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More Medway Progress.

oldgit

Well-known member
Joined
6 Nov 2001
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Medway
Recent email from the MSBA regards Meeting of the MRUA.. Of interest to all Medway boaters as to what is going on in the background. A lot of hard graft by few for the benefit off all.


from MRUA Meeting Minutes


The MRUA includes personal members and has a very close working relationship with local EA staff, who are effectively part of the committee. There is no membership fee.
The EA requires boats to be registered (for a fee) and where appropriate to have a Boat Safety Certificate, mainly for gas and fire safety. Membership of British Canoeing/Rowing gives exemption from the registration fee.
There are several marinas and motor cruising clubs plus canoeing and rowing clubs. The cruisers often come down to the tidal area and the estuary so they have an interest in the MSBA, and vice-versa of course.
Some of the points worth mentioning are:
As with the tidal Medway/Swale, there has been a huge increase in antisocial behaviour and numptyism. Lots of new/unskilled boaters on SUPs and inflatable canoes (£40 at Lidl!). One afternoon there were >45 inflatable canoes at Teston lock. The canoe club encourages the users to join the cub and get basic training. The EA is preparing an “etiquette leaflet” to be laminated and handed out to new boaters.

Boaters are often harassed at locks by youths (many from Traveller families) who throw stones and even climb on board. CCTV has been installed and the police disperse them but they come back an hour later or just move to the next lock. Some boaters have moved down river to Allington Marina or even Chatham to escape the problem. The youths swim in the locks, even going through the paddles in the lock gates!
The police marine unit (same bunch as we liaise with) works with the EA using radar guns to catch speeding and unregistered boats. Normally 98% of boats are registered. This year it’s down to 76%.
The EA is generally held in high regard on the Medway and is spending a surprising amount of money continuing to refurbish the locks and keep the river navigable. Fallen trees are a constant problem but they get cleared very quickly.
They have finally admitted that the floating sawn logs that plague our section of the river are likely to be from tree trimming on the river banks. A (better) boom is to be installed at Allington to stop rubbish and logs coming down river.
After a detailed hydrographic survey the EA will publish a chart of depths on their website.
Also the IWA website will be live in October. (The IWA usually holds open talks at Strood YC).

Medway Improvements.
Capital funding available. Capital Works programme: To include some of the
following works:
Major works throughout winter when the least amount of boat traffic. Allington Lock
closed from Nov - March. 5 other locks; Sluice Weir, Teston, Allington, Tonbridge,
Yalding Facility next year.
Dredging programme in place. Contracting in company, tender is out,
£250,000.00 worth. Depth and silt survey being carried out will highlight the
shallow areas. Reports from the surveys will be shared to all. Eco system does not
allow for the surveying to be carried out more than 5 years at a time.
MS asked whether the lock work would be carried out by the EA or subcontracted
out. JA confirmed this would be subcontracted out.
 
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