RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Rivers south of Glasgow
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neil.farmer
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RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by neil.farmer » Thu May 08, 2014 11:08 pm

As of May 2014.....

Kayaking (hopefully temporarily) banned on the Clyde in Glasgow
Clydeport, the Harbour Masters for the Clyde in Glasgow, have been taken over by Peel Holdings who are taking a much more strict line with regard to paddling on the Clyde in Glasgow. The SCA are in negotiation with the Company but in the meantime they are banning kayaking on the Clyde between the Erskine Bridge and Glasgow Green.

For Information: the right of access does not apply to harbours & the Clyde is considered one from the city centre weir to the estuary.
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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu May 08, 2014 11:22 pm

Neil I am very sorry to hear this, it is a stunningly interesting paddle.

http://seakayakphoto.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... -port.html

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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by AGNorwich » Fri May 09, 2014 9:50 am

I'm at the wrong end of the country to have a personal stake in this.... But the key law is not the Scottish right of access legislation. This is a tidal river, and, at least in England, there is an absolute right of navigation on navigable tidal rivers.

"Every navigable river, so far as the sea flows, is a Royal river, and therefore common to all"
http://www.caffynonrivers.co.uk/_resour ... rivers.pdf

see also http://naturenet.net/law/rivers.html. I believe that these laws apply in Scotland too, but I am not a lawyer, and certainly not a scottish one.

Owners of adjacent land may restrict mooring; and harbour authorities may impose a charge for anchoring. Byelaws may be put in place to regulate activities such as recreational use of particular areas for reasons of safety or nature conservation, so a harbour authority could ban recreational kayaking involving launching or landing from the same place if it did not involve anything that could reasonably be called "navigation". But these restrictions should not interfere with the more fundamental right of navigation. So, I do not believe that a navigation of the river from Erskine Bridge to Glasgow Green by a kayak could be prevented, although a requirement to maintain a listening watch on channel 16 throughout, and report position to the harbour authorities at the designated reporting points is not unreasonable.

And of course, having navigated it in one direction, you might want to navigate it in the other direction, as that is what boats often do.

AG

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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by MikeB » Fri May 09, 2014 10:54 am

What's the source for this Neil? I see nothing immediately obvious from a quick look at the Notices to Mariners on the Peel Ports w/site.

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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by Jim » Fri May 09, 2014 12:24 pm

AG - it is a big leap to assume any English law relating to access applies in Scotland - I'm pretty sure the Land Reform Act (Scotland) supersedes anything you are familiar with.

The Land Reform Act is about reasonable access to open land and water, industrial sites (amongst others) are specifically excluded from access rights, and as Neil has mentioned I'm sure harbours are excluded in order to give harbour authorities powers to police them for safety reasons (I can't recall that section right now but it's something that rings a bell). Quite a lot of the tidal river Clyde in Glasgow could be considered an industrial site, especially under private management, but the truth is that traffic is relatively light these days (some fairly large vessels still visit KGV and Govan Shipyard but not lots at the same time) and a system as you suggest where kayaks are required to call in to traffic control and monitor the relevant channels on passage (which is exactly what we did on the trip Douglas linked to) is perfectly adequate.

On our trip there was one vessel movement that day, upstream to KGV, and it was completed before we arrived (downstream) at KGV. Even then we were not told to wait upstream until it was clear, but advised which side of the river we should paddle to keep out of the way, and by chance the ice had cleared by then so it would have been possible :-)

Basically Peel Ports are taking a draconian step to cover their own liability in the highly unlikely event of an incident involving kayaks and shipping. Like I said in the other thread, it's the true cost of privatisation - Peel Ports will ban all kayak access to releive themselves of responsibility and therefore cost of managing the potential interaction of kayak and shipping traffic. The reality is that only a handful of trips per year are likely to take place and they will be well organized and happy to contact traffic control for a safe window to make their passage downstream. Peel will no doubt argue that there is a cost to them for having a radio operator talk to kayaks.

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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by AGNorwich » Fri May 09, 2014 1:25 pm

The 2003 Land reform act gives rights of access to Land in Scotland (including non-tidal rivers) that do not apply in the rest of the UK. It does not address tidal rivers, intertidal areas or other marine environments, as its title implies, other than saying (section 5 (4)) "The existence or exercise of access rights does not diminish or displace any public rights under the guardianship of the Crown in relation to the foreshore."

I believe it did not need to address the question of intertidal areas or tidal waters because there is already a more or less unrestricted right of access to land below the level of Mean High Water Springs and a more or less unrestricted right to navigate tidal waters (with the default assumption being that these are as marked on Ordnance Survey maps) which applies throughout the UK. I know what the position is in England, and certainly the Crown Estate has similar rights and responsibilities for intertidal and marine areas in Scotland as it does in England, but it would be helpful to have a comment from someone more familiar with Scottish law.

The key issue is not whether this is an industrial site or not. It is whether this is tidal or non-tidal. Ordnance Survey maps show it as tidal either to Glasgow Weir or the A748 Bridge at Dalmarnock (where a tide gauge is marked next to the bridge on the most detailed maps), depending upon which scale of map you use. My guess would be that the weir is overtopped on Spring tides. If it is tidal, there is an automatic right of navigation, which can be regulated by the Harbour Authorities using speed limits; flow separation lanes etc, but not prevented. The Harbour Authority's guidance for small/recreational craft is available at:

http://peelports.com/wp-content/uploads ... Craft1.pdf

http://peelports.com/wp-content/uploads ... -20121.pdf

AG

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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by MikeB » Fri May 09, 2014 1:36 pm

I'm also unsure as to whether this business with Peel Ports having taken over is anything new? From the superficial and non definitive research I've done it looks as though Clyde Port Authority was privatised in 1992, after which it was acquired by the Authority’s then management and employees, becoming Clydeport, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Peel Holdings plc in January 2003.

The Clydeport Nav Leisure Guide is still the 2012 version - which makes no ref to any restriction on anything other than PWCs. It certainly does note the requirement to contact, and also notes the Radio Reporting Points, but this is applicable to all craft using the estuary and running up or down the river

Thanks for highlighting this Neil - and I'm glad to see the SCA "on the case". Mike

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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by neilfarmer » Fri May 09, 2014 10:32 pm

Lots of questions here and I am only just up to speed on where the Clyde is!!
Will make Robin Cole (SCA Access Director) aware of this and see if he can clarify....
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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by pathbrae » Sat May 10, 2014 12:09 am

Sounds like time for a critical mass paddle to me..........
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by RobinCole » Sat May 10, 2014 10:51 am

The situation regarding the Clyde and kayaking has a long history, but basically the access legislation doesn't apply to Harbours.

About 5 years ago Glasgow City Council, Clydeport (the Harbour Authority), the SCA and GKC agreed rules for kayakers to use the use of the river upstream of Erskine Bridge. Clydeport was taken over by Peel Holdings (based in Liverpool) who (according to the Harbour Master) want the SCA to sign a license agreement making the SCA responsible for all kayaking activity on the Clyde. The SCA looked carefully at the License and doesn't have (and is unlikely to get) the required insurance cover. Its individual members are insured but the SCA is not itself insured for claims against its members. This has all been explained to Peel Holdings and I understood that negotiations between the SCA and Peel Holdings where ongoing.

Two days ago I received a copy of an email addressed to the owners of the slipway at Kelvin Harbour in which the Harbour Master states that "the Scottish Canoe Association" is banned from the Clyde I'm trying to clarify quite what this means and whether this a permanent or temporary ban. I might add that this ban would include the last 200m of the Kelvin but only extends as far downstream as Erskine.

The really ludicrous thing about this is that I could buy a speed boat and without any experience or insurance motor from Erskine up to the City centre without requiring permission from Peel Holdings.

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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by MikeB » Sat May 10, 2014 1:23 pm

Thanks Robin.

Interesting to see how this develops. MIke.

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Re: RIVER CLYDE: City Centre to the Sea

Post by AGNorwich » Mon May 12, 2014 2:11 pm

The right to navigate tidal rivers (and waters overlying the foreshore when the tide is in) is a common law right that pre-dates the access provisions of the 2003 Land Reform act. A bit of checking shows that this does indeed apply in Scotland, e.g.:
http://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/download_file/view/657/

These rights are not affected by the Land Reform Act (see section 2.17 of http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications ... 20code.pdf for an accessible summary).

As Glasgow City Council are investing in pontoons along the river, in the hope that they can "once again attract boats up the River Clyde to the City centre" (https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3559) they may well have a view on the activities of Peel Holdings. As may organisations such as Clydebank Rebuilt (http://www.clydebankrebuilt.co.uk/) and Clyde Waterfront (http://www.clydewaterfront.com/) who are keen to encourage leisure use of the Clyde and perhaps Scottish Enterprise, who are pushing a marina development in the "Canting Basin" at Princes Dock http://www.scottish-enterprise.presscen ... e-30a.aspx . If you are seeking to sell apartments with their own moorings, you will wish to make sure that the owners of those moorings can actually make use of them as a base to sail out from the marina. And I suspect that Peel Holdings may be a little more responsive to representations from Scottish Enterprise etc than from SCA, or an english kayaker like me.

AG

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