More info on Olympic/Paralympic navigation restrictions

Further details of planned restrictions to navigation in London were released by British Waterways last week, (Waterscape press release here). In effect a zone from Little Venice to the Lea Bridge Road at Hackney Marshes will become a closed area between 03 July and 10 September 2012, with boat transits and movements in that zone extremely restricted.

NABO Moorings Officer Simon Robbins said, "There are no huge surprises in the announcement and for security reasons we have known for over two years that there would be very stringent restrictions applied around the games period.

"It is entirely sensible that BW and the police and security services will wish to have some knowledge and control of what boats can enter the Olympic Zone.In effect anyone wishing to enter the zone will have to pre-register through British Waterways.

"What remains of concern is the apparent lack of consultation to date with local boating and mooring customers. NABO have been asking for detailed info about this for many months. It is important that local boaters who will be effected by the restrictions are briefed and made aware of any limitations that may apply over accessing local services. We too want the Games to go off safely and without incident, but that should include involving and informing people and identifying any issue that may arise for existing paying customers based in and around the controlled zone.

"I'm disappointed that when the official press release was issued last week, we were not done the courtesy of being advised directly that the public plans had advanced, despite previous requests for discussions on this subject with BW. The release only came to my attention in response to some questions I raised with BW in advance of the Local User Group meeting next week.

"I also have concerns about how things will be for those of us based adjacent to the controlled zone. I want to know what consideration has been made over moorings and services in these areas which may come under increased pressure as these areas in effect become temporary terminuses for most boaters. We want to work with BW and the other agencies towards the success and safety of the Games but a little more dialogue would be welcome."

These issues are due for public discussion at the London User Group meeting on Weds 05 October, 7pm at the Pirate Club in Camden.