Chaos on the Coventry

Published: Thursday, 22 October 2020


CHAOS indeed at Atherstone Flight on the Coventry Canal with queues stuck at least until the end of October.

It all started with Lock 2 on the flight out of action owing to a gate collar breaking and a team arriving to replace it, Keith Gudgin reports.

Made a pig's ear out of it

But they made a pig's ear out of the simple task with Chris Phillips telling us that they tried to rehang the gate using winches and only succeeded in dropping the gate in the lock, and so now waiting for a crane to arrive to rescue it!  Chris is backing down to wind then head back to his moorings as there is little access for a crane so it will be a long job.

And so it is proving with an embarrassed Canal & River Trust informing all the boaters in the two queues that 'our teams will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum'.  The minimum being over a week before it can be sorted and the flight reopened again, the first date being 30th October!

AtherstoneChaosClosedBack from a cruise

Our boating colleagues, Steph and Dan White, on their way back from a cruise of the Oxford Canal, were amongst the increasingly many boaters stuck by the chaos, with their photograph above showing the situation of the gate now stuck in the lock and a further one showing the flight is closed.

They tell us that the original problem was a broken collar, but as they attempted to winch the gate out of the lock yesterday it did not work. 

Being at the 'wrong side' of the stoppage Steph and Dan are waiting to be taken back home, leaving their boat amonst the many others until the gate can be rescued and the repair handled properly.

It appear the gate was not securely fastened when being lifted out, so fell off, dropped into the lock and is stuck there until a crane is available to sort out the mess, that once again shows the inexperience that is now so rife.

Keeping up with the trend

The Trust is keeping with its trend of failures this week as this is the fourth so far with a failure of Lock 1 on the Aire & Calder; Bath Top Lock out of action again on the Kennet & Avon; The Atherstone of course; Llangollen Wrenbury Lift Bridge conked again.