Why doesn't boating resume?

Published: Wednesday, 13 May 2020

FROM today, Wednesday, under the revised 'Lockdown Rules' I assume I am allowed to do the following, towpath related activities, which apparently do not cause a health hazard with respect to coronavirus, writes Ralph Freeman.

♦ Go fishing from the towpath as often as I see fit.
 Drive by car to a canal of my choice and walk the towpath for as far as I like.
Ride a bike for as far as I am able.

But mooring my boat on the said towpath has up until now been interpreted by the CaRT, (henceforth referred to as the Towpath Trust for reason blatantly obvious to boat owners) as a health issue.

I can hear those in the TT Ivory Towers saying:  "Ah, but the problem is social distancing at the locks."

Here is a simple solution

One crew works the head gates, the other the tail gates.  That means they are at least 57ft apart.  Or if one crew works the towpath side and the other the offside, then they are separated by at least 7ft (2.13m, and much more on broad locks). 

If crews wear a set of disinfected gloves for locking and water point operation then what is the issue?

My modus operandi

When cruising I tend to start early which means I usually have three hours boating on a deserted Cut before the world wakes up.  I only moor on busy 48hr moorings in towns or villages for a short time whilst I 'scavenge' for supplies.  Then I go and moor out in the sticks for (hopefully) peace, quiet and now isolation.  So what is the problem?

If, as an individual, I can have free access to the towpath to pursue fishing, walking and most of all cycling (time trials seem acceptable too) then why can't I use my narrowboat?  The only reason I can think of is the Towpath Trust is anti-boater and regards the canals as just a long thin version of a National Park..?