Massive decline in the state of our canals

Published: Thursday, 13 August 2020

MY HUSBAND and I have owned a narrowboat now for 14 years and have noticed a massive decline in the state of our canals and locks, write Peter and Janet Tkaczuk.

When we first started you would get the occasional lock not working properly or areas badly needing dredging, on the whole not bad but slowly but surely year by year the situation has worsened.

Big top salaries

Like a lot of charities (I worked for one) it is a constant struggle to raise funds admittedly, but there is always money for big top salaries and daft ideas thought up by people who do not have the canal at heart.

Every week we are reading about broken locks, poor facilities (toilets and rubbish stations not maintained and in terrible state), but what has prompted me to write is an article in the Telegraph by Mr Parry championing the towpath.

He states people should be encouraged to walk and cycle the towpath to stem obesity, diabetes and any other health complaint you may have, jumping on a popular bandwagon at present.

Poor funding for us boaters

CaRT does not give a toss about people's health, it is just an excuse for poor funding for us poor boaters who actually pay over £2,000.00 a year for the privilege of being on the water.

We have personally been harassed by yobs walking the towpath, cyclist zooming along no bells, damage to our boat, abuse for asking people to remove their rubbish or to stop stoning the wildlife.  Only recently I have seen articles in the papers where a pregnant woman and a homeless person were pushed in the canal and two reported rapes on the towpath, not to mention loose dogs.

Go to rack and ruin

CaRT is obviously going to let the actual canal go to rack and ruin under the present regime, so let us cruise the canal for free the same as the walker/cyclist and you can do what you want, just stop all the bullshit.