PRESS STATEMENT: IWA Welcomes Public Inquiry into Boston Barrier

Issue date: 10th November 2016

The Inland Waterways Association has welcomed an announcement by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom MP, that a public inquiry will be held in the new year into the Transport and Works Order application for a tidal barrier on the River Witham at Boston, Lincolnshire.

IWA called for a public inquiry when submitting its views about the impact to safety and navigation of the proposals to the Secretary of State a few weeks ago, and was among a number of organisations expressing concerns.

Gren Messham, Chairman of IWA’s Navigation Committee, said “The announcement that there will be a public inquiry is great news as it will enable IWA and others to put forward the case for better provision for navigation, through re-instating the inclusion of a parallel lock and improvements to the waterfront in Boston through water level management”.

 
ENDS

Background information

While the need for a tidal surge barrier at Boston is clear, the application as originally proposed, along with the associated Navigational Risk Assessment, does not adequately or accurately set out or mitigate the risks to navigation represented by the construction and operation of the proposed barrier. In addition, the application does not appear to correctly represent the risks of fluvial flows and flooding in the River Witham once the barrier is in place. Up to early 2015, plans for Boston’s tidal surge barrier included a parallel lock and improvements to the water front in Boston which could have mitigated these concerns.

Among a list of specific concerns expressed by IWA are a lack of detail on water flow velocities around the barrier, the proposed minimum 18 metres width of the coffer dam by-pass channel, the lack of information on what is actually to be put in place by the project to manage transit by water during the construction period, and the risk of collision due to excessive flows and short sight-lines with the barrier location on a bend in the Haven.

See IWA’s full response to the consultation on the Order.

Photographs

Approaching the site of the proposed tidal barrier at Boston – the barrier would be just out of view behind the “Clare Christine” (which is on the Port of Boston drying out berth), demonstrating one of the reasons why IWA believes EA hasn’t adequately considered the safety operation of the barrier.  Photo by David Pullen.

Alternative images and higher resolution version available on request.

Press Contact

For further information please contact Alison Smedley, Press Office, The Inland Waterways Association, by emailing alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phoning 07779 090915.

Notes for Editors

The Inland Waterways Association - IWA is The Inland Waterways Association, a membership charity that works to protect and restore the country's 6,500 miles of canals and rivers.  IWA is a national organisation with a network of volunteers and branches who deploy their expertise and knowledge to work constructively with navigation authorities, government and other organisations.  The Association also provides practical and technical support to restoration projects through its expert Waterway Recovery Group.
IWA - Keeping our waterways alive.
www.waterways.org.uk

Approaching the site of the proposed tidal barrier at Boston – the barrier would be just out of view behind the “Clare Christine” (which is on the Port of Boston drying out berth), demonstrating one of the reasons why IWA believes EA hasn’t adequately considered the safety operation of the barrier.  Photo by David Pullen.

Alternative images and higher resolution version available on request.