Victor: What a load of tosh

Published: Sunday, 03 September 2017

DID you by any chance take the trouble to read the recently published so-called Ombudsman's Report?  I did and discovered it to be little more than a load of tosh.

No complaints it tells us.  Well I know for one our Thomas complained—about Cart's ludicrous statistics.  And surely there must be others.

One, Richard Churchill, told me of this report: 'there is no mention of the accuracy and reasonableness of usage statistics released by Cart as the report proclaimed that no-one has yet raised a complaint. It is generally agreed that CaRT's statistics on usage (and, possibly, other so-called facts) are grossly over-inflated. However, there seems to be little appetite by Cart to justify its statistics.

The current ombudsman was appointed without any due process by Cart's Head of Legal, the committee didn't meet when he claims he was appointed, and no minutes of any such meeting exist. In fact, there is no duly appointed ombudsman, and any such reports should be disregarded'.

To which I most heartily agree.

Certainly fewer

Another of Cart's most doubtful statistics is that there are more boats on the waterways, yet all of us who have cruised over the last couple of years are very well aware that there are certainly fewer.  Time and time again contributors to narrowboatworld have remarked on the reduced number of boats they now encounter.

Boatbuilders too are few and far between with many well known ones biting the dust when the downturn started.  Even that report told of an ageing population leaving the waterways and no younger generation taking its place.

And it is not particularly ageing that causes so many to leave—the constant never ending stoppages, where boaters can no longer be certain of a completed cruise are also having an effect.

But I expect that next year we shall be told that there are even more boaters.

119y rotten beamThis is why

Here is a picture of a lock beam, that clearly shows why so many are now giving up the ghost.

Where is the money going?

I noticed that Cart's propaganda Boaters' Report, or whatever it is called, boasted of the increasing spend on maintenance over its last recorded year, making much of the extra dredging it had achieved.

Yet its accounts contradict, clearly showing that it actually spent a million less on maintenance and £900,000 less on dredging in comparison to the previous year!

This despite, a recorded increase in income, much of it from its investments. So where is the money going—not on its core responsibility that's for sure.

Get someone who knows

Over the past few months we have had some ludicrous stoppage notices from Cart, with the most recent one where it was told that a swing bridge had to be left in its lowered position, stopping the navigation, as its writer obviously thought it could not be lifted.

If the person churning out such notices does not know the difference between a swing and lift bridge, such ignorance of the working of the waterways could cause a great deal of inconvenience in boaters misunderstanding such errors.

No apology

Definitely no apology for pointing out the failures of Cart—the way it is treating our waterways is diabolical.

Victor Swift