Victor: Mooring enforcement goes private

Published: Sunday, 17 June 2018

I CAN reveal that Canal & River Trust, admitting it is unable to enforce its mooring rules, has now placed enforcement in the hands of a private company.

No official notice has been given, though dark blue notices are appearing from the company that will it is expected act as with vehicle parking, having its officials patrolling and issuing tickets, that if unpaid will be followed by fines and ultimately court action.

New company noticeOne of its notices appeared in David Hymers' column yesterday, as shown, showing the company and its logo, plainly defining the draconian measures that will now be taken with overstayers, with fines at £150 a day for overstaying.

It is understood that though Cart had a large team of enforcers they were not able to control the overstaying of what has become known as 'continuous moorers', boaters staying in one place at 48 hour moorings for months on end, so it has been placed in the hands of a specialist company.

I believe this has all been done rather secretively so as not to alert the 'Bargees' that would definitely have something to say about it!

What will they do?

So what will now happen to all those on that enforcement team with no enforcing to do?

But not only those, as I understand that there is more in the pipeline for passing into private hands, which means Cart's Ivory Tower will be crammed with people with very little to do.  But that seems to be what it is rather good at, eh?

Turning blue

No, no, no, it's not how we boaters are feeling when faced with yet another stoppage, but Cart's new signs—they are going blue. So whilst at the moment we suffer four major stoppages, with very little being done to alleviate them, thousands and thousands of pounds are being spent on changing the Cart signs from black to blue—it believing the new bright blue fits in better with its new image of 'wellbeing', and to hell with the cost.

This month sees a major operation through Stoke as signs are changed and new ones are devised 'to inform'—which of course means—stating the obvious.

It will be closed

At the moment only boats below 35ft long are being allowed through Lock 11 on the Marple Flight on the Peak Forest Canal, but I have the feeling that not for much longer.

For Cart tells us that it is attempting 'a temporary repair' later this month that may solve the problem, then comes the alarming words: 'However, there is a risk that this temporary repair will not be successful, which resulting in the lock being closed until we are able to complete the permanent repair'.

Which as we all must by now realise means it will be closed for the rest of the year.

Foolhardy boaters

A visit last week from our Alan Tilbury prompted a day's trip down the Trent and up the Soar and back.BowToSteamTrent

Discovering on that very short trip to just above Ratcliffe Lock yet again how either foolhardy or naive are some boaters.

The first we discovered on the Trent at the moorings just above Trent Lock, with three boats all risking damage to their stern gear by mooring stern to the flowing river. They were there early morning showing that they had been there overnight and still there late in the afternoon.

We have regularly cruised the Trent now for 20 years and seen the massive logs, floating furniture and others items that come down both the 'un-locked' Trent and Derwent past those moorings, and so always moor bow to the flow, even on the relatively safe Sawley Cut, as that too gets its fair share of floating timber, though not with such force.

But there were three, mooring stern to the flow, either not knowing or not caring.


Then taking a walk along the towpath by the river we came across a moored boat whose owner was not only defying the sensible Boat Safety Scheme rules concerning the use of gas on boats, but putting him or herself or anyone else in the boat at risk from leaking gas and tragic results.

Gas bottles, for boaters' own benefit, should be in a closed locker with exits for any leaking gas at the bottom of the locker, but this boater has not just one but two open on the foredeck, one even in use with a long hose that could surely be severed by such as a falling branch, even being moored under a tree.

And it looked as though the gas pipe entered the cabin through a drilled hole in the steel bulkhead, that could quickly fray the pipe causing a leak.

Towpath SoarAnd tied with such a thin elastic rope this could easily break under the strain of any sort of collision. ripping the pipe off.

Not at all sensible, and that indeed could cause tragic consequences, but obviously either not noticed or cared about by passing Cart personel, unless now so few, not being seen.


The towpath by the side of the soar is so overgrown that even the dog had problems finding his way, the 500 odd visits that those at Cart claim visit every mile every day had certainly not made much of an impact here!

And I have to say it. We were moored six hours, but alas and alack for dear Cart, not one single visitor passed the boat. And from the state of the whole towpath very few do, perhaps the odd angler.

Victor Swift