Consultations, breaches and closures
but Editor, Peter Fellows, also notes some wonderful weather and meaningful meetings
There’s been a lot happening on the waterways since the last NABO News in July. The summer’s weather has allowed marvellous cruising, but the high temperatures and prolonged drought have also caused problems for CRT’s water management. An article by Adam Comerford, CRT’s National Hydrology Manager, explains how the Trust has responded to maintain navigation on the majority of canals in the face of falling reservoir levels.
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 three Rs
- Rebranding, reorganisation and reactions
Editor, Peter Fellows, takes the collective pulse of boaters after the latest changes by CRT.
CRT rebranding continues to provoke reactions, with many questioning why signs that are only read by boaters were changed within days of the relaunch ‒ most boaters know what CRT is. Why not focus the marketing effort on the claimed 90% of people who apparently don’t know that CRT is the authority that manages their nearby waterway? (And also work towards changing the attitudes of some of these people so that they see canals as a resource, rather than a convenient dump for the detritus they no longer want). It would seem that someone in Government must have given CRT the nod that ‘health and wellbeing’ is where the money lies in future. If this is not the case, the change in focus is a huge gamble. Peter Underwood from ‘The Floater’ believes there is another way to fund the Trust and I have included a recent editorial explaining his view. I have also included a letter to boaters from Richard Parry on the rebranding, together with a response from Stella Ridgway and a selection of comments from boaters on social media. There is also a justification for the new logo from its designer. Elsewhere, David Fletcher explains what we need members to do in the light of the new General Data Protection Regulation, together with an update on changes to the way that NABO communicates with its membership.
Can you hear us?
Stella Ridgway is looking forward to meaningful discussions with CRT, rather than just being fed information.
CRT was in its infancy when we moved onto our boat. You may remember Richard Parry held road-shows and regular meetings with boating organisations, and seemed to genuinely want to listen to boater’s views. Admittedly, he was taking over an organisation that had deliberately not spent its budget, and had a policy of closing canals rather than maintaining them. The challenge was to bring boaters along with the new organisation.