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Navigating and living on the waterways of Great Britain & Ireland and news of canal developments. (Public)
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TOPIC: Thames Stoppage - Sunbury

Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 20 Oct 2021 13:04 #126397

  • Andy Soper
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Sunbury hydraulic lock returned to normal service today.

(Beam/Manual lock now padlocked!)

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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

Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 13 Oct 2021 10:25 #126272

  • Andy Soper
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EA have now updated their plan for Sunbury on the river conditions page
Clearly they aren't planning to fix the hydraulic lock for another week at least.
Don't exepect the plan to survive for long as boats have been locked through the manual lock on days when it was were allegedly unmanned - you could be lucky!

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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

Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 10 Oct 2021 19:19 #126231

  • Andy Soper
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No- public - but I doubt that Maria will be interested. paddlers)

Mark - Upper Thames and Maria Lower Thames treat users with contempt -

Priority 1 - Safety of EA employees

Priority 2 - Safety of the Public (walkers, joggers, paddlers

Priority 3 - Boaters

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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

Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 10 Oct 2021 19:18 #126230

  • Tim Crew
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Totally agree Andy. Train operating companies field managers when there is for example disruption. The managers, are trained for it, expect it and see it as their responsibility to their customers - how different the EA is

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Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 10 Oct 2021 19:13 #126227

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Is this forum private???...No Idea. You(DBA) run it but it might be a good idea to invite Maria whateverhernameis to join as an observer?

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Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 10 Oct 2021 19:09 #126226

  • Andy Soper
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Hello Tim,

Thank you - yes it beggars belief and it took them all day to do it.

I used to run Waitrose's distribution network - in similar circumstances staff would have been told to work, and failing that managers sent into replace. But we are not talking about a commercial operation - they are failed civil servants.

One EA employee described his managers as 2.2s - if they had a better degree then they would have been able to get a better job.

Is this forum private???

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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

Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 10 Oct 2021 19:08 #126225

  • Tim Crew
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I will. Ive had enough of these idiots. Grrrr!
Andy, Is there a good email address?

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Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 10 Oct 2021 19:04 #126223

  • Andy Soper
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Hello Tim,

Your 221 - please see my post 126171 - I can only throw so much mud on one day.

You might consider emailing EA direct as they only count my complaint as one complaint - not several hundreds.

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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

Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 10 Oct 2021 18:58 #126222

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It beggars belief. 2 days to 'finalise' a revised operational roster. I wonder how many days it will take them to "implement" their revised roster. Obviously the roster will need to be trialled, reviewed, check again for H&S, and then approved.

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Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 10 Oct 2021 18:53 #126221

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Re the Service update: "Environment Agency staff have been developing a safe working method to enable the beam lock to be used while the hydraulic lock is not operational". I interpret this as an explicit statement that we have assets (ie the beam lock) that we dont know how to operate safely. Isnt this an admission of incompetence?

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Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 10 Oct 2021 18:27 #126220

  • Andy Soper
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But today's Update just kicks the problem down the road:

SERVICE UPDATE: Sunbury Lock
Sunbury Beam Lock will be closed on Monday 11 October and Tuesday 12 October while a revised operational roster is finalised.
Sunbury Beam Lock will be re-opened for assisted passage on Wednesday 13 October between 10am and 4pm and will be operated by Environment Agency staff only.
River users will be able to travel downstream on every whole hour and upstream on every half hour. The last lock-through will be for customers heading upstream at 3.30pm.
Priority will be given to river users with an urgent need to pass through the lock and we ask that no one plans a journey unless it is urgent.
The lock will be closed for short periods throughout the day to enable operational staff to have breaks and to make ongoing assessments of the lock and will be closed for use after 4pm.
Further updates will be made on 13 October to inform river users of the operating times and procedures for the remainder of week.
Sunbury Hydraulic Lock has been inspected by a specialist diving team on Sunday 10 October to determine the extent of the damaged lock gate elements. The information provided by the diving team will be reviewed on Monday 11 October by Environment Agency staff to progress the necessary refurbishment actions. The extent of the hydraulic lock closure will be published as soon as this information is available to Environment Agency staff.
We are grateful for all our customers’ support during this disruption and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Click here to view the existing closure notice for Sunbury Hydraulic Lock: www.gov.uk/.../river-thames-emergency-sunbury ...
Harbour Master Notices on planned or emergency lock or river restrictions and closures are published here, where you can also subscribe to receive email notifications: www.gov.uk/.../river-thames-restrictions-and ...
Thank you,
RTWT

Charlie - hope you got through today?
Don Galles - you will need to include this in your planning!
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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

Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 09 Oct 2021 18:56 #126219

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SUNBURY LOCK - the EA have decided to permit limited use of the beam lock on a day by day basis - full details on the River Conditions webpage HERE
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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

Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 09 Oct 2021 18:48 #126218

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SUNBURY LOCK - the EA have decided to permit limited use of the beam lock on a day by day basis - full details on the River Conditions webpage HERE

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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

Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 09 Oct 2021 11:14 #126213

  • Charles Mclaren
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This is my email to EAthis morning:
Dear Ms Herlihy,
Again thankyou for your email.
I went down yesterday late afternoon to see for myself what was happening at Sunbury. I ran a marina in Suffolk and was responsible for the repair and maintenance of the lock gates, and so know something of which I speak.
For the record:
The repair to the collar on the upper southern gate has left the gate several inches out of true and is relying on bolts taking a sheering load rather than the original system where the collar was held in place by a keeper plate and wedge. This is probably why the gate still has problems.
The beam lock: This was successfully used by the African Queen and another boat. The gates themselves seem to be in reasonable though unmaintained condition. The beam on the upper southern gate has visible rot. If this is of concern then may I suggest that the gate is operated by a rope or turfer on the outer point so the beam is not used and therefore ceases to be a health and safety issue. I have both rope and turfer on board Viod that I would be happy to donate! Alternatively a steel plate could be bolted horizontally on top of or below the beam with 6 inch coach bolts to give added strength.
May I also point out that all the narrow boats could transit either lock using single gate operation.
Can we please use some initiative to get this sorted. Thanks. CM
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Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 09 Oct 2021 11:03 #126212

  • Andy Soper
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The stoppage was first reported on Gov.uk on 4 October. HERE

The manual lock at Sunbury has hand operated paddles and beams on the top gate but capstan operated lower gates. It is different from all other locks but would be familiar to users of many French manual locks! Sadly boaters are assumed to be incompetent to operate the lock - but I suspect this is a ploy to hide the poor condition of the lock.

I have not had a reply to my last e-mail to the HM - Maria Herlihy sent on Thursday - text:
Hello Maria,

Thank you

Was it a conscious decision to allow the Sunbury beam lock to degrade beyond safe condition for use? If so why?
Should I be concerned about the maintenance standards of the beam locks above Oxford if Sunbury is in such poor state?
When Cookham lock gate collar failed two years ago it took less than 4 hours before it was repaired (at a weekend). 2 hours of the wait was for a second Ops Delivery team member to join his colleague and ensure safe working practice - entirely appropriate.
Why is it now taking a week to make a simple repair?
Please don't tell me you haven't arranged to test the winching points yet?
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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

Thames Stoppage - Sunbury 09 Oct 2021 10:55 #126211

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From EA last night - the continuing saga

SERVICE UPDATE: Sunbury Lock
Sunbury Hydraulic Lock Emergency Closure remains in place following the testing of the new collar strap that was fitted on 8 October 2021.
Operational staff have advised that the lock gate is not operating safely with the new collar strap fitted and further, more detailed, investigations are required to determine the cause of this issue. It is not possible at this stage to state when the hydraulic lock will be re-opened, but Environment Agency staff will be working with specialist contractors to complete the required assessments and put measures in place to undertake any necessary repair work.
Sunbury Beam Lock is currently closed to river traffic due to operational safety concerns. Environment Agency staff have been developing a safe working method to enable the beam lock to be used while the hydraulic lock is not operational. A final assessment of the beam lock operation will take place on the morning of Saturday 9 October 2021. Following this assessment, instructions will be given to river users whether the beam lock can be used. Any operation of the beam lock (if permitted) will be by trained Environment Agency staff only and for periods that will be defined in subsequent updates.
We apologise for any inconvenience the continued disruption is causing and thank our customers for their ongoing patience.
Click here to view the existing closure notice: www.gov.uk/.../river-thames-emergency-sunbury ...
Harbour Master Notices on planned or emergency lock or river restrictions and closures are published here, where you can also subscribe to receive email notifications: www.gov.uk/.../river-thames-restrictions-and ...
Thank you,
RTWT
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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
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