Wellbeing charity never!

Published: Monday, 04 June 2018

HAVING just read this month's CaRT's Boaters Update I cannot understand how they can be a wellbeing charity! Writes Stewart Downs.

We have recently completed our third retirement cruise of the open part of the system, which as ever was very enjoyable apart from CaRT's activities or lack of them with so many maintenance issues and not to mention the stoppages in place!

Licence fee being wasted

To watch our licence fee being wasted on yet another pointless logo change was bad enough but then to see six full time maintenance staff putting up the new signs with the half submerged tyre on was soul destroying! It probably would not have been so bad had the Oxford Canal been in a good navigable condition.

On our trip down the Oxford we experienced not only the stoppage at Lock 9 at Napton (rebuilt with new gates November 2016) with loads of unhappy hire boats in attendance, but overgrown vegetation as always in the most difficult places, bridge holes and turning circles, etc. Every bottom single gate from Grants to Bakers Lock would not open all the way and Dashwood Lock took three of us to open enough to allow the boat out.

Spinning windlasses

We also witnessed a faulty top paddle at Kings Sutton that had a tendency to drop without warning. Fortunately it was being operated by an experienced boater at the time! Minutes earlier a hire boat had come up and I had mentioned to the crew that they should remove their windlass after use as I had noticed them leaving them on! A pet concern of ours as hire companies seem not to inform the crew of the dangers of spinning windlasses, we have witnessed the dangers of this and the woman was lucky not to lose her eye!

To cap it all we had our number taken at Ayhno and in Oxford two days later. (Pet hate as it's such a waste of licence fee money). We had completed a 10 weeks cruising going as far north as Middlewich and not seen one number chaser until Ayhno!

CaRT do not look after boaters wellbeing it's the very opposite!

Thank goodness we have escaped to our home moorings on the Thames.

Stewart and Kerry, Nb Blue Griffin