Navigation.

The Middle Level, apart from its flood protection role, is also the fourth largest navigation authority in the United Kingdom and is responsible for approximately 100 miles (160 kilometres) of statutory navigation and the operation of six navigation locks.

The Nene-Ouse Navigation Link forms part of the Middle Level Navigation. The Link is at present the only connection between the Great Ouse and the Main Canal Network.

During a normal summer, over 1,000 passages of the Link-Route are made by pleasure craft.

The Commissioners issue Navigation Notes, which provide navigation details for boat owners, who wish to use the system.  See Navigation documents for more information.

You can now follow the Middle Level on Twitter via @MLCnavigation

The Middle Level Commissioners, as part of their plans to improve navigation have, over the last month or so, been informally collecting the views of navigators on what they would most like to see us deliver over the next year or so. This has done been through gathering information from the many conversations the new Navigation Officer has had with vessel owners. One request that has come through strongly is the provision of simple rural mooring sites where boaters can stop for a while during the day or overnight. These would be short lengths of watercourse where the grass and reed is managed to allow boats to moor, posts for mooring to be installed and signs erected to draw attention to their existence. The mooring period would be short term (24 hrs) and would not have any other features added. We would welcome your suggestions on where you would like to see them so please email us via enquiries@middlelevel.gov.uk with your suggestions. Obviously we do already have some ideas from the conversations held on ideal sites and are currently gearing up to deliver some of these this autumn – so watch this space.

The Sanitation Point at March Town Bridge is maintained and remains the responsibility of Fenland District Council (Tel: 01354 654321).

The facilities available to navigators on a no charge basis include:

  • Drinking Water
  • Boat Hold Refuse Disposal
  • Chemical Toilet Disposal
  • Tank Wash Out

Pump Out facilities are also available at the service block at a cost of £12.50. Tokens for the Service Block can now be purchased from March Town Library and Fenland District Council’s Offices in County Road. Further information can be found on the Council’s web site, by phoning 01354 654321 or on the purple information board at the Service Block.

UPDATES DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Click on the following link to get the latest government guidance advice for private boat users

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-using-a-boat-inland-and-on-the-coast#privately-owned-leisure-boats

The manned locks at Salter’s Lode and Stanground may be used by appointment only and, due to the requirements for social distancing (and the expected desire for boaters to get out and use their boats), you should not automatically assume that you will be able to get a slot at the time or even day you hope for.

Lock Keepers Contact Numbers:

Stanground Lock: 07824 600470
Salter’s Lode Lock: 07398 822986 or 01366 382292

Please note that the Government has stated that from 4th July 2020 overnight stays at B&Bs and hotels will be allowed, this is being interpreted as also applying to boats both hired and owned.

I hope you find this generally good news and that  you will continue to work with us as Government advice changes.

Fenland District Council’s (FDC’s) Sanitation Point

Due to COVID-19 and the closure of FDC’s customer contact hubs they regret that they are temporarily unable to issue tokens for the pump out facility at the March Sanitation point. There will still be facilities for boats to use the Sluice Room and the Potable Water facilities which are operational as normal. They apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Update on Navigation Licencing on Middle Level Waters

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The Navigation Advisory Committee (see Navigation Advisory Committee button on right for further information and contact details) have reviewed the position in relation to introduction of licences for Middle Level Waters which was due to take effect from 1st April this year.  The Committee agreed that in light of the COVID-19 situation and reflecting on the impact this will have on the boating community, the date when boats will need to be licenced has been set back to 1st September 2020. The licence fee has been reduced from the original fee set and is now equivalent to 50% of a full year Environment Agency (EA) Anglian Waters charge. The EA annual charges can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/anglian-waterways-registration-charges/anglian-boat-registration-charges-1-april-2020-to-31-march-2021 and are the figures that should be used on the application form in the box marked ‘licencing charge before adjustment’. One other change is that the Middle Level will not be issuing EA visitor licences as agents for the EA this year and hence there will no longer be a 25% cap in place for this.

Recognising that some applicants may find themselves in a financial hardship situation then it will be possible for such a vessel owner to request that arrangements be made to spread the cost of the licence over a four-month period, by making arrangements for direct debit payments as an example.

Applications for licencing for vessels (for the period 1st September 2020 until 31st March 2021) can be made anytime between now and the end of October. Due to current government advice on social contact the application forms are only available via the navigation page of our website www.middlelevel.gov.uk (for powered vessels the application form is already available and for unpowered vessels this will be added shortly). Applications can only be accepted by post or email until further notice, with payments being made by: enclosing a cheque, by card over the phone by arrangement, or by filling in the card payment section of the application form.

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