The excuses—for doing nothing

Published: Monday, 13 November 2017

WHAT point is there in lengthy winter works consultations when so many of the needed repairs are then cancelled? Asks John Coxon.

So much for the over-hyped three stage consultation we had over the summer. Here is just a sample from the cancellation notices CaRT have issued about the winter works programme this year:

The notices

"This closure and repair has been cancelled from the programme to make way for higher priority arising works."

"Due to a change in methodology and scope we have been unable to achieve the published start date..."

"New closure request to accommodate arising leaks on the...canal. "

"This closure notice is cancelled due to higher priority arising leaks on the...canal."

"This closure is no longer required as the work has been deferred to a future year. The deferral is due to a change in scope requiring further investigation. This closure is now cancelled."

"Due to arising issues over the last couple of months the...length of the closure has changed. This closure is cancelled and a new notice raised for the new location."

"The cancellation is due to the complexity and costs surrounding the enabling work required. The work will be deferred to a future year, which will give Canal & River Trust the time to review alternative options and solutions. This closure is now cancelled."

Says it all

 Complexity and costs...time to review alternative options and solutions...change in scope requiring further investigation—say's it all really does it not?

Who surveys these works? Who costed them? Surely they would have had time to ascertain the "complexity and costs" before placing them on the winter works programme?

Why have "alternative options and solutions" not been looked into before placing the works onto the winter works programme.

Why were 'higher priority arising works/leaks/issues' not put onto the winter works programme in the first place?

What are are these 'higher priority works/leaks/issues' now suddenly needing looking into? When are they going to be carried out?

Why all of a sudden do we need to investigate '...a change in methodology and scope...'? Why was this not done earlier? Or, is it just a euphemism for 'doing a quick bodge'?

Seems like a change of management is needed here as the present one doesn't appear to be able to do the job.