David: New rules?

Published: Saturday, 16 June 2018

COMING past Gailey the other week I saw a new notice on the permanent moorings above the top lock I have not seen before.

This seems that some 'rebrMooring notices 1aanding' has taken place which has not received so much publicity as the universally execrated sinking tyre.

Whereas the signs used to say 'Long term permit holders only' they now seem to be called 'Mooring agreement holders' (as pictured)—is this the same thing? As you can see the signs now threaten vast penalties for occupying the moorings and have a plethora of small print which echoes that found on private car parks, where the owners try to pretend that the penalties are 'fines', whereas they are nothing of the sort and virtually unenforceable.

Since recent observation suggests that CaRT's permanent moorings are largely vacant, as were the ones at Gailey, one wonders what is going on. Surely we should be told. As the second picture shows, the sign at Gailey is close to another one welcoming you to the visitor moorings and there is no indication as to where the division is, as there used to be. The courts do not take kindly to vague and ambiguous notices of this type and CaRT is unlikely to be able to enforce its draconian penalties.

New notice L2No casual mooring?

Cruising along the Staffs & Worcs, Trent & Mersey, Macclesfield and Peak Forest no edge cutting at all had been done, except at approved mooring sites—and not always even there.

The towpath had been beautifully mown in all cases, but no attempt had been made at the water's edge, resulting in a continuous, impenetrable belt of vegetation which largely prevented access to the towpath. What are you supposed to do in the event of an engine breakdown or prop fouling, let alone a medical emergency? Perhaps this all part of the new policy of 'making life better by water'. Nothing about making it better on the water. We all know now where boating stands in CaRT's priorities—bottom.

Vegetation 1

The Marple Lock failure

We were hoping to descend Marple Locks next week and I have been keeping a close eye on the stoppage notices. Until today there have been no updates and the rules were ambiguous. According to the previous notice supervised passage was available between 10am and 4pm subject to length and/or width restrictions.

Odd then that when I visited lock 11 on Wednesday at 3pm no-one was in evidence and no work was being carried out. (See picture) Although lock 11 was padlocked, the top lock was not, so that anyone who had not followed the internet could have proceeded down the flight. Is it too much to ask CaRT to put relevant notices on the ground, as well as online?Marple lock 11 1

New notices

Others have already commented on the illiteracy of CaRT's new notices—who is this singular boater?—and why does the notice have to have one corner different from the other three?

New notice 1bI have also a more general complaint about the stridency of the notices, especially when placed against historic structures, like the junction bridge at Marple. (The second photograph above.) The black and white notices were much more discreet and had not worn out—so why replace them with these abominations?

I hope the local vandals have enough good taste to deal with them appropriately. The money would have been better spent on restoring the canopy of the adjacent warehouse.

David Hymers