Wales and the South West Region
Mike Rodd reports on the latest meeting with the Waterways Director for Wales and the South West.
On 3rd December, Phil Goulding and I had another of our regular meetings with Richard Thomas, Director of the Wales and South West region, at Devizes. Richard had agreed to meet NABO representatives on a three-monthly basis and this again proved to be a most valuable session. It was clear that Richard has become aware of the urgent need (and value to CRT!) to improve communications with waterways users and he said that he was pleased with the attendance at the recent user forum.
Survey of boat owners’ views
The third survey of a third of CRT boat licence holders was carried out by an independent research consultant in March and April 2018. The survey has now covered all boaters who have held a boat licence in the last three years. In June, CRT published a summary of the last survey results, which included every new boat licence holder who had not been surveyed in 2016 or 2017. For comparison, the results included the average over the three-year survey cycle (3YA).
CRT has released its annual boat movement report for 2017, which shows that the South East, North Wales & Borders and the West Midlands waterways remain the most popular cruising areas. The total recorded lockage in 2017 was 2.6% lower than in 2016, with the busiest site at the paired locks at Hillmorton on the Oxford Canal, with 9,552 lockages. New Marton Lock on the Llangollen Canal was the next busiest with 8,831 lockages in 2017, a decrease of 3% on the previous year. The least used lock was Lock 1, Belan, on the Montgomery Canal with 70 lockages. Full details can be found at https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/35365-annual-lockage-report-2017.pdf?v=939805
The following is my report - I have used some notes from Andy Tidy’s report (mostly the finances as he explains it better than I could) As these are my recollections from notes they are not designed as an exact record and are not minutes. Therefore , they should not be accepted as such.
We were invited to York this year. Owing to constraints of dialysis, I opted to do a long day - getting up at 4.45am, getting a train at 6am and arriving at York at 8.15am, where we were met by two young ladies from the Leeds Office with a sign and everything. Once everyone that was coming by train arrived, it was a short stroll to the bus taking us the 6 miles to Naburn Lock - a fascinating place - Kenny, the Lock keeper has been there over 30 years - his cottage is flooded on average 5 times a year and he remains remarkably sanguine about this fact.