View Full Version : Changes are a coming

25-04-07, 14:51
Speaking to an official who works on the thames yesterday I was told that plans are afoot one is that the ea will be taking control of some of the tidal thames the other was regarding locks he couldnt tell me much apart from the introduction of a 35 quid fee for using a lock at night but he did say that if I needed to know more then I should have a chat with one of the lock keepers to find out more

It seems that the accountants have now control and things will get bad

25-04-07, 14:55
Sounds like he was a well confused man.

25-04-07, 14:59
not confused but could not tell me too much about the changes but his statement ( ask a lock keeper ) was prominent

25-04-07, 15:34
Charges to use the river at night? They'll be trying to repeal the statutory right of navigation next. And how will they collect it? I hope this is a misunderstanding, night cruises are a whole lot of fun.

25-04-07, 15:39
I'm trying to find out but my guess is that it is something to do with the changes that are planned for Teddington. ie no lockeeper overnight in winter.

25-04-07, 15:42
Charges to use the river at night? They'll be trying to repeal the statutory right of navigation next. And how will they collect it? I hope this is a misunderstanding, night cruises are a whole lot of fun.

[/ QUOTE ]

Cant comment untill I have spoken with a lock keeper

yep night cruises are a lot of fun no one about to annoy you but midges in your face can be annoying


26-04-07, 12:12
Please don't take this the wrong way Chuckaduck, but I don't think that information of this sort is very helpful without rather more provenance.
A long time ago I stopped listening to rumours or 2nd hand information unless supported by 1st hand facts.

26-04-07, 12:21
pm me

23-05-07, 14:51
Just to shed some light on this I received this from an association I am a mamber of.

To: Public Notice Recipients

Dear Sir/Madam

Modernising Richmond Weir Operations

I am writing to let you to know about our plans for modernising the control
systems for the weirs at Richmond Lock.

Later this year, we will be starting work on a project to automate the
raising and lowering of the weirs that are used to control the level of
water in the River Thames above Richmond. This 250,000 project will bring
the operation in line with modern practice and reduce its ongoing running
costs, enabling us to provide free passage through the lock between 7.00 am
and 7.00 pm.

This is part of an ongoing programme of investment we have for modernising
our operation to reflect the needs and demands of users on this stretch of
the river. Other improvements include appointing a new River Manager
(Putney to Teddington), launching a Rowing Code of Practice and introducing
two new low-wash launches. These changes are designed to ensure we maintain
the highest level of safety on the Thames for river users, whilst ensuring
that access and enjoyment of the river is not diminished.

Once the weirs are automated next year, we will be switching the manning of
our Richmond base from 24 hours a day to 7.00 am to 7.00 pm - the peak
period of demand for the lock operation. Our analysis shows that the lock
is little used outside these hours, with no more than two boats passing
through at the peak of the summer season and often no boats at all during
the winter months.

To maintain freedom of navigation we will, on 24 hours' notice, make
personnel available to operate the lock after 7.00 pm when the weirs are
lowered. A minimal cost of 35 per boat will be made for this service.
Canoes, skiffs and other small craft will continue to have full access to
the 'boat roller', under the Middlesex Arch, for passage at times when the
weirs are lowered.

We have risk assessed these proposed changes. This analysis confirmed that,
with additional signage upstream and downstream, the new arrangements will
be as safe as the current ones. In any case, the new system will include
arrangements for remote monitoring and intervention in the operation, in the
unlikely event that it should be necessary.

As with any change to our operations, we are keen to ensure that interested
stakeholders are aware of the prospective change - our plans are set out in
more detailed in the attached notice.

If you wish to comment on the plans before we finalise them or give us any
feedback, please send them to our Marine Administrative Support Manager,
Julian Parkes, as set out in the Public Notice by 6th July 2007.

If you would like a more detailed briefing on our plans, do please let me
know on 01474-562360.

Yours sincerely

Alistair Gale
Director of Corporate Affairs



The Port of London Authority (PLA) has a statutory duty to maintain a
minimum water level upstream of Richmond Lock by operation of the associated
weirs. The lock allows vessels to pass these weirs when they are in place
(i.e. down) and the river is held at the maintained level.

During each tidal cycle, other than at times of very high fresh water flows,
the weirs are lifted clear of the river, which allows two-way passage for
vessels over a four hour period during each tide, without the need to pass
through the lock. The weirs are lowered into position to retain the river
level for the rest of the tidal cycle. During the time the weirs are in
position, all except very lightweight craft have to use the lock to pass the
weirs. The lock controls are operated by a member of the Authority's staff,
on demand.

Currently the lock and weirs are manned continuously in order to monitor the
river level, to lower and raise the weirs at half-tide, and to adjust the
weirs when they are in place to keep the river level at the required height.
The same staff also operate the lock controls to flood and empty the lock
chamber and to operate the gates for passage of river traffic.

Current Traffic Levels
An analysis of lock use over a two-year period has shown that:
. the majority of river traffic (over 90%) only uses the lock between
0700 and 1900
. the lock is barely used outside these hours during the winter months
- on average in the last two years, one boat moved through the lock every
fortnight between October and December; and
. during the summer months (April to September) use of the lock
between 1900 and 0700 remained very low (less than two boats a night).

Modernisation of the Weir Controls
The Authority intends to carry out extensive modernisation of the controls
to the weirs.

The modernisation of the weir controls will automate the regulation of the
river level and the raising and lowering of the weirs so that there will be
no need for staff to intervene in the process on site. The system will
include arrangements for remote monitoring and intervention in the
operation, in the unlikely event that it should be necessary. A
navigational safety risk assessment has confirmed that the addition of
appropriate warning signage upstream and downstream of the facility will
mitigate any risks associated with the changes.

Notwithstanding the automation of the weirs and monitoring of river levels,
PLA staff will be on site during day light hours to maintain the facility
and operate lock gates and sluice controls when the weirs are in the lowered

The Authority plans to keep staff available to operate the lock on demand
between 0700 to 1900 as a free service, and for staff to be available 'on
call' outside of these hours for which a charge will be made.

Seeking comment from River Users and other interested parties
Before implementing these arrangements, the Authority is providing an
opportunity for river users and other interested parties to comment on the
changes, which will mean that:

During the day:
. the lock will continue to be available for use, at no charge,
whenever the weirs are in place:

At night::
. river traffic will normally need to time passages to coincide with
the times during which the weirs are lifted clear of the river. i.e. the
four-hour period around high water;
. to provide 24 hours' notice to use the lock outside the high water
period to enable staff to be called in - to meet the cost of providing this
service the PLA will levy a charge of 35 per boat passing through the lock.
Canoes, skiffs and other small craft will continue to have full access to
the 'boat roller', under the Middlesex Arch, which allows them to pass
through at times when the weirs are lowered.

In particular, comments on the following matters would be welcomed:

1. the need for any special arrangements other than those outlined
2. any impacts of the proposal on commercial vessel operations,
including passenger, freight and workboat/tug operations, and how such
impacts could be mitigated; and
3. the appropriateness of the proposed times the lock is available on
demand and whether they should be modified.

The Authority welcomes any written proposals, comments and suggestions from
river users before finalising its arrangements, particularly from regular
night-time users of the lock and organisations with an interest in
navigation on the river.

Any comments you may have in response to this consultation should be
addressed, in writing, to Julian Parkes, Marine Administrative Support
Manager at the address below or by e-mail: cn@pola.co.uk to arrive no later
than Friday 6th July 2007.

The Harbour Master is happy to clarify any of the above by telephone (020
7743 7917) but emphasise that all submissions for consideration should be in

23-05-07, 18:06
Immediate comments.

1. An illuminated sign at Teddington showing the position of the sluices and estimated time of changing from open to closed or vice versa.
2. Ditto at Brentford.
3. All tide waiting pontoons to be installed up and downstream of the lock.

Given the tidal cycle the setup otherwise becomes a barrier to navigation, especially for boaters going further than London who might want to use HW from dowstream of the Barrier. Its a money saving exercise, night duty for a couple of bods must add up and I'd wager that 35 won't be 35 for long, suddenly it will be 45 and then 60... If they put in the all tide pntoons then at least you can wait out until 07:00.