Waterways Ireland has extended the Smart Card system to include all lock passages on the River Shannon and Lower Bann.
From the 1st July onwards boaters will be able to use a Smart Card or pay in cash at all locks on the Shannon.
The service was tested from a technical perspective at Albert Lock on the Shannon and the Cutts Lock on the Lower Bann for a two week period beginning on the 16th of April 2018.
Following the technical test period and based on the outcomes, Waterways Ireland has begun the roll out of Smart Card usage at all locks and lifting bridges on both the Shannon. Marine Notice 49/2018 has been issued to this effect.
The Smart Card is already in use along the Shannon for numerous services including showers, toilets, pump-outs and electricity and on the Shannon-Erne Waterway for lock passages. The extension of the service to include lock passages will mean a one-stop-shop for waterway customers for all waterway services.
The customer provides their Smart Card to the lock-keeper to insert into a reader which deducts the units for the lock passage. The lock-keeper will then operate the lock as usual.
Many boaters already have Smart Cards as they use them to purchase other services along the Shannon. Hire boat companies already provide the Smart Cards to their customers.
Boaters can buy Smart Cards from local retailers or order online– the list of retailers is available from www.shopwaterwaysireland.org
From 1st September 2018 payment will be by Smart Card only and the boater will need to have a valid card on board. Where bridge lifting is required at Tarmonbarry and Rooskey, a combined toll payments for the lock and bridge will be taken at the lock.
The cost of the lock passage on the Shannon will remain the same and will take two units from the smart card. The cost of the lock passage on the Lower Bann will be 1 unit. The lock passage on the Shannon-Erne Waterway will remain at 1 unit. The 10 unit card costs €6.35/£5.55 and the 20 unit card €12.70/£11.10.
Waterways Ireland has managed over 1,000km of waterways since 1999, investing significantly in improving services and facilities along the navigations including mooring, services blocks, creating and extending boating destinations along the Shannon including Killaloe, Garrykennedy, Dromineer, Ballyleague, Carrick-on-Shannon, Boyle, and Lough Key.
Further information on the pilot and the smart card system can be found at www.waterwaysireland.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org