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Old 22 September 2011, 16:54   #81
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Not sure if its too late, but there is an e-petition online...

Objection to the Port of London Authority Byelaws revision dated 14th July 2011 - e-petitions
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Old 24 September 2011, 05:00   #82
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This petition is open until 26-Nov-11, with the propsed changes coming in on 01-Dec-11 if succesful.

In summary it means the Clipper will be allowed to increase its speed slightly to 25-30 knots in certain places, whereas non-commercial vessels will be restricted to 12 knots past Wandsworth (the 8 knot limit above Wandsworth remains in place).
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Old 24 September 2011, 05:54   #83
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Old 26 September 2011, 05:08   #84
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Old 26 September 2011, 10:19   #85
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Old 27 September 2011, 13:33   #86
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Speedboat firm wants to make Olympic waves - Telegraph

Good to see someone is optomistic the ban won't come in!
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Old 14 October 2011, 13:04   #87
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Latest Update:

From: Parkes, Julian [mailto:julian.parkes@pla.co.uk]
Sent: 14 October 2011 13:29
To: Vidal Mehra
Subject: Thames Byelaws 2011 - Speed Limits

Vidal
Thank you for this.
As you know, the Byelaws allow for any vessel operator to apply for Certificate of Compliance to exceed the speed limit in particular zones above and below the central London area.
We are currently defining the competency requirements required in those cases for recreational vessel operators, and I will be in touch with you as soon as I can in order to provide you with a copy of these and the other Certificate of Compliance requirements and to discuss your concerns further.
You'll appreciate I'm sure that there are very few, if any port and harbour areas in the UK where there is not a speed limit already in place. There is already an 8kt speed limit in place above Wandsworth and we have an advisory 12kt speed limit in place in central London.
Regards
Julian

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My response:

Hi Julian,

Many thanks for coming back to me, it is appreciated!

I did notice that certificate of compliances were available, however the impression I got was that these would be far too costly for recreational users to obtain. That said I would be very supportive of a licencing requirement (such as the Powerboat ICC) for recreational users, perhaps this is something that could be discussed?

With regards to your point on speed limits, I have no issue with speed limits as such, I have an issue with a two tier system where multi-ton commercial vessels can go along at 30 knots, whilst recreational users are restricted to an arbitrary 12 knot speed limit.

I have to confess, I can’t see the issue with the current 12 knot advisory limit, that works well and I know from experience is generally adhered too, bar the specific locations and situations where it becomes safe to go faster.

As for the 8 knot limit, this is already in place, so no point arguing about it I guess, but in my personal opinion it should only be in place past Kew, rather than Wandsworth as the river is wide enough to this point and the vast majority of leisure users slow down for rowers (again something taught on an ICC course).

Many thanks,

Vidal
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Old 18 October 2011, 08:22   #88
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I just got a response (and replied) to an e-mail from the London Assembly, interestingly at least it does sound like the Department for Transport do take objections seriously and at least take the time to go over them, so those that do have concerns about the limits, write in, I have!

Anyway, the e-mail:

From: S**** J***y [mailto:S****.J***y@london.gov.uk]
Sent: 18 October 2011 10:46
To: Vidal Mehra
Subject: RE: Thames Bye Laws

Hello again

Please find below the response John has received from the Port of London Authority on Friday last week.

Further to the email enquiry that you forwarded on 5 Oct, please find our reply below; sorry that it has taken longer than I would have wished to come back to you.
The current River byelaws were adopted in 1978. We have brought the new byelaws forward (which are substantially the same as the 1978 set) in order to update the provisions to reflect, among other things, the changing uses of the river, developments in technology and progress in safety management.
The enquiry about speed limits that you have forwarded is very similar to one that we are currently in direct correspondance with a river user on; they made a formal objection to the Department for Transport as part of our public consultation. The byelaws include a proposal for a 12-knot speed limit between Wandsworth and Magaretness (just down river of the Thames Barrier). Where passenger vessel operators can demonstrate they operate to the High Speed Craft regulations (or similar standards) they will be allowed to operate at up to 25 knots between Wandsworth and Lambeth and up to 30 knots between Cherry Garden Pier (a little down river of Tower Bridge) and Margaretness. A strict speed limit of 12 knots will apply to all vessels between Lambeth Bridge and Cherry Garden Pier.
The byelaws also allows a similar exemption for high speed leisure craft outside of the 12-knot limited stretch of river between Lambeth and Cherry Garden Pier - but to differing, but equally strict standards. Any dispensation would have to be subject to their demonstrating, for example, that they have gained suitable higher training in vessel operation, appropriate passage planning provision, their vessel having been inspected and that they carry an Automatic Identifcation System transponder. These elements would be subject to annual checking and after successful completion the owners would receive a certificate for that vessel to operate at higher speeds. This would give us confidence that the owner could safely operate their vessel at higher speeds on what is an increasingly busy river; the speed limit will not prevent a single commercial operator from conducting his business in the manner it is being conducted today. Furthermore, it is difficult to find another port with waters as constrained and congested as the River Thames that does not have a speed limit.
I hope that this email addresses your constituent's concerns satisfactorily. If you need anything further do please let me know.
Regards

S**

My response:

Hi S**,

Many thanks for passing this on, however I’m not sure I fully understand the response, there are some points I am not clear on, I’m hoping you may be able to clarify:

‘Any dispensation would have to be subject to their demonstrating, for example, that they have gained suitable higher training in vessel operation, appropriate passage planning provision’- What training in particular and what passage requirements, are they suggesting a formal passage plan needs to be submitted to someone in order to go out for a quick 10 minute run about for example? On this point perhaps it would be helpful if they could suggest an appropriate RYA endorsed course, such as RYA Powerboat Level 2?

‘the speed limit will not prevent a single commercial operator from conducting his business in the manner it is being conducted today’- Presumably they don’t define RYA training schools as commercial operators?

If possible, could you forward these questions on?

Many thanks,

Vidal
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Old 18 October 2011, 09:04   #89
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A busy day! Just received a response from the PLA too, from my previous e-mail:

From: Parkes, Julian [mailto:julian.parkes@pla.co.uk]
Sent: 18 October 2011 13:30
To: Vidal Mehra
Subject: RE: Thames Byelaws 2011 - Speed Limits

Vidal
Thank you for this.

I'll be in touch when we have some specific details on the recreational vessel requirements for the Certificate of Compliance.

In terms of a speeding problem, I'm afraid there is an ongoing issue in the River.

To give you some examples of the more serious: we recently had an incident (currently under investigation by the MAIB) where a private RIB hit a Thames Clipper vessel, at high speed, at night, under Blackfriars Bridge. The RIB was wrecked and the two occupants lucky to be alive. We've just successfully prosecuted the RIB driver.
A number of years ago, two people died when a drunken driver hit the weirs at Richmond Lock at speed.
Last year a person under the influence of drink ran down (and over) a rowing boat with 5 ladies in at Richmond - one suffered a broken leg. Again we were lucky not to have any deaths. We successfully prosecuted that person earlier this year.
There have been many more, I'm afraid.

Regards
Julian

My response:

Hi Julian,

Many thanks for responding, but the problem you highlight sounds like drunk driving, one which I canít believe anyone would argue against!

But to re-iterate my previous point, Iím not objecting to speed limits at all, merely to arbitrary speed limits for leisure users when commercial users are shooting along at Ďx knotsí as this would clearly not be in the name of safety!

Regards,

Vidal
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Old 19 October 2011, 08:37   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vjmehra View Post
the speed limit will not prevent a single commercial operator from conducting his business in the manner it is being conducted today.
All of the staff in the office here have just fallen over laughing at how they can be so naive!

If it wont stop any commercial operator doing anything differently then why do we need a speed limit (they are all going to do things as they already do according to that quote)

as for the training mentioned - RYA Training Centres wont be able to exceed the speed limit as by definition the students are not trained!
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