Tidal barrier concerns

An impression of how the Boston tidal barrier could look An impression of how the Boston tidal barrier could look

Revised proposals for a tidal barrier on the River Witham at Boston in Lincolnshire could significantly limit navigation.

That’s according to the Inland Waterways Association, which admits a tidal surge barrier is required, the current plan for construction and operation of the barrier could make navigation more hazardous.

The organisation has written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with its concerns.

These include lack of detail about water flows, a risk of collision due to a limited line of sight due to the location of the barrier and because the flows and eddies that may make controlling lower powered boats harder.

In addition, the proposed minimum 18m width of the channel that would bypass the works could lead to high flows at some tidal conditions and 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, explained: “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.”

Up to early 2015, plans for the barrier included a parallel lock and improvements to the water front in Boston which the IWA says could have mitigated these concerns.

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