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Public power switched off

18 May 2008
Limehouse hole
Quite predictable really.

I would imagine that within a few days there will be a full closure of navigation.

I know it's a PRN waterway but this Covid situation is a bit unusual.

Looks like a suspension of normal activity on the lovely River for a month or two.

Fingers crossed for not too much rain for a while...

Image of email received and I have had confirmation from one of the Thames lock keepers that power is going off.

Not sure but it seems probable given the rapid progress of the "Coronavirus bill" that navigation may be suspended completely quite soon.

Lovely sunshine and yellow boards.



Active member
29 Jul 2001
Just a few cables from Boulters Lock
Here is the full text of the email received from the EA Deputy Director for Navigation this afternoon :

Dear Customer

These are unprecedented times and here at the Environment Agency we have been working hard to make sure our response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic follows Government advice, in the best interests of the health of our staff and customers.

We have done our best to maintain our sites and services as close as possible to business as usual, keeping waterways and facilities open for everyone to enjoy afloat and on foot, subject to following Government guidance.

Following Monday’s announcement from the Prime Minister about the UK’s heightened response to the Coronavirus emergency, we have taken the difficult decision to introduce limits to the use of our waterways to stop all non-essential travel.

This means:

• We are asking the owners of all boats kept or used on our managed waterways not to make any journeys on their boats, other than to access essential services and facilities.

• We will not provide ‘assisted passage’ (staff to operate locks) at any of our lock sites but locks will remain open for self-service use where possible. This will allow those living aboard their boats to reach essential services if they need to.

• At the few locks where self-service is not possible, our local teams will put special temporary operating arrangements in place to allow boats to return to their home moorings.

• We will lift time restrictions on the short stay moorings we own or manage, to assist those who live aboard their boats so they can access essential services.

• We will do the very best we can to keep open the essential facilities we provide (e.g. water supply, sewage pump-out and chemical toilet disposal), for those who need them. However our staff will not be able to offer the sale of keys, cards or tokens. These essential services will not include the provision of shower and toilet facilities.

• We advise our customers to stay at home rather than self-isolating aboard, unless your boat is your primary residence. This is so you do not put yourself at increased risk or place additional burden upon our facilities.

• The river conditions on our waterways are starting to improve and in some places our Strong Stream Advice will be updated in the coming days. However, any travel on our waterways should still be minimised to the essential movement outlined above.

We will keep these restrictions under constant review in the light of the developing situation and advice from Government, but we expect them to be in place until at least 14 April 2020. It goes without saying that our priority is to keep our staff and customers safe, and we will be working to make sure that everybody can get back to enjoying everything our waterways have to offer as soon as it is possible.

You will appreciate our National Customer Contact Centre is very busy at this time, please help us by getting in touch only if it’s essential. If you do need to contact us, we encourage you to email us at enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

For the full Government guidance on coronavirus go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Thank you all for your co-operation during these very challenging times for everyone.
Best wishes

Alice Mayne
Deputy Director for Navigation and Commercial Development
Environment Agency


Well-known member
17 Jan 2007
Stay at home.
100% absolutely

But on the inland waterways especially there are thousands of people whose boat IS their home and who have nowhere else to go

Those folks are still going to need access to water points and holding tank pump out facilities so the EA response caters for this

Old Crusty

28 Aug 2017
Same message on the cut from CRT - now pressure is mounting to deter the daily crowds 'exercising' on the towpath unable to maintain the 2m social distance and treating boaters as a curiosity. It's ok to move to access pump out & water facilities. The 14 day only mooring directive has been suspended. Meanwhile, some ABC hire bases have been letting boats out much to the annoyance of many.

Big John

10 Jan 2014
Not boat or river related but.

Our future King and his wife set a very good example, defied Government guide lines, potentially spread his virus to more of his staff as he transited to Scotland, probably by RAF special flight and then to expose staff at one of his many holiday homes who could in turn then infect their families. Yes shoot me for criticising one of the Royal family but just making a point. Lead by example comes to mind.

Old Crusty

28 Aug 2017
Couldn't agree more - people and retailers I've admired for a very long time have let the side down badly - Richard Branson, Rick Stein and Waterstones being three more of them. However, I never liked Tim Martin, his pub staff have always complained of tough conditions for small rewards. All of them are now on the National Sh1t List along with that unpleasant little man Green who has all the charm of something stuck to the sole of my cleated boat shoe (just to keep it boat related).