THE current 'Wait until it Breaks' policy of Canal & River Trust is just not working—certainly not for its customers anyway.
Take the Wigan Flight for instance. Boaters have told us that they have reported the damaged anti-vandal locks on the flight time and time again, but of course as this does not affect the actual working of the locks, nothing has been done.
So of course the vandals strike, resulting in a stoppage on the flight as pounds are drained so we get another of those never-ending stoppage notices: 'Following an act of vandalism, all water between locks 87 and 89 on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Wigan has been drained, resulting in a navigation closure'.
Needless to say we are also told: 'We anticipate that the area may take a few days to replenish to a navigable level'.
If the anti-vandal locks had been replaced, and by something more robust, there would have been no closure and no need of the cost of Cart's people there for days to attend.
'Wait until it Breaks' is proving time and time again that it is a bad policy—a very bad policy.
Blame the boaters
Regular readers of narrowboatworld will well know that another new policy of Cart is to blame boaters for causing stoppages, a favourite of being 'crashing boats into gates' when gates give up the ghost. But with so many gates in the condition of the one shown, it needs just a 'tap' to have it out of action.
Once or twice we have pointed out instances where from Cart's description the boat so blamed was actually in the lock and 'crashed into the gate' coming out! It even tells us that 272 boats caused damage—another of its dubious statistics!
That's how it's done
As to dubious statistics, we all must wonder how there comes to be 365 visits to every mile of Cart's waterway every day, totalling an eye-watering now 500,000,000 a year.
I have been told that this was done by telephone, asking if the respondent had been near a waterway, but cleverly using only numbers in London! Looking at the picture of the people on the towpath last week at Little Venice and knowing the number of people crossing over the Thames—yes, I know that it's not even a Cart waterway—I reckon the figures would soon add up, especially if 'juggled' a bit!
Then of course, some ignoramus—he or she must be—simply multiplies it by the number of miles of waterway, and Hey Presto! there's your total!
Now then you continuous cruisers, let's test it. Keep an eye open today and let me know how many visitors passed your boat, yes, I know it's *issing down with rain, but Cart tell us it's 365 every day... (Just click the email icon at the top. Your name will not be included, just the number.)
Tie it better!
There seems to be another spate of "slow down!" from irate boaters, even when the passing boater shouted at has slowed down.
Yet I'm certain most of you have notice the way many moored boats are tied—here's one whose owner yelled at us to slow down, though of course we had done, who quickly turned away when reminded to tie it properly.
If these boaters took the effort to tie their boats correctly then they would not move so much. But most likely they don't know how to...
I was pleased to hear that the website that was being illegally used by con men to advertise fake boats was taken down. I was also pleased to learn that Paypal, that was used for the illegal transactions was taking it seriously.
A newcomer interested in buying a narrowboat, not knowing the going rate and bewildered by the vast price variation depending on age and condition, could easily be taken in by what seems a bargain.
In the early days of narrowboatworld it too advertised boats for sale, and though no con was discovered, the description often varied greatly from the actual condition, and so it was quickly stopped. Best not to take too much notice of descriptions, but go and see...