Following complaints to BW concerning the new works at Isis lock, they have issued a statement. The main points raised by several boaters and local business’ were:
1) The pontoon is in the way
2) The pontoon is dangerous
3) The posts in the stream are in the way
4) The posts in the stream are dangerous
5) Although there may be minimal issues when there is no flow on the river, there will be issues when there IS a flow, and we were NOT TALKING RED BOARDS but long before that.
6) The works carried out are an accident waiting to happen.
Once the complaints were at the second stage health and Safety visited the site promptly, and the engineers are due to look at the site imminently. Hopefully a solution will be found that is satisfactory to all boat users in the near future so that winter boaters will not be put to any unnecessary risk if winding below ISIS LOCK.
British Waterways issues statement about Isis Lock
16th Nov 2010
The recent installation of a lock landing stage at Isis Lock has been carried out by British Waterways to protect the waterway wall from damage by boat impact and improve safety. The landing stage was constructed and installed with Environment Agency consent, and in consultation with local boaters.
The British Waterways team worked closely with a local boating business, College Cruisers, and other boaters including representatives from the Oxford IWA Branch to gather feedback to help assist in the decisions to construct the final structure. Following feedback generated by local boaters, the length of the landing stage was increased.
Since installation, British Waterways has agreed to make some alterations to the design of the structure. These will enable boats to ‘nose into’ the pontoon structure to aid with specific boaters turning preferences, and a gate and hand rail will also be installed to further improve safety for users of the new lock landing.
A second stage of the works around Isis Lock has seen the installation of a number of piles near the entrance to Castle Mill Stream. These piles will be linked by a ‘string’ of booms. The purpose of these piles is to prevent access by illegal overstaying boats, prevalent in this area, as well as preventing larger craft from being swept down the stream and towards the weir. Again practical testing on-site was undertaken with local boaters, and the location of the piles was amended following their suggestions to the project team.
Jeff Whyatt, British Waterways’ senior manager, said: “The safety improvements at the area around Isis Lock have been delivered in partnership with the Environment Agency, and with input from local boaters. The installation of the piles has caused some concern to a small number of boaters and their complaint is being investigated via British Waterways’ formal complaints procedure.
“Some of the comments and complaints we have received have made us aware that sometimes boats may be using this water at a time when there are high flow or flood warnings – at a time when the Environment Agency advises against navigation. We recommend all river users to follow the Environment Agency’s important safety advice. British Waterways will continue to work with the Agency to alert river users to changing conditions.”
Gail Bradstock, a Waterways Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Any planned structures on Environment Agency designated waters require our consent. The alterations proposed will not impact on the consent granted to British Waterways.”
For recorded information on Thames River Conditions and strong stream warnings please telephone 0845 988 1188 and when prompted press 1 on your keypad followed by quick dial number 011131. Information on river conditions can also be found at www.riverconditions.visitthames.co.uk.