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TOPIC: Moorings on the Thames Tideway

Moorings on the Thames Tideway 08 Sep 2017 11:28 #94933

Thanks yes it seems the PLA forgot to invite me, iWash, OPLAC, Thistleworth Marina , Nine Elms, Chelsea, Riverside Quarter and probably some others.

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Moorings on the Thames Tideway 08 Sep 2017 10:47 #94932

  • Andy Soper
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Hello David,

Thank you - good point about the formula . Nick Lacey (Tower bridge moorings) made the point that visitor moorings need to piggyback on annual or residential moorings to be commercially viable .

I will ensure you are aware of the Residential mooring meeting just in case PLA forget to invite you.

Best Wishes
Andy

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Best Wishes
Andy Soper
mv Neeltje
Coookham

Moorings on the Thames Tideway 08 Sep 2017 01:51 #94928

Thanks Andy. I first raised the issue of visitor moorings on residential marinas back in 2010. This was when we (OPLAC) initiated the PLA's review of River Works Licence charges for residential marinas, which resulted in a proper formula - previously they just sent estate agents round demanding 300%, even 500% increases every few years with no explanation.

On the steering committee for the formula we argued that the current arrangement, of the PLA charging visitors moorings as if they were occupied 24/7 by a residential houseboat, would obviously encourage residential marinas to do just that, and lose the visitors moorings. Unfortunately the PLA didn't listen, maybe they are now but I don't see any change in the formula yet to encourage visitor moorings.

Similarly they wouldn't budge on a discount for single storey boats, for historic boats or just for boats rather than boxes. Hence the tidal river banks are becoming stuffed with multiple storey houseboat boxes, with massively more living area but paying the same as a Dutch barge with the same length. The look of the river bank was 'not their concern' we were told.

David

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Moorings on the Thames Tideway 07 Sep 2017 22:52 #94927

  • Andy Soper
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On Tuesday 5 September I attended a meeting called by the Port of London Authority (PLA) to discuss mooring provision for recreation and residential use in the port. The meeetingwas well attended with representatives from Thames boating organisations, tidal marinas and mooring operators, RBOA and other interested parties.

I had been invited to lead on the issues facing boaters and described boaters needs under the headings of Emergencies, Planned refuges, Planned Stopovers, Visiting the Capital, Recreational and Residential.

My main message was the lack of refuge moorings (waiting for the tide etc), Visiting the Capital, Recreational and Residential.

A wide ranging discussion elicited a number of points:

The PLA’s list of leisure moorings ( www.boatingonthethames.co.uk/Visitor-Moorings ) and interactive map on their website ( www.boatingonthethames.co.uk/leisureMap.cfm ) is a helpful but not complete list. It was agreed that this needs wider advertising, adding the missing opportunities, and clearer marking of facilities on site so that they opportunities can be identified.

The Thames sailing barges have difficulty finding a suitable refuge from time to time and this heritage resource needs postive support.

There is limited revenue from visitor moorings, annual mooring agreements are more lucrative and vistors have to be piggy backed on to residential and recreational moorings to make financial sense.

An increasing problem is visitors making multiple bookings on marinas and choosing their prefernce on the day. Limehouse – BWML – is now asking for cash up front.

While Greenwich, Erith and Thurrock yacht clubs have moorings for small craft – typically 40ft max and 15 tons this doesn’t help us. Greenwch Yacht club does have an alongside berth which can be booked by visitors. Greenwich council piled the area below Woolwich Arsenal pier for the last Tall Ships visit and may be making this available more often.

Marina berths
St Katherines has completed its refurbishment and berths increased from 120 to 180 they plan to to keep 20 - 25 visitor moorings in the centre basin.
Limehouse - extension of visitor mooring is dependent on planning consent for 20 extra berths
South Dock – usually has a dozen spaces for visitor moorings.
Downs Road / Tower Bridge moorings – has one visitor mooring and Hermitage two.
West India club cruises rather than individual boats. Planners are unwilling to approve more residential berths – they musn’t affect the openness of the docks! Planners have already allowed the Isle of Dogs to be over-developed.

PLA are recruiting two additional planning officers to help deliver Thames strategy and vision and assist with the London plans. The proposed clipper stops further downstream may have the potential for more moorings. However London river services didn’t turn up and their usual response to use of their spare capacity on the inside of the clipper piers is to insist on written risk assessments and a written mooring plan as a way of dissuading use. It was noted that both Sugar quay and Customs House pier – both just upstream from Tower could be developed as leisure landing places.

There will be a follow up meeting in January 2018 and in November a further meeting on possible extension to residential moorings.

Comment
Although there is no significant immediate action – except better joined up information - it is to the PLA’s credit that they are now taking provision of facilities for recreational craft more seriously.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
Chairman
The following user(s) said Thank You: Alan Kerr, Tim Crew, Martyn Fryer

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Best Wishes
Andy Soper
mv Neeltje
Coookham
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