David: £25 a day fines for overstaying

Published: Monday, 13 April 2015

CRUISING through central Birmingham last week the general absence of continuous moorers struck me and I wondered why this might be the case.

Perhaps it is because the towpaths in that area are paved solid from edge to edge, so that mooring is physically impossible except in the designated areas. The mooring places are clearly labelled with their limits and in the past included threatening notices about £25 a day fines for overstaying.

These latter have disappeared for some reason, but I believe the moorings are still strictly monitored. Perhaps CaRT should try paving the towpaths elsewhere where there is a continuous moorer problem and dealing with the cyclists by including a sharp bump every hundred yards or so.

New notices

Following the coroner's report on last year's death in Harecastle Tunnel the inevitable has happened and CaRT have started putting up new tunnel notices (in addition to the old ones) which 'strongly advise' the wearing of lifejackets. (See picture). I have yet to see anyone complying.

Writing of tunnels, we have just come through Whitehouses on the Llangollen and the notice there still says it is suitable for 'two way working', although it is only 7ft wide. I mentioned this on narrowboatworld four years ago and still it hasn't changed. I wonder how often two boats meet in the tunnel, especially as this area has a high number of hire boaters and day boaters, who may regard CaRT notices as gospel.

Another piece of brilliance at the foot of Audlem locks, where a pair of visitor mooring posts have been sited to include the lock mooring bollards for both locks 14 and 15. That's going to lead to some interesting discussions.

Department of Pointless Notices

The Department of Pointless Notices has also been active on some of the Llangollen lift bridges, which have been adorned with large road style STOP signs, for the benefit of those who are too short sighted to see the bridge or think they can get their boat under the three inches of clearance available when the bridge is shut.

It might have been better to use the funds for some paint for the Llangollen locks, many of which, especially the steel beamed ones, are in a sorry state. The locks on the Shroppie, on the other hand, are mostly in excellent decorative order.

Tidal Trent

We have done the tidal Trent three times, twice downstream and once up and I can honestly say that we have never had a problem, even with turning into West Stockwith or Keadby.

Some sort of intermediate mooring would be welcome, if it is feasible and Keadby would be easier, as has been said, if there were some sort of mooring pontoon available like the ones on the Severn at Diglis and Stourport, albeit on a non-tidal river. The only time I have felt nervous on the Trent was coming up the non-tidal section after heavy rain and only just making headway—we got there in the end though.

David Hymers