Sun Pier problem resolved

Thanks to everyone for your replies, which you can read below. Cllr Kelly Tolhurst (Vice Chair of MSBA) is working with Medway Council to ensure that officials do not make rash promises regarding use of the pier by commercial operators with large vessels. The council will be drawing up some rules to ensure that the pier will remain available for all, especially recreational boaters for whom the restoration was carried out at significant public expense.

12 thoughts on “Sun Pier problem resolved

  1. ‘OUTRAGEOUS!’ Again the ‘bean counters’ triumph over ‘public service’. Narrow focused logic means this is a good financial deal for the council, defined agreed commercial fee probably paid up front to offset the big expenditure, really helps the balance sheet. But it goes against the whole purpose of the restoration. Yet again no walk ashore facility for the leisure user of the river. Another reason for yachtsmen to continue to bypass the Medway as they transit the East Coast. A continued loss to local businesses.
    What now for the proposed river taxi?

  2. This is a great facility reinstated for use by the public, NOT for commercial vessels. There are countless commercial locations available for those running a business on the river, but this one is for recreational river users.

    • Perhaps it has been forgtton that Sun Pier was the berth used in the days of steamer traffic on the river and for trips across to Southend, and beyond. The Medway Queen will be back in operation in the near future, she was one of the last commercial ‘pleasure’ vessels to use the facility. It has always been my understanding that these steamers were ‘pleasure’ vessels, as is, in many respects, the Edith May or any other spritsail barge touting for passengers and a place to embark and diembark. Us pleasure yacht owners came late upon the scene in the respect to facility being for pleasure vessels… Let’s make room for all!
      I for one lamented its loss when the pontoon was removed. In the past I even tried to make contact with the authorities to find out if it was to be reinstated – but got no where, being a lone call from across in Essex. N.B. I lived, as a child, across the marshes (Sorry, Medway Ind Est.) in Whitewall Creek on the sailing Barge May Flower for a number of years, before moving to Upchurch – so I’ve seen a bit of the river over the years…
      There was, for a time, the facility to get ashore at Ship Pier, but that means of access to the shore was closed off to the casual visitor some years ago. I have even dropped my mate ashore at the port authority pier a little beyon Ship Pier in the past too…
      Down in Strood it was once possible to get ashore at the pier by the bridge. This has not been possible for some time.
      These access points need to be reinstated: surely what the area needs is the equivalent of Halfpenny Pier in Harwich old town (Essex) – maybe that is the next target….
      So, there should be no reason why the facility cannot be enjoyed by all. A barge would be berthed for a short time, with a lapse before her return. Berthing should also be possible on the inside – if not, why not. Additionally, if the facility becomes well used, then it should be possible to add an extension at one end for yachts to stop over to use local stores (which is what we used the access points for) or a luncheon stop. For years I have watched Continental yachts come upriver on the look-out for a point to land … they get to the bridge and turn about. The benefits to Chatham and Rochester must, surely, be of some magnitude…
      With the loss of access to Hoo Marina, to top up stores when cruising one is almost forced to use Chatham (or Gillingham) marinas. Personally, we have found Queenborough fit for purpose and have been using Faversham as our main ‘refuelling’ post for several years…

  3. It must be totally wrong to allow a single vessel to have dedicated use of a tremendously valuable resource especially when it has been funded out of the public purse. Surely it would be possible to allow the sailing barge to establish new fore and aft moorings within relatively close proximity of Sun Pier to allow its crew and visitors plus other visiting craft all to make use of this new facility resulting in increased business opportunities in the local area. The solution should not be seen as “either / or” but instead “everybody wins”.

  4. Well, have just read this last, and am somewhat surprised if this is true, as per Medway Messenger, TWO new craft for trips on the river are hoping to operate, albeit one I believe is looking mostly at Rochester pier, yes understand leaves still one “commercial” but is only a 12 metre or so RIB, I quite agree that there must be access for visitors and others to use the pier…I can only hope the un-named source is just that, ie not prepared to go public as what they are saying is……

  5. Pretty annoyed if this is indeed true, I have been waiting like many others for years for the pier to be repaired.

  6. Hi Tony

    My views regarding the Edith May and the Sun Pier are as follows:
    The Sun Pier has long been out of action and it has been really good to see some work put in to opening it up again. I used it many times when I was a lot younger, being a member of the 10th Medway Sea Scouts, when we rowed most Sundays over to the Arethusa when she was in Upnor – happy days!
    The Edith May is another major local success story, and the last thing I would like to see is for her to miss out on business, but I think that it would be a much better decision for us local sailors to be able to use the landing as well as her.
    I don’t know the best way to achieve this, but perhaps a ‘trot boat’ arrangement run from the Edith May would be the answer. She could possibly tie up a short distance from the pier?

    Many thanks,
    Nigel Cresswell on DAJO.

  7. Hi there,

    Yes, just seen latest and as I hoped, just “someone” getting ahead of themselves, there is and should be room for all to use the pier, suspect is may need organizing but by whom if not a pier master there…, but sure with good will it can be done.

  8. Sailed past Sun Pier this afternoon (13/5/14), looked promising, but couldn’t see any information about use eg payment, electricity, how to open/close the security gate for access to the shore. Anyone know the current position?

    • We are all waiting for Medway Council to clarify the position. We understand that the pier cannot yet be officially used until new gates and a security system have been put in.

    • We are still waiting for Medway Council to finalise access arrangements and to implmemnet better security for Sun Pier.
      Once the arranegemnts are known we will announce them on this website.

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