I am grateful to Waterways Ireland for sending me the Shannon traffic figures for the last three months of 2014. They sent them last month but I didn’t have time to deal with them until now.
Regular readers may wish to skip this section
All the usual caveats apply:
- the underlying figures do not record total waterways usage (even for the Shannon) as, for instance, sailing, fishing or waterskiing on lakes or river stretches, which did not involve a passage through a lock or Portumna Bridge, would not be recorded
- the passage records would not show, for instance, a change in the balance of types of activities from those in larger cruising boats to those in smaller (sailing, fishing, waterskiing) boats
- figures like these will not necessarily be representative of those for the year as a whole. The winter months, January to March, see little traffic in any year; for April, May and June, the weather can have a large influence on the amount of activity especially, I suspect, in private boats.
On the other hand, the figures do include the Shannon’s most significant tourism activity, the cruiser hire business. And they are our only consistent long-term indicator of usage of the inland waterways.
Total (private + hired) traffic for the full year
As we saw in September, traffic is down on 2013, but there has been little change over the last three years.
Private-boat traffic for the full years 2003 to 2014
The vertical scale on this chart is different from that for hired boats so the changes in private boating from one year to another are exaggerated (by comparison). The good weather did not prevent a fall in activity.
Hire-boat traffic for the full years 2003 to 2014
Again, the lowest figure in my records, but the drop was small; perhaps the hire trade is bouncing along the bottom (as it were). I wonder whether anyone has a Grand Plan for recovery or rejuvenation.
Percentages of 2003 levels
Percentages of 2003 levels
Private traffic at just over 90% of 2003 levels, hire traffic at just over 40%.
Private -v- hired
Still roughly 50:50
In the five months January, February, March, November and December, there were 385 passages altogether, less than 1% of total boat movements for the year. If money can be saved by ceasing to operate the locks and bridge during the winter, they should be closed except, perhaps, for one Saturday per month, to be arranged for a non-flood day.
Here is the order of popularity.
Lough Allen is a delightful place but it is not popular.
Posted in Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Ireland, Operations, Restoration and rebuilding, Shannon, Sources, Tourism, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management, Weather
Tagged Albert Lock, Athlone, Battlebridge, boats, bridge, canal, Clarendon lock, Clondra, Drumleague, Drumshanbo, floods, Ireland, Jamestown, Limerick, lock, Lough Allen, Lough Derg, Lough Key, Meelick, Operations, Portumna, Rooskey, Roosky, Sarsfield, Shannon, Tarmonbarry, Victoria, waterways, Waterways Ireland, Wellesley
Her Late Majesty Victoria, by the grace of god of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, had at least two locks named after her on this island: one at Meelick on the Shannon and the other at Upper Fathom on the Newry Ship Canal. This page gives a brief account of the canal’s history; it has links at the bottom to six pages (made up almost entirely of photographs) on aspects of the lock and its operation. Several of those aspects are not clear to me and I would welcome enlightenment about both the former manual operations and the current hydraulic operations.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Natural heritage, Operations, People, Restoration and rebuilding, Scenery, Sources, Waterways management
Tagged Albert, basin, Carlingford, Ireland, lock, Newry, Northern Ireland, ship canal, upper fathom, Victoria
I’ve made some changes to my pages about (parts of) the waterways in Dublin. Essentially, I’ve suggested a walking route that would take you:
- from Connolly Station to Newcomen Bridge and Lock 1 on the Royal Canal, then up the Royal as far as Lock 5 (with possibilities for refreshment)
- back a bit to the junction with the abandoned Broadstone Line, then down that line to Constitution Hill
- from there to the Liffey quays, with some thoughts on the Guinness Liffey barges, then up Steevens Lane and James’s Street to Echlin Street and the filled-in Grand Canal Harbour
- around the harbour before ending in the Guinness Storehouse.
More information here or go directly to this page.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Industrial heritage, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Rail, Tourism, Waterways management
Tagged boats, bridge, Broadstone, canal, floozie, Glasnevin, Grand Canal, Grand Canal harbour, Guinness, Ireland, Ireland canals Grand Royal, James's St, Joyce, Kavanaghs, lawyers, Liffey, Liffey Swim, national museum, Operations, quay, Royal Canal, Storehouse, strumpet, Swift, turf, vessels, Victoria, waterways, Waterways Ireland, Yeats