Victor: Why the restrictions?

Published: Sunday, 21 June 2020

THOUGH the three closed canals are to re-open in two weeks time they are under severe restrictions.

This we are informed by Canal & River Trust is because of saving water, but we were also informed on Friday by the Environmental Agency that 'all appropriate reservoirs are at their capacity or near capacity'.

The restrictions are on the flights of the Leeds & Liverpool, Peak Forest and Macclesfield canals, with very restrictive opening times greatly reducing any attempt at a schedule.

Make of that what you will...

Something must be done

I was most pleased that others are now complaining of those ridiculous stoppage notices purveyed by CaRT, with complaints of the difficulty in understanding their convoluted instructions that I named 'Cartisms'.

Last week, amongst others, boaters had to suffer this:

Please be advised third-party contractors will be on-site to carry out refurbishment works at the Big Lock public house. Temporary scaffolding and fencing will be installed on the towpath close to Lock 70 on the Trent & Mersey Canal, to allow for essential works to be carried out.

Many of you will have used Big Lock outside the pub, and wonder why the towpath at Lock 70 is closed—it's not by Big Lock at all, in fact it's five locks away at the other side of town at Rump's Lock!

This is absolutely ridiculousdon't they even have a waterways guide on hand?  Obviously not.

Must have read narrowboatworld

From the instruction for boaters 'to take care' on the raging Soar from Kings Lock to Redhill Lock, CaRT have now come to its senses and have closed the navigation.

This was after we pointed out the force of the flood was such that the advice to use it by 'taking care' was inviting disaster, that was backed by our contributors.

It's notice now refers to the 'strong streams' and that it has made the decision to close the navigation.

Luckily boaters must have ignored its original advice as there are no reports of any boats coming to grief on the flooded river.

Plenty of 'em

Perhaps you are thinking that the CaRT hierarchy does not have the people to have someone who knows the waterways to check the errors in its stoppage notices.  Well here's a few:

Richard ParryChief Executive Officer.

Julie Sharma—Chief Operating Officer, with eight underlings.

Stuart MillsChief Investment Officer, with six underlings.

Simon BamfordAsset Improvement Officer, with four underlings.

Heather ClarkeStrategy, Engagement  and Impact Officer, with eight underlings.

Mike GooddiePeople Director, with five underlings.

Tom DearthHead of Legal Governance and Company Secretary, with eight underlings.

All that lot plus seven personal assistants. ('Underlings' are various directors, heads, seniors and the like.)

Then we have ten Board of Trustees.  Then ten Regional Directors.  Six Advisory Boards and their unaccountable members and a National Users Forum.

If that isn't enough we then get the council of 50 members.

Yet they still can't get such a simple thing as a stoppage notice correct.  

At what cost?

Needless to say, I couldn't even begin to calculate the cost of that excessive bureaucracy, but it must be incredible, and perhaps explains why there is not so much left for the waterways...

Victor Swift