Dates for your diary, and the latest news in the London area.
14 October – London Waterway Forum
Jon Guest, the manager of the London waterway, will be hosting the latest in our series of evening forums. This is a chance for boaters, residents, walkers, anglers, cyclists and business people to come together and discuss issues with each other and with the Trust’s staff, and to learn more about plans for the future. Our event in April was well-attended and many people told us that they found it really useful.
The next forum is from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday 14 October at the London Canal Museum, 12‐13 New Wharf Road, London, N1 9RT. Places are limited. If you’d like to reserve your place at this October’s event, please email: email@example.com.
22 October – Central Regent’s Action Plan: Islington moorings review
This open meeting follows two stakeholder workshops held earlier this year to discuss improved management of the central Regent’s Canal. This meeting will review feedback on the recent proposals for a Visitor Mooring at Kings Cross (York Way to Caledonian Road), as well as presenting a review of the Visitor Mooring Management Plan operating at the Islington Visitor Mooring (Noel Road) since November 2013.
It will be held from 6pm to 8.30pm on Thursday 22 October at the London Canal Museum, 12‐13 New Wharf Road, London, N1 9RT. All are welcome, but as space is limited please email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your attendance.
19 November – London Waterway Partnership Annual Meeting
The London Waterway Partnership, chaired by Sir Brian Fender, aims to connect local people and their communities with their waterways. This year’s Annual Partnership Meeting – a chance to hear about their work – will be in the evening of 19 November.
Angel Canal Festival 'a huge success'.
We hope you made it down to the Angel Canal Festival this year. There was an impressive variety of foods available and lots of fun activities on the towpath and on the water. Once again the committee pulled off a fabulous day and we really appreciate their hard work. You can read more about the day, and see some great photos, by visiting the website of the Islington Gazette.
Jena makes it to the Slough Canal Festival
The London Waterway’s wide-beam, 'Jena', was just one of the many boats that visited Slough for their weekend festival. It was a great opportunity for local people to learn more about the history of the Slough Arm and the local Sea Cadets were out in force, offering boat trips. Jeannette Brooks, Development & Engagement Manager for the Trust in London, said “What a fun day! And an excellent chance for us to show off “Jena”. We invited many people aboard to talk about the Trust’s work. I’d like to see more events like this right across the network. Canals are for everyone and we want to see as many people as possible enjoying themselves.” For more photos and further information, please visit the website of the Slough Express.
Recent closures at Islington Tunnel
You may be aware that the police required the closure of the Regent’s Canal at Islington Tunnel on 24 to 26 September and of subsequent delays on 30 September. It can be frustrating that not much information is provided in these situations but it’s obviously vital that the police do their work. We understand that there is an appeal for information, please see this article from The Telegraph.
Kings Cross and Islington moorings review
We’ve had lots of feedback on our proposals to introduce a trial visitor mooring between York Way and Caledonian Road, designed to help share the space fairly while moorings are still in short supply in the Kings Cross area.
In feedback received from a range of boaters and local residents, we’ve heard that: it might be confusing to have three different stay times in the area (2 and 7 day visitor mooring as well as 14 day casual mooring); the 2 day section may be better located at the York Way end; the restriction to double mooring (i.e. one widebeam or two narrowboats) may impact on widebeam owners disproportionately; that some sections should be kept clear of moorings so people can access the water or turn boats safely; and that controls over use of smoky fuels and excessive engine running should be considered. We’ll be considering all the feedback and looking at how the proposals can be modified to take account of the wide range of views.
In Islington, we’ve also been operating a management plan for the Islington Visitor Moorings at Noel Road since November 2013, to try to manage the impact of mooring in this cutting where smoke and noise is often trapped due to the topography of the area. We are now reviewing how this plan has worked, as it involved an innovative ‘volunteer caretaker boater’ scheme and the introduction of an advisory ‘Quiet Zone’.
Our management arrangements for moorings in this busy section of canal aim to help everyone get along and share this precious space fairly. Not everyone has been happy with our approach and over the years there have been a number of complaints, some ending up with the Waterway Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman is keen to hear the evidence first hand, so we are holding an open meeting where boaters, local residents, boating clubs and organisations, and other local stakeholders are invited to discuss the Islington Visitor Mooring Plan review and consultation feedback on the Kings Cross Visitor Mooring proposals. We hope that by working together we can agree on the most appropriate management measures for the area and move on to discussing the great opportunities for building on the area’s potential.
The open meeting will be held on Thursday 22nd October, from 6pm-8.30pm, at the London Canal Museum, 12‐13 New Wharf Road, London, N1 9RT. All are welcome, but as space is limited please email email@example.com to confirm your attendance.
Winter moorings 2015/16
As explained in last month’s bulletin, we have decided not to offer winter moorings in central London. This is because of feedback from some boaters that it will be fairer to maximise all boaters’ opportunities to share the space available in such a busy city. Winter moorings are available in greater London, within easy reach of the centre of town.
If you have any enquiries you can call our customer service team on 0303 040 4040, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change of owner
Buying and selling boats is not like buying and selling a house or a car and there’s very little legal process – some people don’t even make a sale of contract or exchange receipts. Because there’s so little formal due diligence it is important to inform the Canal & River Trust of any change of ownership using our Transfer of Boat Responsibility or Change of Details form (found here).
Failure to inform us of any changes could result in enforcement action or seizure of your boat and a huge legal and removal bill. Where we don’t have a new boaters details we have to assume that the boat is owned by the person we have registered. In some cases boats have ongoing legal action and some are about to be removed from our waters imminently – the last thing anyone would want to happen to their new boat!
Conversely where boaters sell their boat and do not inform us, a new owner could fall unlicensed and remain illegally on Trust waters and the old owner could end up being taken to court or landed with a big removal bill due to the actions of a new owner.
In order to protect yourself when you buy, sell or swap boats it is vital that you tell the Trust.
If you are in any doubt or have trouble filling in forms our Enforcement Team will be happy to assist.
The Hertford Union and Winter Works
Last month, we advised you of a closure to the Hertford Union in October. This has now been postponed. The Hertford Union will be open as usual in October.
Hopefully, you’ll have had a chance to familiarise yourself with the Trust’s plans for works over the winter months. Each winter the Canal & River Trust takes advantage of the reduced traffic on the network and carries out a programme of works. The programme is made up of the jobs we can only carry out by closing the canal and includes replacing lock gates, relining channels, repairing weirs and grouting the lock walls.
Each year we publish our winter stoppage plans in advance and ask for your feedback on them.
The full details are available on our website but here are a few of the highlights:
The Regent’s Canal from Lock 8 (Old Ford Lock) to Lock 10 (Johnsons Lock): The canal will be closed from 2 November to 21 December. This will mean that:
The River Stort at Lock 9 (Latton Lock): We’ll be replacing the lock gates and so the lock will be closed from 2 November to 18 December.
The Regent’s Canal at Lock 3 (Kentish Town Lock): We’ll be replacing the lock gates and so the lock will be closed from 4 January to 11 March.
Customer service improvements and developments
Our team have fought hard to keep on top of the weed this year. We were badly affected by the breakdown of one of our weed-clearing boats and a bird nesting on another (the coots can build nests overnight). The weed continued quite late and here’s a recent photo of the team at work:
If you’ve visited Little Venice recently, you may have seen these repairs the team made to the stairs from Warwick Crescent:
Bridge 55, Dobbs Weir Lane Bridge, Lee Navigation: Essex County Council will be replacing Bridge 55, Dobbs Weir Lane Bridge. This will see night closures of the waterway and temporary closures during the day. A towpath diversion will be in place. Cyclists are asked to dismount. Please follow the signs. Works started on 20 July 2015 and will continue into 2016.
Bridge 33 (railway bridge) to Lock 4 (St Pancras Lock) on the Regent’s Canal: From 18 May and until early 2016, towpath works will mean that the towpath to the east of Bridge 33 and for approximately 70 metres will be replaced by a pontoon on the water. For safety reasons, we ask that there should be no running or cycling on the pontoon. Navigation should be with care and with particular attention to oncoming boats.
Limehouse Lock, Limehouse: From 7 July we're making repairs at Limehouse Lock and this will reduce availability. Please book in advance by calling 020 7308 9930. For access to and from the Thames, boaters may find it easier to use the lock at Brentford. The lock can be booked by calling 020 8568 2779. The lock at Bow may also be available and can be contacted on 020 7517 5570.
From Bridge 14 (Prince Albert Road) to Bridge 2 (Lisson Grove Bridge), Regent’s Canal: Our Regent's West Project, funded by Transport for London, will see considerable improvements to the Regent's Canal's towpath from Cumberland Basin to Lisson Grove. There will be lighting improvements, graffiti removal, improved seating. Cyclists and pedestrians will benefit from towpath widening, improved sight-lines and the removal of "pinch points". The works should be complete by 20 October. The towpath will remain open but there may be temporary diversions. Please follow local signs.
Lisson Grove Moorings, Regent’s Canal: A section of towpath through the Lisson Grove moorings requires urgent repair. Pedestrians are asked to follow the alternative route used by cyclists. Please follow the signs. This is expected to be repaired by 27 October.
Towpath at the Old Barge Pub, Hertford, Lee Navigation: We're making repairs to 20 metres of waterway wall on the towpath side by the Old Barge Pub, 2 The Folly, Hertford, SG14 1QD. There will be short towpath diversion, please follow local signs. The navigation will remain open but we ask boaters to take care. These works are expected to last from 7 September to 14 November 2015.
Lee Navigation, Bow: As part of the CrossRail works, there is gravel in the navigation below Bridge 7 on the River Lea. From 21 October to 14 October this will be removed using a floating excavator and barges. The navigation will remain open but we ask passing boaters to take care.
We also tweet our notices from @CRTLondon.
Sorwar Ahmed is Waterway Boating Manager for the Canal & River Trust in London. He’s engaging communities and developing social enterprises to improve the waterways for everyone! Every month he gives a round-up of news and views, essential reading for boaters and anyone with an interest in London’s canals.See more blogs from this author