Jump to content
  • Announcements

    Welcome! New around here? Take a look at the New Members' Guide for some pointers.

    Not a member yet? Sign up here and you can soon be chatting away with friends old and new..

    Check out our Handy Information section if you're after something quickly!

  • If you would like to support the forum, please consider visiting the forum shop, where you can purchase such items as NBN Burgees, Window Stickers, or even a custom Limited Edition Wooden Throttle Control Knob

    Forum Shop

ranworthbreeze

Broads Authority Briefing September 2019

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, BroadsAuthority said:

Hi all (Tom here, directly involved with the production of our newsletters),

1. Tree-cutting is not just taking place on the Ant, this is just what's programmed in for the coming weeks. Cutting takes place in pockets all-year round, it's just that the Ant is the current focus and was what our CME team wanted to highlight in this month's newsletter. 

As Marshman has stated we are just one partner in a complex system involving private landowners, Environment Agency, Natural England etc.  'Red tape' is there for a reason and ensures that works are undertaken properly and are in accordance with the correct regulations that we at the Authority have to abide to. It isn't just a case of anyone turning up and starting to chop down trees (and disposal is of course another part of the process to consider).

Overall, bankside management is one of those tasks where there's often more than meets the eye, and there's also lot of area to manage. Thankfully we have a pool of amazing volunteers to draw upon to help us out with the task.

If anyone has noticed any particular problem areas (and this goes for dredging and water plant growth too) simply let me know and I can personally make sure that the relevant people are made aware of it within the Authority. Most of the time we can act upon it quickly, and if not, it can be programmed in for a future time when we have the resources to deal with it.

2. Addressing comments about 'trumpet blowing' and there 'not being much to update on' - we (John and the Communications Team) produce these newsletters monthly to communicate what we're currently up to (and what we have been up to) with you, our stakeholders. We were criticised on this forum (and others) in the past for not including enough navigation/maintenance related information, so we've started to make sure that more updates on these topics are in the briefings. We try to ensure there's a balance of topics covered, and none of it is written in a way that is purposely self-aggrandising.

3. FWIW unless in specific exceptions (I can't think of any currently) the Boat and Bat trips at Whitlingham and any other tourism initiatives aren't funded by the navigation account - they're separate budgets.

If anyone has any more questions please feel free to come back to me and I'll try my best to help. Have a good evening,

Tom

Hi Tom, thanks for the post.

In this post, you speak in terms i can understand, but in all the reports elsewhere, they are always written in extravagant catchwords and political jargon etc, which i, and probably others, can`t understand and consider the possibilty of being written in a way deliberately to misinform or mislead, hopefully i`m wrong?. If you want the support of the boating community, you have to report things in a manner we can ALL understand.

As for all the "red tape and beaurocracy", i stand my ground, as in the last 25 years, ALL authorities have unnecessarily increased staffing levels to appease government pressure to lower unemployment figures, and it seems the BA is no different, employing university graduates purely because of their degrees in false sciences, rather than members of the public that have vastly higher levels of experience. The BA must NEVER be used as an employment beaureu, purely to give university graduates, with dubious qualifications, employment.  I will also say that with overmanning of clerical staff, the BA will always struggle to fulfil its obligations re keeping navigation open, whereas if you were to cut the beaurocrats in senior positions, more grass roots members of staff can be employed in more productive positions, such as the operations (tree cutting etc) you mention above. 

While i`m writing this, what can be done to increase the height of Potter Heigham old road bridge, it is a basic civil engineering task to raise the bridge, giving it an airdraught of 7`6" at average high water standings. This will increase river traffic, which in turn should help keep down reed ingress, plus could help regenerate business in the upper Thurne network?. It would also mean that people would be able to use a large part of the Broads network that`s covered in our tolls, yet we are being denied?.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Paladin said:

The dyke, which was once used by wherries as far as Crome’s Broad, and which leads to the remains of  Crow’s Staithe, is now, for all practical purposes, unnavigable, even by a kayak, as the accompanying photo, taken in May this year, shows.

I must apologise. Having checked the metadata, the photo was actually taken in June 2018, so the situation will be even worse now.

I have attached a composite photo of one taken in October 2017 and another taken in June 2018, which clearly shows the rapid encroachment of the reeds from the south bank (the BA's side).

Entrance to Crome's Dyke 2017 2018.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tom

On the starboard bank at two locations between Beccles and Worlingham there is signifcant weed and reed growth extending to around 10 feet into the river. These growths are on two right hand bends and neccessitate the helms pulling to the middle of river to avoid them. They have been there now for at least two seasons and are still growing and definetly present a hazard which needs removing. Hopeing when you report it that some action is taken in the interest of safe cruising

Thank you

Boycee

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

Hi Tom, thanks for the post.

In this post, you speak in terms i can understand, but in all the reports elsewhere, they are always written in extravagant catchwords and political jargon etc, which i, and probably others, can`t understand and consider the possibilty of being written in a way deliberately to misinform or mislead, hopefully i`m wrong?. If you want the support of the boating community, you have to report things in a manner we can ALL understand.

As for all the "red tape and beaurocracy", i stand my ground, as in the last 25 years, ALL authorities have unnecessarily increased staffing levels to appease government pressure to lower unemployment figures, and it seems the BA is no different, employing university graduates purely because of their degrees in false sciences, rather than members of the public that have vastly higher levels of experience. The BA must NEVER be used as an employment beaureu, purely to give university graduates, with dubious qualifications, employment.  I will also say that with overmanning of clerical staff, the BA will always struggle to fulfil its obligations re keeping navigation open, whereas if you were to cut the beaurocrats in senior positions, more grass roots members of staff can be employed in more productive positions, such as the operations (tree cutting etc) you mention above. 

While i`m writing this, what can be done to increase the height of Potter Heigham old road bridge, it is a basic civil engineering task to raise the bridge, giving it an airdraught of 7`6" at average high water standings. This will increase river traffic, which in turn should help keep down reed ingress, plus could help regenerate business in the upper Thurne network?. It would also mean that people would be able to use a large part of the Broads network that`s covered in our tolls, yet we are being denied?.

Can't agree with the demand to raise Potter Bridge, can't have all & sundry accessing Hickling, too magical to be shared, but I do wholeheartedly agree with the rest of ST's post above. 

As for access to Cromes Broad. It has previously been acknowledged by the Authority (Wherry Dykes, Oulton Dyke), that what was navigable at the time when the Broads  Act was enacted shall be maintained as navigable, it's all in the Broads Act. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it unreasonable to try to get the bridge clearance to be returned to it's former levels however that would be achieved.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Can't agree with the demand to raise Potter Bridge, can't have all & sundry accessing Hickling, too magical to be shared, but I do wholeheartedly agree with the rest of ST's post above. 

Whilst I am well aware that Peter wrote this 'tongue in cheek' I have to say that I have a distinct feeling that the phrase "Many a true word is spoken in jest." is horribly appropriate.  The antithesis of the "Do you know Norman?" thread?

I don't believe enough has been done to establish officially, the reasons for the reduction in clearance and although many here have their own theories, it is well past time that the truth was found and published.

It is undisputed and provable fact that the clearance has reduced. and that this has occurred in the last decade or so.

The theory that the bridge is sinking has been pretty well debunked and the belief that this is due to water levels rising owing to climate change has also been found wanting.

Back in the early noughties', mum dad and I regularly visited the Pleasure Boat in Royall Ambassador or Royall Sovereign, but I doubt that either (whatever their names are now) would be able to make that trip in anything but exceptional services these days.

I am grateful to Tom of the Broads Authority for having the patience in putting up with the flak B.A. gets here but I really would like some answers to this one.   

For Toms benefit I mention that I own a boat that is moored at Hickling. It used to be one of Whispering Reeds hire craft and would in most cases get under the bridge, even at high water. These days it is not rare that even low water passage is not possible.

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, dnks34 said:

Hi Tom, 

Why are electric vehicles necessary?

As I understand it they are expensive to buy and expensive to put right if they go wrong with battery packs running into the several thousands. 

I can only assume budgets are strained with the amount the Toll has risen in the last 10 years so how can purchases like this be justified?  Surely a standard vehicle would be more cost effective?

 

A perfectly valid question is that. The Authority as a conservation body, they are not just a Harbour Authority, is surely right in taking the lead on this issue. Personally I'm not convinced that electric vehicles are the answer at the moment but that would be another thread. Anyway, rightly or wrongly the BA is taking a lead. What next, turning the thermostat down at Yare House? Committees with local members so as to cut down on travelling expenses? A further cut in traveling costs with a cull of staff in line with Speed Triple's wise comments, the comments re recruitment in the Briefing are alarming?  I'm sure that we could all theorize on this one! Not just to 'save the planet' but also to save money. Profligacy, like carbon use, needs to be cut. With that in mind, on both counts,  I'll remind folk of that obvious white elephant, the Acle Bridge visitor centre. It will need heating, people will presumably travel to it thus its presence alone will increase the carbon footprint. An energy audit is all very well, but it needs to encompass all BA activities as well as the consequences of what is offered by the BA

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MauriceMynah said:

Whilst I am well aware that Peter wrote this 'tongue in cheek' I have to say that I have a distinct feeling that the phrase "Many a true word is spoken in jest." is horribly appropriate.  The antithesis of the "Do you know Norman?" thread?

I don't believe enough has been done to establish officially, the reasons for the reduction in clearance and although many here have their own theories, it is well past time that the truth was found and published.

It is undisputed and provable fact that the clearance has reduced. and that this has occurred in the last decade or so.

The theory that the bridge is sinking has been pretty well debunked and the belief that this is due to water levels rising owing to climate change has also been found wanting.

Back in the early noughties', mum dad and I regularly visited the Pleasure Boat in Royall Ambassador or Royall Sovereign, but I doubt that either (whatever their names are now) would be able to make that trip in anything but exceptional services these days.

I am grateful to Tom of the Broads Authority for having the patience in putting up with the flak B.A. gets here but I really would like some answers to this one.   

For Toms benefit I mention that I own a boat that is moored at Hickling. It used to be one of Whispering Reeds hire craft and would in most cases get under the bridge, even at high water. These days it is not rare that even low water passage is not possible.

 

That's an excellent post, though I will always stand what I say the Thurne blockage has, through increasingly being used by the weight of heavier and heavier vehicles sunk, and will probably continue to do so. That said, it IS'NT the only reason, lack of dredging, and the continual shifting of land mass, ie "sinking", are a couple of others (again, whether convenient for individual argument or not) has been scientifically proven. Whatever the reasons, the BA along with any other authority involved, MUST work together and come up with a plan to not only restore the bridge to its original height, but to increase it to a higher level to allow for any future reduction in clearance. This would go a long way to rectify the situation, otherwise, we will be paying ever increasing tolls for ever reducing cruising ground. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when you consider that the uk as a whole is slowly tipping (land levels dropping 5cm a century in the south and conversly rising 10cm a century in scotland), although the bridge is not sinking relative to the surrounding land, that will have been a contributory factor, but not the major one i feel.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the capacity of modern engineering I have absolutely no doubts whatsoever that Potter Bridge could be lifted, as could the Vauxhall Bridge at Yarmouth, indeed the latter could be lifted with very little effort. As for Potter it is both a Highways and a Broads issue. However, those of us with a long memory will remember calls from certain BA officers to 'discourage' navigation on the Upper Thurne thus we must keep our wits about us.  I don't think it unreasonable to suggest that the increasing difficulty in navigating Potter might be seen as desirable in certain quarters, exclusion from above perhaps? Naturally this raises the question of exclusion from below, a strategic lack of dredging?

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

I don't think it unreasonable to suggest that the increasing difficulty in navigating Potter might be seen as desirable in certain quarters, exclusion from above perhaps? 

As would full NP status, as would banning all motor craft, as would banning angling... etc etc etc. There are loads of "certain quarters". How many of those "certain quarters" must be pandered to?.

No, this issue mustn't be obscured by unnecessary detail. The bridge is no longer navigable by craft which used to be able to navigate it regularly. Why and what can and what will be done about it? Those are the three simple questions for which seek answers.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, grendel said:

when you consider that the uk as a whole is slowly tipping (land levels dropping 5cm a century in the south and conversly rising 10cm a century in scotland), although the bridge is not sinking relative to the surrounding land, that will have been a contributory factor, but not the major one i feel.

Quite so, 5cm (2") in 100 years, and sea levels have supposed to have risen, but not even by an inch over the same period,  so less than 3" overall, yet the stone bridge at potter heigham has dropped by what some people have quoted as over 9" in 60 years, a fact proven by (as stated above) the number of boats that used to transit said bridge every day without trouble, yet are no longer able to do so. It was posted on this forum some while ago that back in the 50s boats with around 7ft 4ins (Brooms Admiral comes to mind?) were able to transit the bridge, yet now, boats with around 6ft 6iins are rarely able to do so. That`s actually 10ins difference, so if you take the (max) 3"  from rising sea levels and shifting land mass, that still leaves 7" unaccounted for.   What is a historical fact is since the 50s the volume of traffic that use it has multiplied at least 5 fold, and the average weight of the average car has over doubled since the 50s. Another geographical fact is the land structure in and around the Broads is very soft, look at the sinking house at Horning as an example, so any heavy solid structure will over a given time sink. 

It`s convenient for people to believe prefered theories to win arguements and discussions, what IS`NT convenient is proof that their arguments may not be true.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

With the capacity of modern engineering I have absolutely no doubts whatsoever that Potter Bridge could be lifted, as could the Vauxhall Bridge at Yarmouth, indeed the latter could be lifted with very little effort. As for Potter it is both a Highways and a Broads issue. However, those of us with a long memory will remember calls from certain BA officers to 'discourage' navigation on the Upper Thurne thus we must keep our wits about us.  I don't think it unreasonable to suggest that the increasing difficulty in navigating Potter might be seen as desirable in certain quarters, exclusion from above perhaps? Naturally this raises the question of exclusion from below, a strategic lack of dredging?

I have asked elsewhere if there is anywhere that a true ‘expert’ report has been prepared concerning this. I suspect not, therefore the first step would surely be the preparation of a true professional review into the problem? I doubt there would be many who would object to navigation monies being spent to procure this as it could be to navigators advantage. To resolve the issue, ie raise the bridge, I suspect any costs would make it entirely untenable unless it was something simple such as dredging. 

 

5 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

The bridge is no longer navigable by craft which used to be able to navigate it regularly.

That, I think, is the crux of the matter and it is not unreasonable to ask for something to be done.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are posting in alternate threads Vannessan. Oddly though, It might even work out cheaper in the long run to raise the bridge rather than continually dredging the lower reaches.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

It`s convenient for people to believe prefered theories to win arguements and discussions, what IS`NT convenient is proof that their arguments may not be true.

But that proof must be available. It seems to me to be a case of something being said so often that it must be true. No action is likely to be forthcoming without an expert review having been taken.

 

1 minute ago, MauriceMynah said:

We are posting in alternate threads Vannessan. Oddly though, It might even work out cheaper in the long run to raise the bridge rather than continually dredging the lower reaches.

I think though we are (for once) actually talking along the same lines! But I might be wrong. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems we will have to wait for Tom (BA) to respond to the various questions raised. Views from the horses mouth so to speak.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed Vannessan, and yes we are talking along the same lines.

SpeedTriple, If the cause or the reducing clearance was that bridge was sinking at the rate the last decade indicates, there would have been considerable road works, on a regular basis either side of the bridge to keep the road connected to it. This doesn't seem to be the case.

The road either side of the bridge is on an upward incline towards it, this flies in the face of your theory... I think!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

It would also mean that people would be able to use a large part of the Broads network that`s covered in our tolls, yet we are being denied?.

I’m not sure that argument holds up. If I have a very large 4x4 that won’t go down some of our UK country lanes, that’s my fault surely? I need to change it for a mini - or buy a motorbike!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, vanessan said:

It seems we will have to wait for Tom (BA) to respond to the various questions raised. Views from the horses mouth so to speak.

Let`s not forget, although we all appreciate the fact that Tom is posting on this forum, he IS representing an authority which is becoming very political. The question is, are we being listened to, or are we being allowed to speak, yet also being ignored because our wants and needs are NOT that of the said authority?. I sincerely hope that Tom is here for the benefit of the boating and Broads community as a whole, and NOT just finding out what our concerns are, and using it as ammo for their personal agenda.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I go for the "Innocent unless proven guilty" myself, but lets wait to see if the question is addressed before we start questioning motives. :-)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, vanessan said:

I’m not sure that argument holds up. If I have a very large 4x4 that won’t go down some of our UK country lanes, that’s my fault surely? I need to change it for a mini - or buy a motorbike!

Don`t forget Johns (MMs) post where he rightly says boats that were designed to, and regularly used to transit the bridge are no longer able to do so. Had your reply mentioned any of the highliner designs, then yes, i totally agree with you, but boats that were built as long ago as the 70s, even older, are no longer able to do so. 

Lightning was designed and built to transit ALL broads bridges at average tides, yet will never get under PH bridge anymore, unless it`s a seriously low tide, and she was built in the mid 90s, around 25 years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

boats that were built as long ago as the 70s, even older, are no longer able to do so.

I don’t think that’s wholly true. Those boats designed and built in the 70s to transit all Broads bridges can still do so but not nearly as often as they used to. We need to establish why that is.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, vanessan said:

I have asked elsewhere if there is anywhere that a true ‘expert’ report has been prepared concerning this.

All 'experts' have an agenda and a bias.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If water levels are NOT rising, why did the EA spend all the money raising the flood protection banks here in Broadland and why , when it was built, was the Thames Flood barrier hardly ever used, and yet now, it is frequently closed to prevent upstream flooding?

If Ex Pilot has said time and time again, Potter Bridge is NOT sinking, why do the sceptics NOT believe him?

The trouble with some of you are a bit like Trump -  you continue to be in denial over global warming. Oh yes and NASA has made it all up AND the Earth is flat!!! Stop pretending like him and others that this is all a conspiracy!!!!

And I will stand like PW in the wall, to stop you lifting Potter Bridge - think of something else to spend money on!!!!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never let evidence get in the way of myths, legends, beliefs, assumptions, lies or damned lies.  If ST wants to prove that Potter bridge is sinking, either under its own weight or because cars are getting heavier, then let him drop an email to Norfolk County Council's Highways department, bridges division.  Let him ask NCC for the survey data collected over the last five decades.

Perhaps ST can then prove, with hard evidence, that the bridge is sinking.  

That river levels have risen is surely evidenced by the number of Thurne property owners who have been persuaded to spend thousands of pounds of hard-earned cash in raising their properties above fluvial flood levels, raising their quay-headings and plots against increased river levels and the increased frequency of flooding.  These two hundred and twenty properties have, for more than a hundred years, been located on the functioning flood plain of the River Thurne between the river and the concrete flood wall or floodbank to the rear of them.

I don't presume to know why the water levels are rising.  That they are, I can see every day from my window where now I sit to type this reply - the same window at which I have worked every day for the last thirty years.

Incidentally, at Potter Bridge, inches matter.  Respectfully, Broom Admirals needed 7' 0" clearance from 1989 to 1999.  I presume they still do.  If they really needed 7' 4" I would never have had the pleasure of piloting one through THAT bridge.  I put several through during my ten-year stint working there.

And similarly and equally respectfully, to correct Marshman, the floodbanks of the River Thurne were not raised, they were strengthened by being made substantially wider, not taller.  Again, the gps data should support the promise made by Broadland Environmental Services Limited to the River Thurne Tenants Association before works began that no part of the then existing flood defences would be raised, and that the over-topping points of the flood defences that existed before the engineering works would continue to exist in their then existing locations post the Broadland Flood Alleviation Project.

Edited by expilot
punctuation errors
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • NBN Mobile App

    Want to use NBN when you're out and about?

    Get our mobile app for Android and iOS!

    Get it on Google Play

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

For details of our Guidelines, please take a look at the Terms of Use here.