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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Summer Restrictions on Grand Union

Grim news from BW for the start of the boating season. It it what we have been predicting over the winter.

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Restriction: Grand Union Leicester Line Watford Lock Flight 1-7
19 Mar 2012 until further notice

From Monday 19th March Watford Flight will be open 10.00am - 3.00pm.

Last entry to flight 2.15pm
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Restriction: Grand Union Leicester Line Foxton Lock Flight 8-17
19 Mar 2012 until further notice

From Monday 19th March Foxton Flight will be open 10.00am - 4.00pm daily.

Last entry to flight is 3.15pm.

Introduction of essential boat traffic may be considered if the water situation does not improve throughout April/May.
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Stoppage: Grand Union Leicester Line Kibworth Top Lock 18 - Kings Lock 38
02 Apr 2012 until further notice

From Monday 2nd April to Friday 13th April navigation will be open 10.00am - 4.00pm daily.

From Friday 13th April at 4.00pm, navigation between Kibworth Top Lock 18 and Kings Lock 38 will be closed to navigation due to water availability in the area.

Locks 18, 30 and 38 will be padlocked to avoid abuse.

Weekend openings will be considered based on available water supplies as the season progresses and if possible, this will be communicated at a later date.
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Stoppage: Tring Summit - Lock 39 Startops Reservoir and Lock 46 - Cowroast
11 Jan 2012 - 25 Mar 2012

UPDATE (28 February 2012): Following consultations with boating and trade representatives recently we have reviewed the existing restrictions in context of the water supply situation and have the following update.

1.The navigation between Lock 46 (Cowroast) and Lock 39 (Startops) will remain closed until Monday 26th March to give as much time as possible for reservoir levels to recover before the main boating season.

2.From Monday 26th March the navigation will be opened between 10.00am and 3.00pm only*.

The water levels across the Tring summit during this time will be kept at a lower operating level than normal to allow excessive seepage losses to be minimised.
Trials will be held over the next week but navigation within the centre of the channel should not present problems for normally draughted boats. Once ‘safe draught’ levels have been established we will update boaters with this information.

3. In the period up to March 26th there will be two specific opening periods to facilitate through traffic and local boat movement. These windows of opening will be :
- Friday 9th March – Sunday 11th March, and
- Friday 16th March – Sunday 18th March
In both cases opening will be 10.00am – 3.00pm daily*.

*BW reserves the right to open less than 5 hours within this window in order to maximise use of lockage water e.g. 10-11:30 and 1:30 – 3.00pm

4. With the agreement of the Aylesbury Canal Society the Aylesbury Arm, currently locked for essential boat traffic only to facilitate dredging works, will remain fully closed from Monday 5th March.
The Arm will be opened approximately one weekend per month to allow cruising by Aylesbury Arm moorers. Two dates already agreed with ACS are Friday 23rd – Sunday 25th March and Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd April (10.00am – 3.00pm opening each day).

BW hope that boaters understand that these measures so early in the season are seeking to preserve low reservoir stocks such that cruising through the year can be maintained for as long as possible.

BW will monitor the situation carefully and regularly and if further action is required we will again discuss with affected customers to define the way forward.

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Keith.

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