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Boulters lock, traffic lights

thamesS23

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30 Jan 2006
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hertfordshire
Apparently, according to EA Twitter feed, Boulters lock now has a set of traffic lights!

Anyone been through there?
 

boatone

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Just a few cables from Boulters Lock
They have been installed this week and should start being used in earnest tomorrow. Only at the lower end so that the lockie will not need to leave the pedestal to see if boats are waiting.
The lock has now been signed off to provide assisted passage.
 

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Outinthedinghy

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18 May 2008
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Limehouse hole
Maybe they should reopen the boat elevator round the back for smaller vessels.

That would be cool to be able to take the (registered) dinghy up an elevator.

Quite expensive to rebuild it though I suppose.
 

Big John

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They have been installed this week and should start being used in earnest tomorrow. Only at the lower end so that the lockie will not need to leave the pedestal to see if boats are waiting.
The lock has now been signed off to provide assisted passage.
CCTV REQUIRED TO AVOID POTENTIAL MAJOR ACCIDENT.

I do not want to sound negative but as you say the duty lock keeper is at the pedestal he has seen the last boat exit the chamber downstream, he then turns the light green. How long does he wait if no boats come up to enter the lock before turning the light red and then closes the gates. Imperative he can visually see any boats waiting or moving to enter the lock.

The duty lock keeper relying on the RED light stopping any boat to continue passage into the lock could cause a major accident with the gates closing on a boat.

If they insist on the traffic light system then the duty lock keeper needs CCTV to verify it is safe to close the gates.

My personal comment is that this is overkill and too complicated to overcome the possibility of the general public spitting on the duty lock keeper whilst he/she uses the passage way under the bridge to bring forward waiting boats.

The simplest, cheapest and most effective way would have been to fit an awning/canopy over the passage way either side of the bridge. The duty lock keeper would be safe from any public spitting or dropping anything. The canopy does not require power and is self-cleaning when it rains.

Or have I missed something?

Just an observation the solar panel to keep the battery charged is in the shade of the tree which as the sun moves further west would be more covered. A spare battery would be needed to be on charge to replace the depleted working battery. Can the duty lock keeper change the battery or would this require Delivery Ops? More cost involved.
 
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TrueBlue

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Sussex
Easy to criticise - more difficult it is to provide a total solution.
I shall miss the cheerful wave acknowledging my presence and invitation to procede into the dark and forboding chamber,
and hope to receive a blessing on exit.
Good to see some innovation - even if it doesn't work at the first attempt..
 

Chris_d

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Oxfordshire
Looks like a good idea to me, mirror for lockie to see waiting boats too. Something similar at Marlow would be good.too.
 

Big John

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Berkshire
What ever solution you come up with the duty lock keeper has to able to see clearly any boats waiting or approaching the lock gates. This why at locks you cannot close the lock gates from the pedestal at the opposite end of the lock. You cannot see what is in the water before closing the gate.

Mirrors would be a better option and a better solution, no power or maintenance required but the angle from the pedestal to the other side wall to see what is waiting may not be perfect.
 

TrueBlue

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Methinks there had been a mirror at the downstream end ages ago - but being convex it wasn't a lot of use, especially if 'you' wanted to know how many and what sort of boats were waiting...
 

Outinthedinghy

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Limehouse hole
I came up Boulters this afternoon no sign of any traffic lights and the keeper was still doing the normal thing about walking under the bridge.

It's technically impossible to control that lock just with lights. You would need to add CCTV or other visual aids of some sort of you want the keeper to remain at the helm/pedestal
Or just get h(im)(er) to walk down under the bridge and eyeball the situation, as they have done for countless years before, and in reality will continue to do.
 

Outinthedinghy

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What ever solution you come up with the duty lock keeper has to able to see clearly any boats waiting or approaching the lock gates. This why at locks you cannot close the lock gates from the pedestal at the opposite end of the lock. You cannot see what is in the water before closing the gate.
Hambleden lock keeper power allows remote gate opening. Bloody dangerous specially in a big lock but it works and I have seen Simon use it quite recently. He does keep an eye on things though to be fair.

Remote gate operation definitely a bit rude if there was a small vessel immediately above the top gates. There is the pressure relief circuit which would kick in if the gates met an obstruction but I wonder how an inflatable canoe with persons on it would fare. Maybe it would be ok and the elfin safety risk assessment has already calculated that.

I think Cookham might have it as well but possibly been upgraded.
 
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TrueBlue

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Sussex
Paid personal visit to Boulters this morning. Lock being capably manned and traffic signals working correctly. Good to see so many boaters I know passing thru in both directions.
Do they go round in a loop and wave at you again??

Three waves from B1 - that's something special...
 

Riverleak

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25 Apr 2011
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Beside the Thames
After talking to the regular lock keeper last week regarding the issue, it seems that the traffic light system is being deployed to protect the lockeeper from the risk of contracting Covid 19. With constant amounts of people standing above him when he has to go under the bridge there is a real risk of an infected person coughing or sneezing over him at some point. As for those of us that use the lock and pass under with someone doing the same thing, that's our risk I guess?
 

boatone

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29 Jul 2001
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Just a few cables from Boulters Lock
After talking to the regular lock keeper last week regarding the issue, it seems that the traffic light system is being deployed to protect the lockeeper from the risk of contracting Covid 19. With constant amounts of people standing above him when he has to go under the bridge there is a real risk of an infected person coughing or sneezing over him at some point. As for those of us that use the lock and pass under with someone doing the same thing, that's our risk I guess?
Your question is well put.
As for “ talking to the regular lock keeper” you were lucky to find him there to talk to!
 

Outinthedinghy

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18 May 2008
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I'm surprised Ralph has not retired.

I think he's been there the best part of 30 years so must have the old golden handshake available..

Maybe he likes the job.

I Always liked him actually and years ago I gave him some tennis balls.
 
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kmatt

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25 Apr 2018
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51
Lock was on self service at lunchtime, lights remained on red after the lock was emptied. Would have presumed that the lights should be switched off out of operating hours for the lockie as per the sign. Screenshot_20200810-174835__01.jpg
 
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