Mark Tizard asks if it’s now the time for CRT to stop the constant PR spin and admit that they are beginning to lose the maintenance battle.
When navigation restarted in July, I thought we’d need to take account of potential water shortages when planning our cruising routes. Little did we realise that infrastructure failures were going to have a far greater influence. The latest Boaters Update says: ‘As we might have predicted, despite our best efforts, the combined impact of the extensive winter flooding, the long spring dry spell, and the 2-3 months with very few boat movements and hence almost no regular operation of paddles, locks and moveable bridges, has led to an increased number of asset failures, leading to unplanned restrictions on cruising in some places.’ This begs the question: who was doing the predicting? Surely not those walking the towpath, as they were nearly all furloughed. What best efforts? Surely not those working from home. It must refer to the eyes and ears of those continuous cruisers who have, in effect, become the first line of CRT’s maintenance regime. A boater posted this picture of Welford lock on social media with a warning that it looked like it was on its last legs. A few days later, there was a stoppage notice quoting ‘unexpected maintenance’. Unexpected, really!
This is a snapshot notes from the online CRT Council Meeting on 23 September 2020. Complete Minutes will be available in a week or so at https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/meetings/42458-23-september-2020-19th-council-meeting
Chair, Mike Rodd is enjoying cruising again, despite the lack of maintenance and e-scooters.
Boating at last! For many of us, it was a great joy to be able to get back boating again and for me also to resume being a Boatmaster for the K&A Canal Trust’s trip-boat, the ‘Rose of Hungerford’. Given that the income generated by the trip boats (with all the boats being operated totally by volunteers) is its major source of funding, the impact on the Trust of the long period of non-operation has been horrendous. This has been especially critical as we get to the end of the (partially) HLF-funded restoration work at the Crofton Pumping Station, as the boat trips are contributing the bulk of the required matching funding. Making the trip-boats ‘socially distanced’ has meant a serious drop in the maximum number of passengers we can carry (about half), but with significant demand for places, at least a reasonable income is now being generated.
The consultation on the proposed imposition of white diesel for propulsion on waterways closes on the 1st October.
NABO has now responded and the document is here.
Needless to say we have objected to everything they propose, which we see as flawed at every turn. It is the same message we have been giving for 15 years.
If you havn't put in your own response, plesed do so now. And please don't cut and paste our words, use your own and your own spelling mistakes!
The consulation is here.