Boating brought to an abrupt end by speeding cyclist

Published: Monday, 19 August 2019

IT HAS been a while since I was last in contact with you for a good reason, writes Glenis Summers.

AmibovardWe have left our once loved life on the canals. I was still in my 40's when we bought our first liveaboard boat and two years ago when we walked away from our last boat, I was 71.

Hit three times

I had expected to live out my life on the water but (I believe) thanks to a cyclist it was brought to an abrupt end. I'd been hit three times in all by speeding cyclists, with one causing such damage to my arm, the chemist I approached said he wouldn't touch it as I needed it seen at a hospital.

In the end we got round to Paddington Basin where I filled in a complaint form and warned that the signs warning cyclists of a 10mph restriction was too fast. I never got a reply. After this I began to have neck problems which after a length of time culminated in a phone call from a doctor calling us back from a trip as an emergency.

Glenis SummersOperation to avoid total paralysis

An MRI had shown I had damaged neck bones and an operation was necessary to avoid total paralysis. I was advised that our lifestyle was unsuitable as the risk was high.

Understandably I was upset so I was given another MRI which unfortunately confirmed the result but was told that the operation could be put off until further deterioration if I was sensible and left the water.

We were offered an adapted bungalow and my husband immediately put our beautiful boat Ami Bovard on the market. I was completely devastated having no time to say goodbye to our many friends around the country.

I am only now accepting that the dream is over for us but then looking at the changes for the worse on the water, perhaps it's for the best.

Warned Richard Parry of the dangers

I travelled to a CaRT boaters' meeting at Leicester a few years back from Leamington Spa. I and others warned Richard Parry of the dangers of speeding cyclists and he promised to look into it agreeing that they travelled too quickly.

GlenSummersWeasel words as weeks later he was saying there was no problem. As I left he thanked me for making the train journey to the meeting. I answered that I hadn't come to see him. I'd come because I loved the canals. Now it is all gone.

Funds dwindling

The money we spent on boats and their upkeep over the years has left us with funds insufficient to buy another property and dwindling by the month in paying out rent.

We'll never regret our old life but do regret the changes that have been forced onto that way of life. We hope some of you will remember us fondly. Glen and Nigel Summers.