Tag Archives: Clondra

WI extended mooring permits

A Waterways Ireland press release has winged its way to my desk. If you want a permit (or licence?) you must provide a copy of your insurance and pay a damage deposit.

The full thing:

Waterways Ireland announced in June 2012 a change in the permit system allowing for year-long mooring permits on the Grand & Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation. The full list of Extended Mooring Locations has been published and is available on www.waterwaysireland.org, in the Canal Bye-Law Enforcement section.

The first four [for certain values of four. bjg] locations where the permits for extended mooring are being opened for application are Shannon Harbour on the Grand Canal, Rathangan and Vicarstown on the Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation, Clondra (East of Richmond Harbour), Confey and the 15th lock on the Royal Canal.

The application process for the Extended Mooring Permit for these locations will open on the 19th November and will remain open for 2 weeks. Boat owners with boats in the four locations with Combined Mooring and Passage Permits will be advised by letter. The Application Form and Guidance Notes for all applicants will be placed on www.waterwaysireland.org. The applicant is required to complete an application form, supply a copy of their insurance, certify that the boat complies with the byelaws and pay the €152 fee and a damage deposit of €250.

Permits will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so to receive a preferred location early applications are advised. Applications will only be accepted from owners already holding a valid annual Combined Mooring and Passage Permit. Boat owners without a Combined Mooring & Passage Permit who wish to apply for an Extended Mooring Permit can do so by ticking the box on the Extended Mooring Application Form and supplying the additional fee.

Applicants will be notified within 28 days of the success of their application.  Successful applicants will be required to sign the Extended Mooring Permit license and will then have a period in which to move to their new mooring. Enforcement of the 5 day rule will begin in this area following the issue of a Marine Notice.

Applications for the next set of Extended Mooring Locations will continue on a rolling basis thereafter with Waterways Ireland intention to open sufficient locations to cover demand on all of the canals by the end of March 2013.

Boats that cruise and move (staying at a mooring for up to 5 days) will not require an Extended Mooring Permit or be in breach of the Bye-laws.

Waterways Ireland will continue to contact permit holders regularly to ensure they are kept up to date with the roll-out of the new permit. All queries about the enforcement of the current bye-laws or the Extended Mooring Permit should be directed to Shane Anderson, Assistant Inspector of Navigation: Tel no +353 (0)87 286 5726, Email shane.anderson@waterwaysireland.org.

These changes are necessary steps to improve the management of the canals and waterway amenities for both the navigational and recreational user, so that investment in the new infrastructure and facilities which Waterways Ireland has undertaken is maximised for every user.

Despite asking them several times, I still don’t understand what WI means by “permit” and “licence”. And now we have a “Permit licence”.

Value for money

Regular readers will be aware that I think the proposed canal to Clones is a bad investment. I thought it might be useful to look for information about other Irish canal restorations to see what they cost and what the return on investment has been. I understand that there was a study of the Shannon–Erne Waterway, but I can’t find a copy on tinterweb (if anyone has one to lend, please get in touch).

I therefore asked Waterways Ireland about the restoration of the Royal Canal:

I would be grateful if you could tell me the cost of the restoration of the Royal Canal, the annual cost of running it and the revenue it generates.

The reply (for which I am, as always, grateful) said:

Restoration of the Royal Canal commenced in 1987.

€37m Capital Expenditure on the restoration project funded through (1) Operational Programme for Tourism 1994-1999 (2) National Development Programme 2000 – 2007 and (3) National Development Plan 2007-2013.

The Maintenance Cost for 2012 is €2.46m.

The revenue generated by the canal in 2011 is not available.

I didn’t really expect that there would be a meaningful figure for revenue. A full assessment of the benefits would cover far more than the (probably minimal) direct revenue; I think such an assessment should be done, but that’s not what really got my attention.

According to Waterways Ireland, the Main Line of the Royal is 146 km long and has 46 locks and many bridges, some of them newly built as part of the restoration. Harbours have been improved, slipways have been provided and service blocks have been built. And all of this was done for €37 million (I don’t know whether that’s in constant prices and, if so, at which year’s rates: I’ve asked a supplementary question).

A canal to Clones would be 13 km long and, according to WI’s final restoration plan [PDF], would have one double lock (staircase pair). Some dredging would be needed on the River Finn and a new canal 0.6 km long would have to be provided; the work at the Finn end would cost €8.5 million altogether. On the line as a whole, work would be required on up to 17 bridges, some major and some minor or private bridges. And there would be a cost for land acquisition, although the Updated Economic Appraisal put that at a mere £1,268,280, a very small portion of the total cost. And then there would be the pumps and pipes to take water from the Erne, pump it to Clones and let it flow back down; it is not clear whether WI would have to pay for the water. And the total cost of this lot would be €38m + VAT, which I am told is about €45 million altogether.

Now, even allowing for the facts that there had been some voluntary and FÁS scheme work on the Royal, that no land had to be acquired and that parts of the canal were in water, I still find it difficult to see how a 13 km canal with one double lock can cost more than a 146 km canal with 46 locks. I have asked WI for a comment, but perhaps readers — especially if any of them are engineers or accountants — would be able to help to explain the mystery. Maybe it’s something simple like a mistake in the figures or maybe I’m missing something about the nature of restorations …. Enlightenment welcome.

 

Clontarf to Clondra II

Maark Gleeson of Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club has kindly given me details of the Club’s recent trip along the Royal, with notes on the time taken and some useful advice, especially about the tides in Dublin.

Clontarf to Clondra

The Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club, recreating the Club’s 1925 trip, entered the Royal Canal sea lock from the Liffey on Saturday morning, 16 April 2011; some boats have reached Abbeyshrule this evening, and they hope to reach Clondra tomorrow evening, which will be four days from the Liffey.

That’s very fast: for Blanchardstown to/from Clondra, IWAI Dublin Branch estimated 5 days X 8 hours and I estimated 6 days X 7 hours, plus another day from the Liffey to Blanchardstown (12th Lock). I understand that CYBC has been doing very long days; I’ll get details later. In the meantime, well done CYBC.

Clondra Lock

The lock at Clondra may be the only one on the Shannon that is in the same place, and doing the same job, since the days of the Commissioners of Inland Navigation in the middle of the eighteenth century. The lock itself has been refurbished several times, and in recent years the lock furniture has been altered to make it impossible for boaters to work their own boats through it. But it has a very interesting collection of gear and it is well worth using, even if you’re not going to the Royal Canal at Richmond Harbour.