CaRT 'cover-up' over Whaley Bridge

Published: Tuesday, 01 October 2019

THE Canal & River Trust have released a report concerning the Whaley Bridge  Reservoir collapse but heavily censored.

BlackedoutThe trust was forced to release the report under a Freedom of Information Act but as can be seen, has blacked out pages using its usual excuse the information was withheld on the basis of 'national security and public safety'.

Residents evacuated 

Residents of Whaley Bridge had to be evacuated for nearly a week when part of the dam of Toddbrook Reservoir collapsed during August over fears that it would burst and flood properties.

People believe that this is just an excuse to hide the facts over the maintenance of the dam, with residents having raised concerns beforehand, and one sending narrowboatworld a photograph of trees growing through the dam two years ago.

WhaleyBridgeWeedsPublic enquiry and criminal investigation

The report from CaRT has been distributed to the media, showing large sections blacked out, including photographs, but residents are calling for a public enquiry and criminal investigation into the matter, and this heavily censored report must surely support this growing concern.

Especially as we reported yet  another dam of Earlswood Reservoir supplying the Stratford-on-Avon Canal at Solihull has also partially collapsed.

Matthew Forrest, one of a group of residents calling for a public enquiry told the BBC:

Could have killed people

"The population of Whaley Bridge had very little confidence in the Canal & River Trust as things stood after the near disaster in August that could have potentially killed thousands of people,

"This nonsensical black hole of a document does little to build upon any remaining confidence and faith in the Canal & River Trust to internally investigate the causes, let alone replace the neglected Toddbrook Dam."

WhaleyBridgeDamThe trust gave what is regarded as an excuse, and really nonsense, stating:

"There was "a high level of public interest in not releasing information that would result in a threat to public safety.

"If the trust were to release copies of these reports, which were not redacted, it would be releasing key details of the infrastructure and potential vulnerabilities of the Toddbrook Reservoir.

"This would prejudice the protection and safety of the public through potential damage or disruption to the national infrastructure by acts of sabotage."

Farcical distributing blacked out report

Residents have have pointed out that as the reservoir has been drained, there could hardly be any flood risk even if someone was to sabotage it, and it is farcical distributing a 90% blacked out report, but perhaps hope it would quash any further inquiry. And how can there be public interest in not releasing information?