EA Communications with Users

The Administrator recently wrote to the EA about the subject of communications within the organisation and with users of the river. The text appears below and I will update when I have a formal response.

To
EA Thames

On several occasions during the last year I have contacted Reading and reported issues, affecting boaters and other river users, of which you appeared to be unaware.

These issues have been mainly to do with lock operational breakdowns,
out of service pump-out stations and navigational hazards – all matters
of significant importance to river users.

Whatever the reason for the problems, there appears, in every case, to
have been a failure to communicate both within the organisation and with
the river users.

Some examples:

The pump-out at Molesey was out of service for some 6 weeks during the
latter part of the 2010 season and is currently only available during
lock keeping hours (update – now operational)

There was a major hydraulic failure at Romney which lasted for over two
weeks (?) during which hand winding was necessary.

The pump-out facility at Boveney seems to be unserviceable more often
than it is available – currently out of order ‘until further notice’.

Underwater obstructions in the upper lock cut at Cookham.

More recently, there have been the poorly communicated delays in
completion of work at Hurley Lock and only a few days ago I contacted
you about the problem with the head sluice at Boulters which was
threatening the Easter Bank Holiday.

The information on the ‘visitthames’ website relating to closures and
restrictions is very difficult to find being 4 levels down from the home
page, and, in any case, is rarely updated in a timely manner.
Would it not be possible to have a nice big red button on the home page
to make it easy to access ? Also, an RSS feed for that page would be
extremely useful to those of us (and there are many) who have mobile
messaging facilities as well as to the yacht clubs who could further
disseminate the information.

With the facilities now available through email, text messaging and the
web can I ask that you draw these issues to the attention of all EA
staff and do everything possible to encourage better communications –
both internally and with your customers?

I look forward to your response.
sincerely
Tony Riley – motor cruiser ‘Legacy’