On Tuesday 3rd March 2020 I represented NABO at the above Forum which brings together representatives of a wide cross section of users of the Thames, including the 8 River User Groups (the RUGs) and many other representative groups, with relevant EA personnel.  Chaired by the Thames Director, Julia Simpson, the very long meeting was valuable and above all illustrated that the new-look EA is making every effort to listen to its key river users in moving its navigational responsibilities forward over the next 5 years.

EA Registration Charges Increase...

The EA consultation ran for six weeks in July and August 2018 and the results were published in November. There were 441 responses (from a boating population in excess of 34,000 – a response rate of around 1.3%). Unsurprisingly, 86% of respondents kept their boats on EA waters, with the majority (64%) owning motor cruisers and 17% owning narrowboats.

EA has updated their web site with the plans for this winter. You can see the details here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/river-thames-conditions-closures-restrictions-and-lock-closures

The River Thames Alliance has recently issued their second annual report. This is important reading for all Thames users.

You can find it here

 

Another ‘Disastrous’ EA Report

Louis Jankel reports on the ongoing saga of Thames lock-keepers

Since 2008, the Environment Agency has been toying with the concept of replacing River Thames residential lock- and weir-keepers with ‘runners’. The justification is that the EA thinks it can save lots of money by letting out the cottages. After much to-ing and fro-ing, with almost unanimous objection from users, a study group was instituted to justify the policy, using the four (out of 45) lock cottages already having non-waterway tenants. After two years, the EA report was published with ridiculous figures. Sadly, the remaining two of the original four users, who were participants on the study group, inexplicitly agreed with the report and its content.