Reservoir levels

As summer approaches, the number of boat movements increases, as does the drawdown on reservoirs. The mix of dry sunny spells and wet periods during March meant that overall rainfall was near average for the month. However, there were regional variations, and the north-west had over 140% of long-term average (LTA) rainfall, but a large area of the south-east saw less than 70% of LTA. The Easter weekend saw marked increases in boating and consequent lock usage, and reservoir drawdown was evident across the system, with all but one reservoir group showing a reduction in the volume of stored water.

CRT have just issued a press release on the results of thier annual national boat count. This shows that licence evasion on its waterways has reduced by 0.7% overall in the past year to 3.7%, with 96.3% of boats holding up-to-date licences. This is the eighth year the rate has stayed below 5%.

You can read the full text here.

From 14 November CRT will be introducing a new online self-service booking system which will allow boaters to book passage through some of the waterways’ most famous landmarks.

Once it’s up and running, if you’re planning trips through Anderton Boat Lift, Standedge Tunnel, Liverpool Canal Link, Ribble Link and Frankton Lock, or wanting to use Wigan and Ellesmere dry docks, you’ll be able to book up to two years in advance. If it’s popular then they will look to expand online booking to other bookable passages and dry docks across the network.

The say that it is still in the testing phase of development but will announce weblinks and a ‘How to…’ guide nearer the launch date!

NE Waterway User Forum, Castleford, 20th September 2016

I attended this meeting last night on behalf of NABO. I didn’t think it was quite as well attended as in previous years – around 45-50 in total including the numerous CRT staff. I suspect this may be down to the changed start time of 1700 instead of 1800 with some people still at work.

The meeting followed the pattern set in the last few meetings, with a number of set piece presentations, mainly by CRT, with no Q&A’s encouraged. Rather, there seems to be a keenness for attendees to take part in networking after the general presentations, which in my view is less than satisfactory. I may be in the minority, but, although networking has its place, I much prefer to hear  debate in open forum, whereas relying totally on networking means that inevitably many people don’t get their chance to put their point to CRT management.

CRT has published the list of winter stoppages for the coming period.  Members  are urged to take a look to see how it may affect their cruising plans over the season. The details can be found here: 

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices/winter