IWA Raises Navigation Concerns in Boston Barrier Proposals

IWA Raises Navigation Concerns in Boston Barrier Proposals

11 October 2016

IWA has raised concerns about proposals for a tidal barrier on the River Witham at Boston in Lincolnshire.  Although IWA acknowledges the need for a tidal surge barrier at Boston, the current plan for construction and operation of the barrier could significantly limit navigation.

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, IWA highlighted areas of concern, including:

  • lack of detail about water flows around the barrier, which could make navigation more hazardous
  • a risk of collision due to both limited line of sight because of the location of the barrier on a bend in the Haven, and because the flows and eddys may make controlling lower powered boats more difficult
  • the proposed minimum 18 metres width of the channel, which would bypass the works and lead to high flows at some tidal conditions
  • the proposal to close the navigation on occasions during construction, to the detriment of the commercial fishing fleet and leisure users.

Gren Messham, Trustee and Chairman of IWA’s Navigation Committee, said “IWA considers that 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.”

IWA has asked that the application be further investigated by inquiry, hearing or written representations.  IWA hopes that its considered comments will result in a better and more complete outcome of the application.

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.

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


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