Shooting and stabbing on the towpaths

Published: Sunday, 03 May 2009
THOUGH the argument is attacks can take place anywhere, people are finding it worrying that so many are taking place on towpaths, which is seen by many as an idyllic peaceful—and safe—place.

Over the past few days, in addition to the muggings, which we now rarely report, a man has been stabbed on the Regents Canal and another shot in the thigh on the Grand Union Canal.

The man who was knifed, saw two Asian youths fiddling with the ropes of a narrowboat moored on the Regents Canal at Islington, and he remonstrated with then, upon which they turned and attacked him, one stabbing him with a knife, then they both fled away on bikes on the upgraded towpath.

A passer-by called an ambulance and he was taken to hospital, though his wounds were not life threatening.

The man who was shot was on the towpath of the Grand Union Canal near Leamington, when he felt pain in his thigh and saw blood, realising he had been shot.

We learn this is a common occurrence around the waterway, as there is someone with a gun taking pot shots at passers-by on the towpath. The man required surgery at Warwick Hospital.

This is becoming quite serious in the area, and the police are appealing for witnesses come forward.

The idiocracy that is BW licensing

Published: Saturday, 02 May 2009

HOT on the heels of the complaint of the workings of British Waterways' licensing department by Ray Watkins (emails) threatened by its attitude,  comes another.

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Willington boater's death was accidental

Published: Friday, 01 May 2009

THE death of Des Hutton who died after falling in the Trent & Mersey Canal at Willington was accidental, it was ruled by Coroner Dr Robert Hunter at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner’s Court, though alcohol had a bearing.

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£200,000 safety fence for canal

Published: Friday, 01 May 2009

BECAUSE Wayne Bonner fell into the Rochdale Canal in Manchester's Gay Village, £200,000 is to be spent on a 3ft 6in high post and rail fence even though there is already an existing wall protecting the canal.

The fence, which will run the length of the exposed canal on the street, will be erected to prevent people scrambling over the wall and falling into the water by the many bars and drinking clubs.

The problem is that drinkers sit on the wall, so reinforced glass panels will fill the `gap' between the rail and the wall, to prevent drinkers from sitting on the wall and dangling their legs under the rail.

The application will go to the planning committee later this summer, and it is expected that construction could then begin immediately.

The rail-and-post fence will cost around £102,060, plus installation costs, with the glass panels costing a further £97,200.

This is the fourth death by drowning that the present coroner has presided over, and was so concerned that he contacted the city council and British Waterways.

Volunteer bar staff have also been trained to throw rescue ropes into the canal to drinkers who have fallen in.

IWA gives cautious welcome to BW restructuring

Published: Thursday, 30 April 2009

THE Inland Waterways Association today gave a cautious welcome to British Waterways’ announcement on restructuring, whilst offering sympathy to those facing redundancy.

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Bridgewater towpath scheme goes ahead

Published: Thursday, 30 April 2009

THE controversial scheme to upgrade over 40 miles of the Bridgewater Canal towpath into a cycle track, named the Bridgewater Way has started.

At a cost of £8 millions it will upgrade the last remaining canal 'no cycling' towpath into a fast cycleway, with its backers claiming it will attracted 500,000 people a year!

Huddersfield Narrow closed

Published: Wednesday, 29 April 2009

THE Huddersfield Narrow Canal is closed owing to a severe leak of water from the canal into a culvert on the East side of the tunnel.

The waterway is now closed between locks 22E and Lock 42E, and boaters approaching from Huddersfield must wind at the winding hole before Lock 22E. No passage is allowed past this winding hole.

The waterway is at present dewatered between Lock 27E and 32E. If you have a tunnel booking in the next week, please contact the Business Support Team on 0113 2816860

More waterway units for BW but 100 more staff to be axed

Published: Wednesday, 29 April 2009

IT HAS been announced today (Wednesday) that BW is proposing an internal restructure of its operations in England and Wales with the creation of 11 smaller waterway units, the removal of a layer of management and approximately 100 redundancies from office staff.

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Stourbridge Canal closed again

Published: Wednesday, 29 April 2009

STOURBRIDGE Canal has been closed again, and de-watered at the site of the recent breach.

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Tory leaders picks out BW as big earners—but

Published: Wednesday, 29 April 2009
AT THE party's Spring Forum at Cheltenham, Tory David Cameron picked out various public official as 'big earners', including the bosses of British Waterways.

His theme was the present 'spendaholic' Government 'which wasted billions of taxpayers money on a swarm of unaccountable quangos that has infested our country under Labour'.

He picked out individuals on high salaries, including Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards on £400,000 and British Waterways Board bosses Robin Evans, Nigel Johnson, James Froomberg and Phillip Ridal, whose combined salaries, he commented reach £900,000, which was enough to employ 30 nurses.

However, David should get himself better advisers, for James Froomberg, for one, left that position last year.