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Old 11 February 2008, 16:01   #1
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New Speed Limits in Central London

Many of you will have seen the plans and the various posts regarding plans to extend the speed limit in Central London for COMMERCIAL PASSENGER CARRYING VESSELS.

Unfortunately they are not content to stop there and are planning on extending this to leisure users. More details are in the press release below. I would like to hear from anybody who feels strongly about this and I will discuss with the PLA how to make peoples opinions know. We are a major river user and the PLA is a self financing public trust. Our opinions can count so please get in touch.

New Speed Limits in Central London
The Port of London Authority (PLA) has introduced a speed limit for all high speed passenger vessels operating in central London. Such vessels are now restricted to a maximum speed of 12 knots through the central London bridges and also in the area near Greenwich Pier.

This measure is to help ensure continued high safety standards on the River. We have made this move, after a thorough risk assessment, because of a significant and welcome increase in the number of fast passenger vessels on the Thames. In recent months vessels have started operating services on new routes and leisure operators have introduced new tourist related high speed trips. The measure does not affect the high speed commuter services outside the areas listed above, thus allowing them to maintain schedules.

In addition, we will shortly begin consulting on the introduction of a speed limit for all craft in central London. It is envisaged that this new speed limit will apply to all privately owned recreational and leisure craft and all commercial vessels. However operators of high speed commuter services will be able to apply for an exemption to the limit, below the central London bridges, enabling them to continue to maintain schedules.

Details of our proposals will be subject to a wide consultation and will be published on the PLA website soon. Subject to this consultation, we anticipate this new speed limit will come into force during 2008.
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Old 11 February 2008, 16:03   #2
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Hi
I have started a petition to oppose this. If you havent already please sign up to the link below

www.gopetition.com/online/16885.html

Many Thanks
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Old 11 February 2008, 16:32   #3
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Hi Chris,

I think many of us feel strongly about this. It was discussed on here some weeks ago. JK was going to take it up with PLA to discuss how we are consulted as a group IIRC.

The press release below is amazing. The limit was introduced initially for the fast ferries. When they get a byelaw passed, if I read it correctly, the ferries will be able to get an exemption outside the central london bridges... the rest of us are screwed over... it makes my blood boil.

and as I said before, I would not so much mind a 25-30kn limit, but 12-15 is ridiculous, too difficult to stay on plane, realistically limiting you to 6/7 kn depending on boat.
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Old 11 February 2008, 16:45   #4
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I do wonder if this isn't the stealthy start of some kind of compulsory registration so they can trace people who break limits.
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Old 11 February 2008, 17:02   #5
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Thank that Jeremy Clarkson nobber...........
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Old 11 February 2008, 18:14   #6
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I don't agree Clarkson is to blame.
So anything that isn't regulated out of existence already is only going to be OK as long as we keep quiet about it?
I reckon areas like this should be left to the discretion of the port authority with the rules being nothing stiffer than showing consideration for other users, then doing 50 knots weaving through other boats gets punished but the same 50 knots on a deserted river is fine. Something along the motoring equivalent of driving with due care..........

I thought the Top gear race across london was one of the better ones, the radio call to the flood barrier had me laughing out loud! At speed? there was an understatement!
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Old 12 February 2008, 05:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E Johnson View Post
Hi
I have started a petition to oppose this. If you havent already please sign up to the link below

www.gopetition.com/online/16885.html

Many Thanks

Please note the petition above is for commercial boats not leisure operations.

I have a meeting with the Upper Harbour Manager and the Upper River Manager of the PLA shortly and if people drop me a line I will give them a rough idea of the strength of oposition to their proposals and investigate how to take this further.

Chris
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Old 12 February 2008, 05:53   #8
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Hi Chris,
The petition is for BOTH Commerical and Leisure Boat owners. I feel that it is very important that we ensure that the speed limit is not enforced and the way to do this is to prove to the PLA that this is not the right thing for London. Furthermore, I know that David Foster, the Harbour Master does not like RIBS. Have you set a date for your meeting with the PLA?
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Old 12 February 2008, 05:57   #9
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PLA are talking about a limit through Central London Bridges. I suspect they will want to make this Wandsworth to Tower, therefore ensuring a limit all the way upstream from Tower.

If a limit has to be imposed, the area should only be Westminster to Tower, which after all is the busiest stretch, and even then the limit should be high enough to allow small craft to plane thus ensuring minimum wash. Perhaps 24 knots on this stretch?
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Old 12 February 2008, 06:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timw View Post
PLA are talking about a limit through Central London Bridges. I suspect they will want to make this Wandsworth to Tower, therefore ensuring a limit all the way upstream from Tower.

If a limit has to be imposed, the area should only be Westminster to Tower, which after all is the busiest stretch, and even then the limit should be high enough to allow small craft to plane thus ensuring minimum wash. Perhaps 24 knots on this stretch?

Why have one at all??? Have to be imposed? No "have to" about it yet another example of a few idiots imposing their will on everyone - just like Windemere.
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Old 12 February 2008, 06:34   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E Johnson View Post
Hi Chris,
The petition is for BOTH Commerical and Leisure Boat owners. I feel that it is very important that we ensure that the speed limit is not enforced and the way to do this is to prove to the PLA that this is not the right thing for London. Furthermore, I know that David Foster, the Harbour Master does not like RIBS. Have you set a date for your meeting with the PLA?

E Johnson the petition is as follows "We, the undersigned, call on The Port of London Authority that no further speed restriction be enforced (other than ease down points where necessary due to wash) after Cherry Gardens, Wapping down river towards Thamesmead/Dagenham."

The current speed limit is for commercial passenger vessels and the petition concerns further plans for donwstream - fair enough but it does not mention other areas of the river which are planned for upstream. My concern is port-wide from Teddington to safe water mark.

A date is already set for my meeting with the PLA. It is to discuss other matters but I will raise this speed limit issue then.

Chris
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Old 12 February 2008, 06:35   #12
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Why have one at all??? Have to be imposed? No "have to" about it yet another example of a few idiots imposing their will on everyone - just like Windemere.
Well sadly there are a few unwelcome visitors who launch and tear up the river causing problems, and the PLA want to stop that.
It also didn't help when the passenger jet boat (RIB) skipper dropped the wrong bucket and slammed into Albert Bridge

Having been on the river for many years and watched the introduction of the fast RIB rides, and the doubling of the fast Thames Clipper services, along with the increase in visiting power boats, I always knew the introduction of a speed limit would be imposed. Shame really
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Old 12 February 2008, 06:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timw View Post
Well sadly there are a few unwelcome visitors who launch and tear up the river causing problems, and the PLA want to stop that.
It also didn't help when the passenger jet boat (RIB) skipper dropped the wrong bucket and slammed into Albert Bridge

Having been on the river for many years and watched the introduction of the fast RIB rides, and the doubling of the fast Thames Clipper services, along with the increase in visiting power boats, I always knew the introduction of a speed limit would be imposed. Shame really

I suspect it's down to the introduction of fast rib rides as well. I have heard many rumblings about how they are taking a significant proportion of the trade away from normal cruisers as well which is sure to be influencing the number of complaints etc.

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Old 12 February 2008, 12:43   #14
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.

.............We have made this move, after a thorough risk assessment, because of a significant and welcome increase in the number of fast passenger vessels on the Thames. .................
All these high speed boats are welcome because they allow us to make lots more rules to stop them, therefore showing off our power to the proles. Of course, we'll waive the rules for anyone in our gang.

There's no wonder that lots of people from the souf are running north. What a bloody country we (well, you ) live in. Too many people with not enough to do except push others around. Nowt's worth living in a place like that.
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Old 12 February 2008, 14:27   #15
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Petition

There has already been a speed limit enforced between Wandsworth Bridge to Cherry Gardens, Wapping. The PLA are trying to get this extended. When they enforced the limit they tried to keep it as quiet as possible and nothing was put on their web-site. It was only when the media found about it and they were put under pressure that they put something on the web-site. They want to try and keep this as quiet as poss and get it enforced with a minumum amount of fuss. We need to build a campaign with a strong spokesperson so that when it is out to consultation we can have our views known. Therefore, it is important that we get as many people on the petition below and also some strong comments.

http://www.gopetition.com/online/16885.html
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Old 12 February 2008, 17:03   #16
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Wow at last a 72' canal narrowboat will be classed as a high speed craft, last time I took one of mine down the tidal thames we were doing 13 to 15 knots SOG at 3/4 throttle.
Richard
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Old 12 February 2008, 17:34   #17
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There has already been a speed limit enforced between Wandsworth Bridge to Cherry Gardens, Wapping.
You are wrong here. There has never beeen a speed limit downstream of Wandsworth Bridge.

There has always been an 8 knot limit upstream of Wandsworth Bridge, and no one is disputing this.

However, a vessel must proceed with due care to ensure that the wash does not cause damage.

However, the petition is a good idea, but any limit imposed downstream of Wandsworth Bridge must be rejected.
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Old 12 February 2008, 19:27   #18
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Ok I will let you into some of my experiences and knowledge from working on the Thames as a fast rib ride skipper!

First of I can see why the PLA is trying to bring this rule in, the fast rib rides running on their river are a thorn in their side as the boats are operated under MCA rules which the PLA have to allow. This means Skippers can be commercially endorsed Advanced Powerboat/Yachtmasters, whereas the rest of the boats on the river are operated by the Thames Water/lightermen.

I know the companies operating in London tried to keep the peace by using watermen at first but these guys were some of the biggest trouble makers, in terms of ribs running on the Thames as they continually ran flat out and drove the boats like they stole them. In the end the companies went to using the commercially endorsed skippers as well as trusted watermen (as with all people in life there was good and bad eggs).

The Thames is a hectic place to work and with many slow moving craft often the only safe way to navigate was to cut between boats and using knowledge of the river cut inside moored barges. I often felt as if I wasnít welcome when coming alongside at certain piers by the larger boats but on the whole the masters of the big vessels were really nice guys and very accommodating.

I feel the issue lies with the PLA and their dislike of the fast ribs running on the Thames, I can see their point but London Rib Voyages has rightfully given an award placing it in the top 5 must do things in London! It really is a unique way to see London !
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Old 13 February 2008, 03:39   #19
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Hi Chris

We have been running events more and more on The Thames. We try our hardest to run a safe and proffessional service. We run at under 15 knots (wash permitting) under the bridges and then increase speed down river where it is safely possible.

We have never had a good response from other commercial river users, we have been complained about for no reason and even had abusive language shouted at us from passenger vessles.

We are as keen as anyone for the river to be as safe as possible but an instant speed limit on everyone is not the right answer, this should be a case by case basis.

I have written to the cheif harbour master requesting advice on how we can be involved in the consultation - I will let you know the outcome. It appears as if they are trying to keep this very quiet.

We have also spoken with the legal departement at the RYA, it is worth contacting them and logging your views with them, they have taken it seriously and have implied they willl ''stamp all over it' when the consultation period arises.

Do keep me up dated on your progress.

Stuart
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Old 13 February 2008, 07:13   #20
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I have just noticed that the high speed ferry operators will be able to apply for permit allowing them to maintain speed in other areas so they can "meet their schedules"!!!

In other words the people who are causing a problem will soon be exempt and it's us pleasure boaters who will suffer - i woul'd feel far safer at 30kts than 12 with one of those bearing down on me!!!
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