Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland
Waterways Ireland advises masters and users of the Lower Bann Navigation of details regarding the reopening of the Locks from this Tuesday 23 June (pushed back from the original date of Thursday 18 June).
Locks will operate from 9am to 5pm daily, and lock passage charges will be waived until further notice.
Customers are encouraged to phone ahead to the lock in question to ensure lock gates are set and to avoid possible conflict with other boating traffic (all numbers +44):
- Cutts Lock 02870342999
- Carnroe Lock/Movangher Lock/Portna Lock 07876032891
- Toome Lock 07912305251
When preparing to move through locks, boats should be tied up at the approaching landing jetty and wait to be called forward by the lock keeper.
Customers should note that they should not throw mooring ropes up to the lock keepers and must secure their craft within the lock chamber using the chains or ladders provided on the chamber walls.
Waterway users should observe signage in place regarding social distancing, and take note that there are no toilet or shower facilities open until further notice.
Locks will reopen for longer and winter mooring will end on the Shannon Navigation from Monday 29 June, Waterways Ireland has announced.
As previously reported, electricity and water services have been reconnected, and normal pump-out facilities are available.
However, Waterways Ireland service blocks will remain closed for the time being across its network of inland waterways.
And the five-day mooring rule will be in force from Monday 29 June. Boaters to not need to travel to move their vessel before this date.
Waterway users, whether on the water on on towpaths, are reminded to continue observing social distancing protocols — at least two metres from other people — and to stay within 20km of home until travel restrictions are relaxed with the start of phase three.
The path from Digby Bridge and Ballycommon Bridge will be closed to all users from this Monday 8 June to Monday 7 September to facilitate construction of the Grand Canal Greenway.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, locks on the Grand and Royal canals as well as the Barrow Line and Navigation, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and Shannon Navigation are set to reopen (subject to maintenance) from this Monday.
This coincides with the beginning of Phase 2 of the country’s relaxing of coronavirus restrictions.
Repair works have now been completed on the broken sewer line between Locks 1 and 2 on the Grand Canal in Dublin.
Navigation between the locks was closed after the incident last summer which saw the partial collapse of a trunk sewer at Suir Road, west of St James’ Hospital in the city.
Passage in and out of Dublin on the Grand and Royal Canals remains closed until coronavirus restrictions are lifted. It’s expected an announcement on this will be made soon.
Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that drilling and site investigation works will take place on the Shannon Navigation in the vicinity of Athlone Marina from this Wednesday 27 to Monday 31 May.
The drilling will take place from a barge. A safety boat will be in attendance at all times. Master of Vessels are requested to proceed with additional caution when in the vicinity of the works.
The advisory comes as water levels across the entire Shannon Navigation are currently classed as at or below ‘ordinary summer levels’ which requires extra caution, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
Following more easing of Covid-19 restrictions announced by the Northern Ireland Executive, plans are being made by Waterways Ireland to reopen its navigations north of the border — the Erne System, Lower Bann and on the Shannon-Erne Waterway — to boating from next Friday 29 May.
The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it is working to roll out health and safety procedures and protocols to ensure the safe return of both staff and boaters to these navigations.
Private boaters undertaking short trips on the water, as permitted under the new restrictions, are reminded to proceed with caution as navigations and their facilities have not been fully maintained since lockdown began in late March.
“It will take time to reopen the above navigations,” Waterways Ireland said in a statement. “We expect they will reopen on May 29th.
“Waterways Ireland’s locks and service blocks will remain closed in line with the five-step roadmap to recovery [in Northern Ireland]. We recognise the situation is constantly changing.”
It added that updates prior to reopening will be made via marine notices, on the Waterways Ireland website and via social media channels.
The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) yesterday welcomed to the return of boating to Lough Erne with a list of recommendations to keep everyone safe on the water.
This is for previously notified site investigation works on the waterway that were delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
A pontoon is being used as part of works west of Lock 12 towards Coolmine, and while it is in place other craft will be unable to pass.
No timetable was given for the completion of these works, but the cross-border body for Ireland's inland waterways apologises for any inconvenience caused.
Waterways Ireland says it is currently planning the roadmap to the reopening of its navigations and the phased return of its workforce.
This plan will involve engaging with various stakeholders, such as user groups and other State agencies, and will be made available by 18 May when the first phase of easing Covid-19 restrictions is scheduled to begin.
“We recognise the situation is constantly changing and we ask for your patience during this time,” it said, adding that any updates to the situation will be communicated via the usual channels.
In the meantime, navigation on inland waterways is now permitted up to 5km from home within the Republic of Ireland only, provided social distancing is observed at all times.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the winter mooring period has been extended until 31 May at no additional cost. Travel in excess of 5km from home to check on moored vessels remains prohibited until further notice.
Electricity and water services have been reconnected following recent flooding issues, and pump-out facilities are available, but service blocks remain closed across the Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway, Royal and Grand Canals, Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation.
Canal towpaths are accessible for brief local exercise, now within 5km of home, with social distancing protocols applying.
“We would like to thank all stakeholders in observing the regulations and restrictions imposed on and along our waterways,” said the cross-border body.
“Your observance of such regulations is having a positive impact on the spread of the virus, releasing pressure on our health services, which are now, more than ever, required to protect those who are most in need. We ask you to continue to keep up the good work.
“Our message to all users of our waterways continues to be PLEASE STAY AT HOME.”
Meanwhile, Shannon Navigation cruiser hire firm Carrickcraft plans to reopen from 20 July to tap into the expected late summer ‘staycation’ market, as reported yesterday on Afloat.ie.
For those of you missing Ireland’s inland waterways, you can now view the stunning Royal Canal, Grand Canal Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation along with the Shannon through Google Maps and Google Earth.
Waterways Ireland, in partnership with the Google Trekker Loan Programme, has continued to capture Ireland’s inland waterways and make them accessible online.
Last year, street view imagery was captured along the Royal Canal, Grand Canal Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation to compliment the stunning Shannon imagery captured in 2018.
So now you can follow some of Ireland’s most beautiful and popular waterways destinations from the comfort of your own home — and hopefully plan a visit when conditions allow.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, winter mooring has been extended until Sunday 31 May to ease the pressure on the inland boating community amid the current coronavirus restrictions.
And while the outdoor exercise distance has been extended to 5k from home, the advice for those using canal towpaths to maintain social distancing remains in place.