Britannia Quay, Roath Basin, Cardiff

In the following guidance notes you will find information about Britannia Quay and some basic rules for personal and public safety and protection of the environment in the Port of Cardiff.
Specific telephone numbers are given where appropriate however all general enquiries should be directed to the Cardiff LPS office on  (029) 20835023, Fax (029) 20835006 or E-mail


All craft wishing to use Britannia Quay must appoint a local shipping agent to represent their interests whilst in port. A list of local agents may be obtained on request from ABP's main office, telephone 02920 835000. Fax (029) 20835001, or E-mail:


Pilotage is recommended for all craft over 20 metres in length berthing at, or sailing from, Britannia Quay and compulsory for all craft over 20 metres in length or over 85 metres in length carrying 12 or more passengers. Orders for pilots will only be accepted from appointed representatives. Charges for pilotage services can be obtained on request from ABP’s main office or view tariff information here

For general pilotage enquiries telephone Cardiff LPS on 02920 835023. Fax: 029 20835006, or E-Mail:

Boatmen and Linehandlers

The engagement of licensed boatmen and linehandlers is compulsory for all vessels 500gt and above for berthing at or sailing from Britannia Quay. For Vessels under 500gt, while the taking of boatmen is not compulsory a Risk Assessment and Safe system of work must be submitted to the Harbourmaster prior to the mooring operation, detailing how the operation will take place. Crew are not permitted to jump or step from a vessel to the quay. Orders for boatmen must be placed by appointed representatives.  

When berthing the first lines ashore must be conveyed by launch or by heaving lines thrown from the shore. The throwing of heaving lines from craft to the shore is strictly prohibited.


All parties (individually and collectively) using Britannia Quay do so on the basis that they agree (to the fullest extent permitted by law) to be responsible for and to release and indemnify Associated British Ports Holdings PLC, its subsidiary Grosvenor Waterside Investment Ltd and associated companies, including Associated British Ports and its subsidiaries, their servants and agents from and against all liability for a) Personal injury (whether fatal or otherwise), save to the extent that Section 2(1) of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 shall be applicable; b) Loss of or damage to any property whatsoever; and c) Any other loss (including economic loss), damage costs and expenses howsoever caused or incurred (whether or not caused or incurred or contributed to by the negligent act or default of the ABP, its servants or agents) arising directly or indirectly from, or in any way connected with, the above-mentioned permission.

Location and Access

Britannia Quay is located on the north side of Roath Basin. Access is gained initially by entry to the port through Queen Alexandra Lock and then by transit of Queen Alexandra Dock, Communication Passageway, Roath Dock and Roath Inner Lock. The Communication Passageway and Roath Inner Lock are crossed by a road and rail bridge and a road bridge respectively. Subject to shipping it will normally take about 1 hour to transit from Queen Alexandra Lock to Britannia Quay.

Roath Sea Lock leading from Roath Basin to Cardiff Bay is closed to shipping.

Depth Alongside

Britannia Quay was dredged to a minimum depth of 8 metres alongside in 2002 and surveyed annually. This depth can not, however, be guaranteed and any craft which requires a critical underkeel clearance must consult with the Dock and Harbour Master before confirming any arrangements to enter the port, usual maximum draft of vessel permitted is 7.3 metres.

Dock Water Density

Roath Basin has an average specific gravity of 1.006. Britannia Quay is, however, situated next to the fresh water feeder from the River Taff which enters the dock system through Junction Dock. Circumstances may arise therefore where the specific gravity may approach 1.000


Britannia Quay is unfendered, it is advisable that visiting craft provide their own fenders. ABP can provide fendering, charges will apply. Arrangements for such should be made through your agent/representative.

Mooring bollards and rings

Large mooring bollards, capable of taking up to 10 tonnes lateral pull, are situated at 20 metre intervals along the 190 metre long quay wall. In between the mooring bollards at approximately 10 metre intervals are large mooring rings capable of taking up to 1 tonne lateral pull. Craft must not secure lines to the railings.

Usual positioning of vessels is bow East lining up the gangway to the paved area near the North West corner of the Roath Basin along the 194 metre stretch of quay. The paved area is 32 metres from the west wall and 5 metres wide.


A lifebuoy and line in a protective cabinet is located at 20 metre intervals along the quay.


Craft alongside Britannia Quay are prohibited from using pyrotechnics (including the firing of cannons) without the written permission of the Dock and Harbour Master.


The means of access between the quay wall and a craft alongside must be in full accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Means of Access) Regulations 1988. Where the size of a craft prevents the deployment of a suitable gangway a cargo net or equivalent must be rigged under any point at which it is necessary to cross between the quay wall and the craft. The means of access must not present a tripping risk or a hazard to pedestrians.

Whenever possible gangways should be positioned in the chained sections of the quayside railing. In circumstances where this can not be achieved prior arrangements can be made with ABP to cut the railings. Usual berthing position for vessels would be to line up the gangway with the paved area.

Painting alongside

All craft are prohibited from painting overside either from the quay wall or from a floating painting platform.

Crew Displays

All sailing craft entering the port or moving within the dock system are prohibited from undertaking displays in which crew members are encouraged to undertake activities not wholly necessary for the safe operation of the craft e.g. standing on the yards.

Craft in Roath Basin

Craft alongside Britannia Quay are prohibited from deploying any smaller craft, particularly high speed rigid inflatable boats, into Roath Basin without the permission, in writing, of the Dock and Harbour Master. The speed limit within the docks is 4 knots.


Under the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974, the Docks Regulations and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, users of Britannia Quay are responsible for carrying out risk assessments in respect of the activities with which they are involved and for implementing and monitoring the control measures deemed necessary arising from the risk assessments.

Services - Waste Collection

All craft using Britannia Quay must make their own arrangements for the removal of galley and other solid waste. An area in one of the parking bays to the north of Britannia Quay has been assigned as a skip location zone for this purpose.

Appointed representatives must take full responsibility for ordering skips at least three working days in advance of a craft’s arrival, securing necessary local council approval and obtaining and signing all necessary waste transfer documentation.

ABP has developed a single reporting website to handle all waste notification information for all ABP ports around the UK. Electronic notification forms are to be used by all vessels heading to an ABP-managed berth or terminal, unless in possession of an MCA exemption certificate.

Services - Water supply

Fresh water hydrants are located at four positions along the quay. Access may only be gained by application for a metered standpipe to Welsh Water. It is recommended that all water hoses used to connect to the hydrants should be of circular cross section, armoured and manufactured in a UV stabilised material.

It is the responsibility of visiting craft to provide suitable hoses and connections to the standpipe. Craft requiring a hydrant pressure in excess of 1 Bar must contact a national supplier.

Services - Electricity supply

If there is a power requirement for visiting vessels this must be provided by portable generators arranged via your agent/representative. Britannia Quay has residential properties in close proximity so the use of whisper quiet generators is extremely advisable.

Grey Water and Sewage

Grey Water and Sewage may not be discharged into the dock or removed from the shore from a craft alongside Britannia Quay. Arrangements must be made for disposal to road tanker at a designated berth within the dock system prior to berthing or on departure. All disposals of sewage to shore must be disclosed on the waste return forms.

Fuel Oil, Lubricating Oil and Waste Oil

Bulk deliveries of Fuel or lubricating oil and bulk recovery of Waste Oil may not be undertaken whilst a craft is alongside Britannia Quay without prior agreement, in writing, from the Dock and Harbour Master. Arrangements may be made to receive or dispose of oil at a designated berth within the dock system prior to berthing or on departure. All disposals of waste oil to shore must be disclosed.

Stores and mail

All deliveries of stores and mail must be made through the office of the appointed representative. ABP can not accept stores, equipment or mail for any visiting craft.


Britannia Quay is outside the port’s security area consequently all visiting craft must make their own security arrangements. Vessels over 500gt will be required to satisfy all security provisions under the applicable sections of the ISPS code.

Hot Work Permission, Diving Permits and Diving Permission

Hot work permission, diving permits and diving permission, as appropriate, must be obtained in writing from the Cardiff LPS office before hot work or diving activities commence.


Although craft alongside Britannia Quay are effectively outside the dock perimeter they are nevertheless subject to the port’s emergency plan and masters and crew must respond as follows in the event of an emergency:


In the event of fire on board the craft’s crew should contact the fire and rescue service immediately (call 999) and then alert the Harbour Master’s staff by reporting the fire to Cardiff LPS on 02920 835023. A full report of the fire must be submitted to the Harbour Master on conclusion of the response.


Incidents, other than fire, which have been notified to the emergency services, must be reported to Cardiff LPS on 02920 835023.

Evacuation Points /Assembly Areas.

An assembly area may be established near the Waterguard Public house or in the car park to the east of Junction Dock.

Maintaining Records of Personnel

All persons in charge of craft alongside Britannia Quay are strongly recommended to maintain accurate records of the number of persons on board.A minimum crew should remain on board at all times to respond to emergencies.

General Information


The nearest N H S Accident and Emergency unit is based at the University of Wales Hospital, Heath Park, Cardiff. Telephone number (029) 20747747, (call 999).

Car Parking

Voucher parking in the parking bays along Britannia Quay is limited to a maximum of two hours. Outside the parking bays the road is marked with double yellow lines and parking restrictions are strictly enforced. The nearest public car park is located on Pierhead Street (Pay and Display). Also there are various multi-storey car parks around the area.

Distance to the city centre

Britannia Quay is located approximately 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) to the south of the extensive and modern shopping area of Central Cardiff.

Public Transport

For general enquiries about buses or trains telephone Traveline Cymru - 0800 4640000.

Local taxi companies - Dragon - 02920 333333/ Premier - 02920 555555/ Capital - 02920 777777.