Why not actual notices telling of stoppages?

Published: Tuesday, 14 November 2017

ONCE again boaters are being thwarted by the Canal & River Trust policy of its reliance on its stoppages notices on the internet rather than physical notices that boaters can see.

Derwent Mouth wallIt was yesterday, Monday, when waiting to fill up with diesel at Sawley Marina that the boat in front took off up the Trent to Derwent Mouth Lock. Then mooring on Sawley Cut it was then we learned that Derwent Mouth Lock was closed for repairs by a disgruntled boater who had come back from the lock learning it was shut. He complained that he had come up the river for lock after lock yet not a sign anywhere telling that Derwent Mouth Lock was closed.

Website so complicated

Seeing none, and not being reliant on the internet, he had booked his winter moorings at Barton Turns Marina, but now of course, after being told by a worker at Derwent Mouth of the extra problem with the lock, and no idea when it would reopen, he had no option but to cancel and find alternative moorings.  He told us he was not reliant on the internet and had problems getting information from CaRT's website it being so complicated.

A little later the first boat had returned, and the boater too was upset as he had already been stuck on the Leicester Section as that was closed and had come this way to get to his moorings on the Coventry, and was stuck yet again.

The above photographs shows the crumbling wall and the coping stones that need replacing, whilst the one below shows engineers working on the gates.

Derwent Mounth gateOne boater told us that It is those people in their ivory towers sat at their computers who think it so easy to find something on the web on a boat but it is not as there is always the problem of getting a signal and understanding the way their information is presented, and that it would be much better simply putting up notices telling of closures like British Waterways did in the past.

Understood the situation

 So of course it was a walk for us to Derwent Mouth to assess the situation, to be told by an engineer who actually understood as he had worked for both British Waterways and Canal & River Trust for 30 years!

They has started the scheduled work to replace damaged coping stones and replace brickwork, but after the lock was drained it was apparent that the foundation of the towpath side top gate was crumbling not allowing the gate to anchor and thus close properly.

Not open on schedule

This means that stop planks above the lock will have to be inserted and the space drained to allow the gate to be lifted and then its foundation rebuilt before it can be replaced, that in turn  mean the lock will not be open in early December as scheduled, but of course later.

So even anyone who has used the internet to learn of this stoppage and accepted the published dates can be held up by the extra work now needed to complete.

No doubt other boaters will be caught out by this stoppage, as undoubtedly they will be by other stoppages, yet a simple laminated notice tacked to lock gates before the stoppages would be of great help to those boaters that are not all that internet savvy...