Are the broad locks the problem?

Published: Monday, 13 July 2020

WE READ often of the stoppages on the broad canals such as the Leeds & Liverpool, Rochdale and Kennet & Avon that have regular stoppages, writes Clare Adams.

But there are nowhere near such amount of stoppages on the narrow locks, as before the coronavirus and since we have safely cruised such as the Four Counties Ring and neighbouring narrow lock canals with no difficulties and no hold-ups.

More of a problem

I expect someone will know why broad locks are more of a problem, perhaps the bigger locks have more pressure of water to hold and cills are longer, as cills seem to be a big problem with failures.  Another thing that is not mentioned is that the canals come under separate area's control, that perhaps have autonomy over maintenance and some are more lax than others, hence more failures.

Whatever it is, as T. Lang pointed out, it is a lot worse now than it was in the days under British Waterways, as we both well remember.

Brought in to rectify failings

Away from the point I was talking to a woman at Foxton Flight last summer who was convinced that Canal & River Trust were brought in to rectify all the failing of British Waterways!  I pointed out the number of stoppages, but she had been so indoctrinated that all she could respond was that that was the problem that Canal & River Trust were brought it to rectify!  I did not bother telling her that Canal & River Trust took over eight years ago, and things were now a lot worse as she had obviously been well brainwashed!