"Close this canal!"

Published: Monday, 06 May 2019

THOSE are the words from boater Brian Jarrett to Canal & River Trust concerning the Wyrley & Essington Canal.

BrianRubbish2Prompted by its shocking state and lack of water.

Services of CaRT and RCR

Brian spent six hours struggling just over four miles along the waterway, having to call out the services of not only the Canal & River Trust but River Canal Rescue, such were his problems on what is proving to be an unavigable waterway.

It was a short while ago that the third of the four pumps suppling the waterway broke down, but instead of closing the canal the trust decided to keep it open although so low were the water levels in the pounds that even Brian's 2ft 2in draught boat was scraping the bottom needing constant attention in the weed hatch, and as his photographs show, an alarming collection of rubbish wrapped around the boat's stern gear.

Brian's two photographs show just a portion of the rubbish dragged from the sern gear of his boat.

BrianRubbishClose the canal until navigable

Hence his suggestion to the trust that the canal be closed until a proper supply of water is available to make it navigable.

Realising that there was little point in proceeding on the canal, Brian moored for the night at Holly Bush Wharf then retraced back to Tipton, and again, he tells us, the four miles took a further three and half hours and needed five visits down the weed hatch.

Discuss his suggestion

Brian contacted Canal & River Trust, telling of the terrible condition of the Wyrley & Essington Canal, its lack of water and a blanket of weed, with a reply from Juilie Sharman that they will discuss his suggestion to close the canal until it is again navigable.

BrianOvergrownSuch was the rubbish around his boat's stern tube it needed the assistance of River Canal Rescue to get some of it out, as the first photograph well shows.

Uncut foliage

In addition to the lack of water, another of his photographs show the uncut foliage scraping his boat as he attempts to make headway.

Summing-up, Brian tells us:

 "Having just attempted but failed to navigate the Wyrley & Essington Canal since the failure of three of its four pumps and now reading about the dire situation at this early in the 'boating season' of the northern canals, one has to wonder why we are continuing to attempt to reclaim old canals when CaRT are obviously incapable of maintaining the canals we currently have!"