News article created on 26 January 2022

London Boaters’ Update - January 2022

Hello and welcome to the first edition of London Boaters’ Update.

Hertford Union Canal, courtesy of Go Jauntly Hertford Union Canal, courtesy of Go Jauntly

In this edition you will find:

  • Information on our consultation on mooring space in London
  • Hertford Union Canal news
  • Known upcoming closures/works in the area
  • Seasonal tips

Consultation on Mooring Spaces

You may already have heard about our ongoing consultation as we’ve started to send out communications about it over the past month, but in case you haven’t, here is a brief outline. We at the Trust want to improve management of London’s mooring spaces, to balance the needs of both local and visiting boats. Following input from boaters we have now published proposals that aim to balance the needs of different boaters and will help to increase access to the waterways for all. You can now read the proposals and give your views up until 28 March.

One of the proposals we’d like you to consider is an increase in pre-bookable paid moorings at ten central London short-stay visitor sites. These pre-bookable moorings have been working well in two locations in London since 2019. They offer both residential and visiting boaters an assured mooring which we hope will improve availability for all. To reiterate, this proposal is focused on the short-stay moorings. With typically over 4,000 boats on London’s waterways, the pre-bookable moorings will affect mooring space for around 40 boats (roughly 1% of all boats in London) at existing short-stay moorings. It will not affect the majority of moorings, including any 14-day towpath moorings, so for most this will not be a significant change.

For more information visit our page on Managing moorings on London’s busy waterways.

Hertford Union Canal

The Hertford Union Canal is one of the gems of our London waterways. At about 1¼ miles long, this picturesque waterway which runs alongside Victoria Park is beloved by boaters and many London residents and visitors alike.

The canal is one of our busiest in the region, and at almost 200 years old, the walls along the waterway are now in urgent need of repair. To restore them, we are draining a section of the canal between Junction Bridge and Lock 1 (rehoming the fish to the next stretch of waterway for the time being!) and repairing the ancient walls using appropriately traditional techniques.

We are excited to be hosting an open day at Hertford Union Canal on the 18 and 19, February, giving visitors a rare chance to walk along the bottom of the drained canal for a close-up look at our repairs.

Known upcoming works/closures

Grand Union Canal - Lock 66, Apsley

Upstream winding hole: Above at Junction of River Gade A414 London Road

Downstream winding hole: Immediately below lock 66, Junction or River Gade

Date of stoppage: 14/02/2022 0800hrs - 04/03/2022 1600hrs

Towpath closed?: No

Grand Union Canal - Lock 70, Kings Langley

Upstream winding hole: Above lock 70 at junction of Mill Stream

Downstream winding hole: Below lock 71 at junction of Mill Stream

Date of stoppage: 07/03/2022 0800hrs - 18/03/2022 1600hrs

Towpath closed?: No

Hertford Union Canal - Bridge 54a, Junction of Regent’s Canal, to Bottom Lock 3, Bow Hertford Union Canal

Upstream winding hole:  Bridge 54a, junction with the Regent's Canal

Downstream winding hole:  Junction with the Lee Navigation

Date of stoppage: Ongoing - 31/03/2022 1600hrs

Towpath closed?: No

Millwall Outer Dock - Glengall Bridge, Pepper Street, Isle of Dogs

Upstream winding hole: Millwall Cutting Bridge

Downstream winding hole: None

Date of stoppage: Ongoing - 22/02/2022 1600hrs

Towpath closed?: No

Seasonal boating tips

We know that many London boaters are spending winter on the water for the first time this year. And with some of the typically coldest weeks of the year still to come, here are some accepted seasonal tips for staying safe and enjoying your time afloat, even when the temperatures plummet:

  • DON’T rush movements, especially going through a lock. Most accidents happen in the winter, so take your time and ensure your footing is secure and your footwear is non-slip.
  • DO always have a spare cassette for your toilet, and if you have a pump-out toilet it's really worth having an emergency cassette toilet, just in case.
  • DO keep your fuel tanks as full as possible to prevent diesel bug. More common in winter, this is when condensation builds up inside a fuel tank and causes bacteria/fungi to grow which can render the fuel unreliable.
  • DON’T be tempted to use your boat to break the ice if part of the waterway has frozen over. This can cause damage to your hull and also your engine, if broken-up ice gets into the mechanism.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or feedback on any of the content in this newsletter, please get in touch here. We’d love to hear from you.

Stay safe, and happy boating,

The London and South-East Team