Leicester Line closed 20 days out of 54

Published: Friday, 18 August 2017

THE Canal & River Trust has revealed that there are to be four 'emergency navigation closures' on the Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal during September and October, writes Bill Ridgeway.

  1. 4th to 8th (inclusive) September (Ervins Lock) (5 days)
  2. 11th to 15th (inclusive) September (Whetstone Lane Lock) (5 days)
  3. 9th to 13th (inclusive) October (Blue Banks Lock) (5 days)
  4. 23rd to 27th (inclusive) October (Kings Lock) (5 days)

Expressed that way it may not look too bad but it represents a closure (for through passage) of the Leicester Line for 20 days out of a possible 54 days (37%).

Notice that:

  • The copywriter's trick of using 'inclusive' to add an additional day to each closure
  • the warning that a stoppage may be extended—but there is no hint that a stoppage may be shorter if all goes well. These emergency stoppages are due to 'urgent need of repair'. Why were not theses issues addressed before the need to make emergency repairs or did the need for urgent repairs all appear at the same time?
  • the assertion that 'lack of workforce means these stoppages cannot be undertaken altogether'. This is a reflection on the competency of CaRT to recruit, train and retain competent staff.
  • the precise timing of each stoppage 'from 9am on the first morning to 4pm on the last day'. This suggests that CaRT does not have an understanding of reality.

This is a veiled admission that CaRT is working in its own interests and not in the interests of canal users.

This is an example of a management style which I would best describe as 'You can do anything you want as long as you do it our way' or 'You (the customer) will just do what you're told, we will do what we like'.