Boston bar­rier a ‘risk to nav­i­ga­tion’

RIVER WITHAM

Canal Boat - - News -

A RIVER BAR­RIER planned to pro­tect Boston from tidal flood­ing does not deal ad­e­quately with risks to boats, and misses an op­por­tu­nity to im­prove the town and its wa­ter­ways, ac­cord­ing to the In­land Wa­ter­ways As­so­ci­a­tion.

The IWA re­sponse to the Trans­port & Works Act Or­der ac­cepts the need for the bar­rier, but says its im­pact on nav­i­ga­tion is “in­ac­cu­rately set out and in­ad­e­quately mit­i­gated”. In par­tic­u­lar: Plans for the bar­rier to be used to main­tain a nav­i­ga­ble level with a new lock along­side it (as is the case, for ex­am­ple, at Rich­mond on the Thames) have been dropped from the pro­pos­als, miss­ing the chance to im­prove ac­cess to the Fens Link and de­velop the town’s river­side. The po­si­tion of the bar­rier will cre­ate fast flows and make nav­i­ga­tion haz­ardous The width of the by­pass chan­nel pro­vided dur­ing con­struc­tion is in­ad­e­quate Sit­ing it on a bend will lead to risk of col­li­sion The Or­der would give the En­vi­ron­ment Agency un­lim­ited pow­ers to limit the right of nav­i­ga­tion in the vicin­ity.

IWA Nav­i­ga­tion Com­mit­tee’s Chair­man Gren Messham, said: “In the ab­sence of firm and de­tailed pro­pos­als to ad­dress and mit­i­gate nav­i­ga­tional risk, and given the con­cerns of lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als, or­gan­i­sa­tions and reg­u­la­tory bod­ies, there is in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to al­low the Or­der to pro­ceed with­out fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

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