Bridge operating times in Friesland
When you are planning the route for an enjoyable cruise, it is useful to know the times of the bridges and locks in Friesland. Because they can vary for each bridge, and with the seasons
Operating times of the bridges in the spring and summer
During the sailing season between 1 April and 1 November, the bridges are generally open seven days a week:
- 09.00 – 12.00
- 13.00 – 16.15
- 17.15 – 19.00
In June, July and August the bridges stay open until 20.00.
The bridge times can always deviate from this. If you want to be sure, all the bridge times can be seen at vaarweginformatie.nl, via the link below or you can check the times for each bridge in the almanac on board.
Operating times of the bridges in the autumn and winter
In the autumn and winter the bridges and locks in Friesland are open on demand from 1 November to 1 April between 9:00 - 17:00. They are not operated on Sundays and public holidays.
For the operation of the bridges and locks you can make contact via the telephone from Monday to Friday between 08.00 and 16.00, using the number +31 (0) 58-29 25 888. Call at least a day before you want the bridge or lock to be opened.
These rules generally apply to the municipal bridges in Friesland as well, but these can also deviate from this. So if you are planning a trip in the late autumn or winter, enquire about the operating times beforehand.
View all the operating times at vaarweginformatie.nl, in the almanac on board, or via the link below.
On the Turf route (from Mildam to Wittewijk and from Wittewijk to Uilesprong) the bridge and lock times are slightly different from most of the waterways. The Turf route is navigable between 16 May and 15 September. From 1 July to 31 August it is open on Sundays; outside this period the Turf route is closed on Sundays.
The bridges and locks on this route are operated between 9:30 and 16:30, with no lunch break.
NB when cruising this route you need to take account of the presence of water plants and ensure the engine is adequately cooled.
Remote operation of bridges
An increasing number of bridges in Friesland are operated remotely. The bridgekeepers keep the bridges under surveillance by means of cameras. Usually they are quick to see a motorboat and the bridge is opened. If not, then it is often also possible to press the button by the holding pontoon
Rules for motorboats concerning bridges and locks
An important aspect of sailing in Friesland is the bridges and locks. For the watersport this often means waiting for a while until the bridge is operated. There are some extra rules concerning waiting and passing through the bridges and locks:
- When approaching a bridge or lock in Friesland you must always line up behind the other boats and ships that are waiting. In addition, commercial shipping always has priority.
- The lights on the bridge indicate who can pass through first; you can only proceed when the light is green.
- Proceed at a brisk pace when the bridge is open.
- In locks, take account of the rise and fall and ensure that the mooring ropes can be shortened or lengthened in good time.
If it is not possible to sail through somewhere because of a blockage, visit vaarweginformatie.nl. This gives all the latest information on what is happening on the water in Friesland.