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Local notices to mariners

Local notices to mariners

See our local notices to mariners to find out about how events in the harbour may affect you.

The notices have two digits each for the number of the notice and the year it was issued, for example Notice No 41/10 means notice 41 of the year 2010.

You should check these events as they're in force for the safety of all harbour users and will help you make the most of your visit to Bristol Harbour.

Events in Bristol Harbour

03/21 Harbour Office COVID-19 update

Following the government’s announcement of a national lockdown. From Wednesday 6 January 2021 harbour use will be subject to new imposed restrictions.

The harbour is closed to all visiting craft

Travel outside of your local area is not permitted, and so we're not able to facilitate visits to the harbour.

Powered Vessels

Leisure use of powered vessels is not listed by the government as a reasonable reason for leaving home and so not permitted. Owners of powered craft must not leave their moorings unless it’s to access necessary maintenance, and then only after permission has been sought from and given by the Harbour Authority.

Exercise

In line with government regulations on exercise, owners of manually propelled craft that hold Annual Navigation Licenses may continue to use the Harbour. Such use must adhere to government restrictions.

Licensed, manually propelled club activity may also continue with adherence to government restrictions and compliance with relevant association guidelines.

Navigation Licenses

No new licenses will be issued. If a Navigation License is not already held for a vessel, use of the Harbour is prohibited.

Harbour staff

Harbour staff will be on duty every day from 9am to 5pm to carry out dock patrols and essential locking and tidal duties. They will respond to emergencies, and will carry a limited supply of pump out tokens, electricity cards and other sundries for purchase by card only.

The emergency telephone service: 0117 903 1484, option 2 will still be available during operational hours.

The Harbour Office is closed to the public and should you wish to contact the office by telephone, call 0117 903 1484 between 10am until 3pm, or email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

02/21 Harbour Authority Tier 3 And 4  procedures in force from 4 January 2021

Fom Monday 4 January 2021 the Harbour Authority will be changing some of their Tier 3 and 4 procedures. 

This is because of the sudden increase in the Covid-19 cases in the Bristol area. It's essential that we protect our staff and the Harbour community to effectively fulfill our statutory and essential duties.

These changes will remain in force whilst Bristol is in Tier 3 or above. 

Harbour staff

Harbour Staff will be on duty daily from 9am until 5pm to carry out dock patrols and only essential locking and tidal duties. 

They will also respond to emergencies and will carry a limited supply of pump out tokens, electricity cards and other sundries for purchase by card only.   

Emergency telephone service

The emergency telephone service 0117 903 1484, option 2 on the answering service. 

Public slipway

The public slipway will be open daily between 9am to 4:30pm for all leisure craft that hold an annual navigational license. However use must be in accordance with the latest government Covid-19 guidelines

Short Term Navigation Licences

No Short-Term Navigation Licence’s will be issued until the Harbour Authority feel it is safe to do so. Any vessel failing to comply with Government rules will be removed from the Harbour and licenses will be suspended until further notice. 

Group activities

Commercial and group based activities are still suspended and will not be permitted while Bristol remains in Tier 3 or higher. 

Harbour Office opening hours

The Harbour Office will remain closed.

To contact staff call 0117 903 1484 between 10am and 3pm. 

Tide/locking operations

Tidal and locking operations will only be done when essential and any unnecessary down and back journeys will not be permitted. 

Bookings must be made with at least 48 hours notice and approved by the Harbour Master (or his Deputy) before the commencement of any journey. 

For bookings call the Watch House on 0117 927 3633 leaving a message so a Harbour Staff member can return your call. 

Future updates

The Harbour Master will continue to review these changes and should Government guidelines or safety be compromised the Harbour Authority reserve the right to amend any of these procedures at short notice. 

Should, or when, Bristol be downgraded to Tier 2 (without the likelihood of returning to a higher Tier) the Harbour Authority will be pleased to review these changes.

01/21 Scouring operations in the Cumberland Basin

Scouring operations in the Cumberland Basin will take place at the following times:

January

  • 14 January: 1.15pm
  • 29 January: 1.30pm

February

  • 12 February: 1pm
  • 26 February: 12.15pm

March

  • 12 March: 12.30pm
  • 26 March: 11.30am

April

  • 9 April: 12.15pm
  • 26 April: 12.45pm

May

  • 11 May: 1.30pm
  • 26 May: 1.30pm

June

  • 9 June: 1pm
  • 24 June: 1pm

July

  • 9 July: 1.15pm
  • 23 July: 12.45pm

August

  • 6 August: 12.15pm
  • 20 August: 11.30am

September

  • 6 September: 1.15pm
  • 20 September: 1.15pm

October

  • 16 October: 1.30pm
  • 19 October: 1pm

November

  • 5 November: 12.45pm
  • 19 November: 12.30pm

December

  • 3 December: 11.30am
  • 20 December: 1.20pm

During these operations note:

Prior to the scour it may be necessary to increase the level of the harbour by +0.20 metres or +0.25 metres.

  • The water level in the floating harbour, Feeder Canal and River Avon upstream of Netham Lock may be reduced by as much as 0.5 metres during the period of approximately 5 hours from commencement of each scour.
  • Strong currents will be experienced in narrow bridge ways and especially Prince Street Bridge, Totterdown Junction, in the Feeder Canal at Netham Lock.
  • Vessels proceeding upstream against the current must give way to vessels coming downstream at all bridge ways, Totterdown Junction and at Netham Lock.
  • All vessels when approaching Prince Street Bridge, Redcliffe Bridge, Totterdown Junction or Netham Lock must sound one prolonged blast of their whistle from either direction.

48/20 Harbour Revised Tier 3 Lockdown Procedures 

See the local notices to mariners below for events and changes in Bristol Harbour.

From Wednesday 2 December 2020 the Harbour will continue with the changes outlined in the Notice To Mariners 47/20 below.. 

This is to comply with the Government guidelines for Covid-19 Tier 3 rules approved by Parliament. 

Marine Officers will remain on duty from 9am until 5pm, 7 days a week carrying out dock patrols and will be on call to respond to emergencies only.  

These officers will carry a limited supply of pump out tokens, electricity cards and other sundries that previously were purchased at the Harbour Office and can be purchased from them using card payment only.   

Emergency telephone service

An emergency telephone service: 0117 903 1484 option 2, will continue to be available during operational hours.

Public slipway

The public slipway will be open from 9am to 4:30pm, for all craft that have secured annual navigational licences.  It is stressed that the operation of these vessels will be carried out in line with government guidelines. 

Short Term Navigation Licences

No new Short-Term Navigation Licence’s will be issued during the lockdown period. Therefore if a licence has not already been purchased the craft will not be permitted to use the Harbour. 

Group activities

All commercial and group based activities will not be permitted during this period.  

Harbour Office opening hours

The Harbour Office will remain closed, however are still contactable by telephone on 0117 9031484 between 10am until 3pm.

Tide/locking operations

Tidal/locking operations will continue, and all bookings must be made at least 48hrs in advance and must be confirmed by Harbour staff.  To make a booking, call and leave a message with the Watch House on 0117 927 3633. 

Future updates

These operations are under constant assessment and should Government Guidelines or the safe operation of the Harbour be compromised then the Harbour Authority reserve the right to amend them at short notice.

Should Bristol be downgraded at any stage the Harbour Authority will review these changes. 

The government has also announced arrangements that will be in place over the Christmas period from 23 December to 27 December, which at this stage will not impact on the conditions of this notice.

47/20 Harbour revised lockdown procedures

From Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December 2020 the Harbour will implement a number of changes so that we can comply with the government guidelines due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Marine Officers will remain on duty from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week, carrying out dock patrols and will be on call to respond to emergencies only.

These officers will carry a limited supply of pump out tokens, electricity cards and other sundries that previously were purchased at the Harbour Office. You can buy these from them using card payment only.   

An emergency telephone service will continue to be available during operational hours by calling 0117 9031 484, using option 2.

The public slipway will be open from 9am to 4:30pm for all craft that have secured annual navigational licences. The operation of these vessels will be carried out in line with government guidelines.

No new Short-Term Navigation Licence’s will be issued during the lockdown period. If a licence has not already been purchased, craft will not be permitted to use the Harbour.

All commercial and group based activities will not be permitted during this period.  

The Harbour Office will be closed until Wednesday 2 December 2020. Should you wish to contact the office by telephone, call 0117 9031484 between 10am and 3pm.

Tidal/locking operations will continue. All bookings must be made at least 48 hours in advance and must be confirmed by Harbour staff. If you wish to make a booking, call and leave a message with the Watch House on 0117 9273633.

These operations are under constant assessment and should government guidelines or the safe operation of the Harbour be compromised then the Harbour Authority reserve the right to amend these procedures at short notice.

We’re sorry for any impact or inconvenience that this may cause.

46/20 Harbour to move to Phase 4 on 26 October 2020

The move to Phase 4 will take place on Monday 26 October 2020.

The Harbour Authority has introduced safety precautions and is working within social distancing guidelines to protect both colleagues and our customers.

We would appreciate that visitors follow all signs and instructions.  

The move to Phase 4 will allow the use of the Harbour by powered craft launching from Baltic Wharf Slipway only.

Baltic Wharf Changing, toilet and shower, facilities will remain closed.

The decision to move to Phase 4 will be constantly reviewed as Lockdown conditions change. All activities will remain at the discretion of the Harbour Master and his staff.

Phase information:

Phase 2:  

All manually propelled craft (SUP, Kayaks/Canoes, Dinghies, Rowing boats) will be able to navigate the Harbour.  

The only slipway open will be the one located by the Harbour Office.  Navigation licenses will be issued from the Harbour Office only and must be obtained before launching. Payment should be made by card, and if you wish to apply for an Annual License please email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk.

Phase 3:  

All permanent leisure berth holders will be able to use the Harbour for navigation.

Phase 4:  

Harbour reopens fully.

Commercial operators

The above only applies to leisure use and all current recognized commercial operators should contact the Harbour Office to discuss their commencement of operations upon the water.

A deteriorating situation will result in restrictions being reinstated.

45/ 20 Prince Street Bridge: Winter Operating Times 2020/21

Monday 26 October 2020 to Sunday 28 March 2021.

If you want to pass east or westbound through Prince Street Bridge with a vessel that exceeds the clearance height, you may arrange to have the Prince Street Bridge swung at the following times:

  • 9:30am
  • 10:30am
  • 11:30am
  • 12:30pm
  • 1:30pm
  • 2:30pm
  • 3:30pm 
  • 4:30pm    

All times in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Priority swings will be given 3 and a half hours prior to high water to 1 and a half hours after high water. Outside these tidal times, the above swings will be at the discretion of the Harbour Master.

During this tidal period all swing requests should be made at least one hour in advance.

To make request contact the Harbour Office by:

  • Telephone on 0117 903 1484 or
  • VHF Radio Channel 73 call sign: Bristol Floating Harbour

Vessels entering from seaward may also make contact the Marine Services Supervisor at Cumberland Basin by:

  • Telephone on 0117 927 3633 or 
  • VHF Radio Channel 14 call sign: City Docks Radio

44/20 Netham Lock: Winter Operating Times 2020/21

Monday 26 October 2020 to Sunday 28 March 2021.

Locking Operations between: 9:15am and 4:45pm

Staff on duty daily between: 9am and 4:45pm.

If you want to pass through Netham Lock you must:

  • call the Harbour Office on 0117 9031484
  • give an hours’ notice 

43/20 Harbour Office Winter Opening 2020/21

From Monday 26 October 2020 to Sunday 28 March 2021.

Harbour Office winter opening times: 10am to 3pm, seven days a week

During  the Harbour Office will be open for general enquiries, licensing and the purchasing of commodities.

It will not be possible to obtain any commodities from the Harbour Office outside of these hours.

Duty Officers be on duty between 9am and 5pm. They'll be carrying out dock patrols and will be on call to respond to emergencies that occur outside of office opening times. 

These changes apply to both in person and telephone enquiries.

An emergency telephone service will continue to be available during operational hours.

42/20 Cumberland Basin: Winter Locking Operations

From 26 October to 28 March 2020 locking operations will not to be routinely provided between 5pm and 9am.

You must give at least 48 hours notice, especially when locking requests are during the out of hour’s period.

To request a locking operation call 0117 927 3633 and leave a message for the Deputy Harbour Master.  

For urgent enquiries also call the Bristol Harbour Office on 0117 903 1484.

41/20 Plimsoll Bridge: Out of action

Plimsoll Bridge will be out of action from 15 September 2020 to 18 September 2020.

This is to support vital maintenance. 

Vessels with an air draft in excess of 5.8m will not be able to pass though the Cumberland Basin system during this time.

40/20 Harbour Phase 3 reopening update: 10 August 2020

On Monday 6 July 2020, notice was given in Notice to Mariners 39/20 that Bristol Harbour Authority would begin Phase 3 of reopening for leisure use.

The Harbour Office is open from 10am to 3pm for navigation licenses and all payments made by card. If you need to contact the office, email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk.

The Harbour Authority has introduced safety precautions and is working within social distancing guidelines to protect both colleagues and our customers. Visitors should follow all signs and instructions.

To continue with our efforts to fully open, Phase 3 has been updated and will now include:

  • Vessels that hold a Bristol Harbour Authority Navigation Licence and are currently moored in Pooles Wharf, Bristol Marina and Underfall Yard. Those vessels affected and are without Navigation Licences may obtain these from the Harbour Office during the office hours.
  • Large vessels that have their own living, toilet and wash facilities may enter from Netham (inland waterways) or Cumberland Lock (from the sea) and obtain a visitors licence that is for more than 24 hours.

These additional allowances will be constantly reviewed as lockdown conditions change and will remain at the discretion of the Harbour Master and his staff.

Phase 3 still prevents the use of all other vessels (including small outboard and sports boats) until further notice whilst coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact on the workload of our staff.

Information on the other phases can be found in the notices below.

Harbour users will be advised of movement through Phase 4 by way of announcements of Local Notices to Mariners. Enquiries regarding specific dates of phases should not be made to the Harbour Office.  

Advancement through to Phase 4 will be subject to continued government relaxation of restrictions and improvement in the local and national situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

The above only applies to leisure use and all current recognized commercial operators should contact the Harbour Office to discuss their commencement of operations upon the water.

If the situation deteriorates restrictions wil be reinstated.

39/20 Harbour phase 3 reopening: 6 July 2020

Fom Monday 6 July 2020, Bristol Harbour Authority will begin Phase 3 of reopening the Harbour for leisure use. 

The Harbour Office will remain open 10am to 3pm for navigation licenses. Should you need to contact the office email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

The Harbour Authority has introduced safety precautions and is working within social distancing guidelines to protect both colleagues and our customers. We would appreciate that visitors follow all signs and instructions.  

Phase 2:  All manually propelled craft (SUP, Kayaks/Canoes, Dinghies, Rowing boats) will be able to navigate the Harbour.  The only slipway open will be the one located by the Harbour Office.  Navigation licenses will be issued from the Harbour Office only and must be obtained before launching. Payment should be made by card, and if you wish to apply for an Annual License please email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

Phase 3:  All permanent leisure berth holders will be able to use the Harbour for navigation.

Phase 4:  Harbour reopens fully.

Harbour users will be advised of movement through phases 4 by way of promulgation of Local Notices to Mariners.  Enquiries regarding specific dates of phases should not be made to the Harbour Office.  

Advancement through to phase 4 will be subject to continued Government relaxation of restrictions and improvement in the local and national situation regarding Covid-19. 

The above only applies to leisure use and all current recognized commercial operators should contact the Harbour Office to discuss their commencement of operations upon the water.

A deteriorating situation will result in restrictions being reinstated.

38/20 Harbour phased reopening: Phase 2

From Monday 29 June, Bristol Harbour Authority will begin phase 2 of reopening the harbour for leisure use.

The Harbour Office will be open 10am to 3pm for navigation licences. If you need to contact the office, email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk.

The Harbour Authority has introduced safety precautions and is working within social distancing guidelines to protect both colleagues and our customers. Visitors should follow all signs and instructions.

All manually propelled craft (SUP, kayaks / canoes, dinghies, rowing boats) will be able to navigate the Harbour.

The only slipway open will be the one located by the Harbour Office.

Navigation licences will be issued from the Harbour Office only and must be obtained before launching. Payment should be made by card.

If you wish to apply for an Annual Licence email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk.

For information about phase 3 and 4, see notice 37/20, below.

37/20 Harbour phased reopening: COVID-19 update June 20

From Monday 8 June, Bristol Harbour Authority will begin a phased reopening of the harbour for leisure use.

Harbour Authority working hours will continue to be 9am to 5pm.

We want everyone to be able to use and enjoy our harbour in a safe and responsible way. At this time we must also consider the need for social distancing for our staff, and harbour users, meaning some services and support had to change.

As restrictions are eased we’re working on a phased return to usual service which keeps everyone safe. Thank you for your patience as we adapt.

Phase 1

From Monday 8 June 2020 members from recognised clubs using manually propelled craft and sailing dinghies only will be able to navigate the harbour.

These clubs have been notified by the Harbour Office.

Clubs will need to follow their own guidelines and safety measures regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), and should refrain from activities not currently sanctioned by their relevant association. The clubs permitted to use the Harbour in Phase 1 may go afloat outside of Harbour Authority working hours providing the relevant Code of Practices are adhered to.

Phase 2

All manually propelled craft (SUP, kayaks / canoes, dinghies, rowing boats) will be able to navigate the harbor, and the slipway will open.

Navigation licenses will be issued from the Harbour Office only and payment should be made by card.

Phase 3

All permanent leisure berth holders will be able to use the harbour for navigation.

Phase 4

The harbour will reopen fully.

Harbour users will be advised of movement through phases 1 to 4 by way of declaration of Local Notices to Mariners.  

Enquiries about dates

Enquiries regarding specific dates of phases should not be made to the Harbour Office.  

Advancement through phases 2, 3, and 4 will be subject to continued government relaxation of restrictions and improvement in the local and national situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

Who this applies to

The above only applies to leisure use and all current recognised commercial operators should contact the Harbour Office to discuss their commencement of operations upon the water.

If the situation deteriorates then restrictions will be reinstated.

36/20 Harbour Office COVID-19 update 18 May 2020

Although the Government has issued new guidelines, Bristol Harbour will continue working GMT hours with reduced staff and hours, as part of the Government advice on social distancing. 

The Harbour area from Tongue Head to Hanham including the River Avon, will remain closed for navigation. 

The public slipway is closed until further notice and no Navigation License’s will be issued.

The Harbour Office is closed to the public.

To contact the office call 0117 9031484 between 10am to 3pm, or email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

35/20 Harbour Office, coronavirus (COVID-19): Operating Hours 2020

From Monday 23 March 2020, until further notice, the Harbour Office will continue operating within GMT times. We will not move to BST from April 2020. 

In these uncertain times it is necessary that we maintain essential Harbour duties and the safety of our staff by continuing to work winter hours. 

Marine Officers will remain on duty from 9am until 5pm, 7 days a week carrying out dock patrols and will be on call to respond to emergencies only.  

An emergency telephone service (0117 9031484) will continue to be available during operational hours, using option 2.

The public slipway will be closed until further notice and no Short Term Navigation License’s will be issued.

The Harbour Office will be closed until further notice.  To contact the office by telephone, call 0117 9031484 between 10am until 3pm.

Tidal / locking operations will continue, but all bookings must be made at least 48 hours in advance and must be confirmed by Harbour staff.

To make a booking, call and leave a message with the Watch House on 0117 927 3633. 

22/20 Quayside Events 2020

Throughout the year numerous quayside events take place. These may cause some restrictions to visitor’s moorings.

Visitors are requested to contact the Harbour Office for more details and directions on entering the harbour.

21/20 Water sport activity sessions

Baltic Wharf Sailing Club, racing on Saturdays, 11am to 1pm, June to September and also 1pm to 4pm, February to December

Baltic Wharf Sailing Club Training session, first Saturday of each month, 11am to 1pm

Baltic Wharf Sailing Club Sailing event, Wednesdays, 11am to 1pm

Baltic Wharf Cadet and Social Sailing, Wednesdays, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, May to September at Baltic Wharf.

All Aboard Youth Sailing, weekdays and evenings April to October. At Baltic Wharf.

All Aboard, Sailing/powerboat tuition throughout the year. At Baltic Wharf.

Bristol Canoe Club, Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the year. At Baltic Wharf to Netham.

Bristol Rowing Club, throughout the year. Albion Dock to Netham and River Avon.

Ariel Rowing Club, throughout the year. Netham to Hanham.

Guides Association, evenings and weekends. Redcliffe Wharf.

Scouts Association, evenings and weekends. Baltic Wharf.

TS Adventure Sea Cadets, evenings and weekends. Baltic Wharf to Narrow Quay.

Young Bristol, water sports throughout the year. Pooles Wharf.

Bristol Gig Club, gig rowing throughout the year. Bristol Marina to Netham.

26/19 Cumberland Basin: new BST locking times

Cumberland Basin Locking procedures will be changing from 1 July 2019 until further notice.

During British Summer Time, services will no longer be routinely provided between 10pm and 6am (unless during Spring Tides or other operations).

This is so harbour staff can be more effectively deployed. You must give a minimum of 48 hours’ notice if locking operations are needed between these hours, so we can ensure docking staff and bridge operators are available.

Notice to Mariners 27/17 (Notice required for Plimsoll Bridge Swing) is unchanged: 48 hours’ notice is needed for vessels that need Plimsoll Bridge swings, day or night. To arrange these services:

  • Call the Docking Deputy Harbour Master: 0117 9273633
  • Email: docks.office@bristol.gov.uk
  • Call the Bristol Harbour office: 0117 9031484
  • Call emergency control: 0117 9222050

27/17 Plimsoll Bridge Swing

With immediate effect from 31 March 2017 a 48 hours’ notice is required for a Plimsoll Bridge swing.

This will affect all vessels of a height above float level of 5.8m entering or leaving Bristol City Docks.

The Deputy Harbour Master can be contacted on 0117 927 3633 and between tidal watches a message can be left on the answering machine.

This restriction will remain in force until further notice.

30/14 Short term licences: Netham Lock

The duty lock keeper at Netham will not be able to accept any cash payment for short term licences. The only method of payments will be by debit cards, credit cards or cheques.

31/11 Safety boat cover for water events

Any Water Events held in Bristol Harbour will need to have adequate safety cover provided and must have permission from the Harbour Master prior to the event happening.

Contact information

Harbour Office

Underfall Yard

Cumberland Road

Bristol, BS1 6XG

Opening Hours

Opening Hours

Open for general enquiries, licensing and the purchasing of commodities daily (except Christmas Day) as follows:

Summer (BST)

Harbour Office: Monday to Sunday 08.30am to 4.30pm

Emergency Service: Duty Officers are on call between 07.30am and 10.00pm

Winter (GMT)

Harbour Office: Monday to Sunday 10am to 3pm

Emergency Service: Duty Officers are on call between 9am and 5pm

VHF Radio

Channel 73, call sign BRISTOL FLOATING HARBOUR.

Email: harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

Tel: 0117 903 1484

Fax: 0117 903 1487