN equivalent is to crane it onto hard-standing but you would need to pay rental for the hard-standing and under current terms and conditions would only get a partial refund - and you would need to re-licence for the rest of the year when you craned her back in and there is no reduction on the annual charge until after 1 Sept when it is reduced to 50%.

PS - you haven't lost any use due to restrictions your reach is still on red boards.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 02:13 #114956

Do you need a licence to be afloat in your marina?

Mike Gibbons

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 28 Mar 2020 01:12 #114955

  • Christopher Wyles
  • Christopher Wyles's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 10
Exactly. The equivalent would be staying in one’s marina.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 27 Mar 2020 23:48 #114953

  • Balliol Fowden
  • Balliol Fowden's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 2510
If you SORN your car you take it off the road.

Balliol.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 27 Mar 2020 22:57 #114952

  • Christopher Wyles
  • Christopher Wyles's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 10
I’m not persuaded by that viewpoint. I pay my marina to float; I pay the EA to be able to “lease” their facilities which includes, inter alia, moving and use of locks.

Now, of course, it is not the EA’s fault that they are having to impose a non-use rule in the current circumstances. However, it’s not our fault either and someone ultimately has to suck up the downside cost.

Of course, you raise a very valid point, Andy, about red boards and lock repairs. How are these different, one might ask? Well, in essence, these tend to occur overwhelmingly during the winter months; a time when most of us don’t use our boats anyway, owing to weather, and instead use the time to effect repairs and updates etc. Further, lock repairs tend to isolate very small sections of the river, rather than the entire river at once. The current situation may possibly last until the end of the season, or even longer.

The identical issue arises, of course, with vehicles as, currently, we are instructed not to use the roads. The difference is that one can choose to SORN a vehicle for, say, the next 3-6 months. If one were forced to pay road fund tax, but not be allowed to use the roads, we would be up in arms. There is no option to SORN a boat.

The EA is a business, as well as being part of a government department (DEFRA). If we lose all or most of a season, then should it not be the EA that has to compensate the customer, rather than the other way around?

For the avoidance of doubt, I do agree with the EA’s decision. This debate, however, is about who pays for that decision?

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional Thames specific advice 27 Mar 2020 18:53 #114947

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
A very measured and informative reply from EA.

A shorter version would be - you pay to float not move.

The river has been on red boards at most locks due to flow since 1 January and cruising has not been advised. Winter works have overrun due to the wet weather. and flow and three locks are still being repaired.

Stay safe.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 27 Mar 2020 18:28 #114946

  • Christopher Wyles
  • Christopher Wyles's Avatar
  • Online
  • Posts: 10
I contacted the EA to enquire as to whether they will be refunding a pro-rata proportion of our annual licence fee, this year, for the period over which we are not allowed to use the non-tidal Thames.

This is their current position.......

“ Dear Christopher,


As things stand, there has been no change of policy regarding boat registration refunds- the existing process still applies.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/boat-registration-refunding-or-transferring-your-registration

Please continue to monitor your emails and our website and we will let you know if anything changes.

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency


Kind regards,

Josh Furness
Customer Service Advisor
National Contact Centre Services Part of Operations, Regulation & Customer
Environment Agency

Tel: 03708 506 506
Web Site: www.gov.uk/environment-agency

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Additional and more comprehensive Thames specific advice 27 Mar 2020 18:03 #114945

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
Well they seem to have got it all in one place at last!

Dear non-tidal Thames boater,

Please find attached Environment Agency guidance for all boaters on the waterways we manage.(posted previously on 25 March 114879)

We cannot stress enough the need to avoid all bar essential journeys on our waterways at the present time, and this applies to all vessels - powered, unpowered, recreational and commercial.

Please do heed our advice which is based on Government guidance and is solely intended to protect you, and others.

For boaters on the non-tidal Thames specifically, there are some additional important points to note:
In order to protect our staff, all areas of our locksites which members of the public do not need to access to operate the lock or use facilities such as fresh water points, will be closed. This includes all campsites and lock and weir fishing sites.
Customers wishing to use our pump-out facilities at Eynsham, Abingdon, Mapledurham, Shiplake and Boveney locks should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. giving as much notice as possible, stating which lock they intend to visit, and provide a contact telephone. A member of our Waterways team will call them back to discuss how this will be arranged. Pump-out facilities at all other sites are currently unavailable and we apologise for this inconvenience. Please note: the WaterwaysThames email inbox is monitored during normal business hours from Monday to Friday. It is not monitored at weekends.
To discourage non-essential movement of boats, all locks will be hand-wind only. As our locks at Hambleden and Cookham do not have hand-wind operation, these locks are closed until further notice. We will issue a Harbour Master’s Notice to this effect shortly.
As a result of the prolonged (and continuing) period of strong stream conditions, a considerable number of hazard marker buoys have been moved out of position. In addition, river and weather conditions may have created new hazards. We would normally carry out a survey of all reaches at the earliest opportunity once river conditions make it safe to do so, to reposition marker buoys and install them where we identify new hazards, until such time as we can deal with them. We cannot currently do this, or carry out operations to remove hazards. Therefore, not only should all movement be restricted to essential journeys only, such journeys must be carried out with extreme caution.
We know that there are hazards blocking the navigation at Sunbury and Marsh locks, which are both closed until further notice.
In addition, hazards are restricting use of both Temple Lock and Clifton Lock. More information on these can be found at riverconditions.environment-agency.gov.uk/ where we will also post information on any further service issues.
Teddington Lock is also closed, but we will consider providing a hand-wind service for short periods to enable essential journeys only. Any requests which we deem to be non-essential will be declined. Boaters requiring to transit Teddington Lock should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their contact details. A member of our Teddington Lock team will then be in touch. We will issue a Harbour Master’s Notice shortly. Please note: the WaterwaysThames email inbox is monitored during normal business hours from Monday to Friday. It is not monitored at weekends.

Thank you for support and understanding during these extraordinary and very challenging times.

River Thames Waterways Team

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

Additional Thames specific advice 26 Mar 2020 11:26 #114903

  • Andy Soper
  • Andy Soper's Avatar Topic Author
  • Online
  • Posts: 3605
Dear TNUF member,

For boaters on the non-tidal Thames specifically, there are some additional impacts:

In order to protect our staff, all areas of our locksites which members of the public do not need to access to operate the lock or use facilities such as fresh water points, will be closed. This includes all campsites and lock and weir fishing sites.
To discourage non-essential movement of boats, all locks will be hand-wind only.
As a result of the prolonged (and continuing) period of strong stream conditions, a considerable number of hazard marker buoys have been moved out of position. In addition, river and weather conditions may have created new hazards (trees in the river for example) which we are unaware of. We would normally carry out a survey of all reaches at the earliest opportunity once river conditions make it safe to do so, to reposition marker buoys and install them where we identify new hazards, until such time as we can deal with them. We cannot currently do this, or carry out operations to remove hazards. Therefore, not only should all movement be restricted to essential journeys only, such journeys must be carried out with extreme caution.
We know that there are hazards blocking the navigation at Sunbury and Marsh locks, which are both closed until further notice.
In addition, hazards are restricting use of both Temple Lock and Clifton Lock. More information on these can be found at riverconditions.environment-agency.gov.uk/ where we will also post information on any further service issues.
Teddington Lock is also closed, but we will consider providing a hand-wind service for short periods to enable essential journeys only. Any requests which we deem to be non-essential will be declined. Boaters requiring to transit Teddington Lock should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their contact details. A member of our Teddington Lock team will then be in touch.

Do let us know if you have any questions and we will answer them to the best of our ability.
Thank you for support and understanding during these extraordinary and very challenging times.

Barry Russell MBE

Non Tidal Thames Harbour Master / Waterways Manager │Thames Area

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org
  • Page:
  • 1
Moderators: Pete Milne
Time to create page: 0.486 seconds