A 'positive future'?

Published: Friday, 23 October 2020

HOW sad it has become, the Canal & River Trust taking over from British Waterways Board promising a positive future for our inland waterways, writes Brian D Jarrett.

The reality is this grubby charitable trust is proving to be completely incapable of maintaining a navigable canal system around our country and is instead hiding behind its re-profiled and re-branded 'feel good charity'.

Maintenance needs continually addressing

They now outsource most of the maintenance work that needs continually addressing on a 200 year old system, putting profits into these private sub contractors.

Headline quotes '£45 million on winter maintenance' but when broken down how much is spent on H&S requirements and profit element in the sub contractors—how much is left for actual work to be done?

They (CaRT) use to state that boating is the centre of their policy.

Moving back to 'remainder' canal policy

However when one now looks at the continual breakdowns and closures of the system we are rapidly moving back to the 'remainder' canal policy of the old BWB days.

It appears that perhaps the only way to really make this 'trust' change its current direction of travel is for boaters to unite and withhold their licence fees paying them into an escrow account to be held until boaters are involved more closely in the programmed maintenance of the inland waterways and this to also include canal societies, marina owners and hire boat companies.

Whilst they say we only contribute around 10% let’s see if this action might effect positive change.  Certainly trying to communicate with them only gets platitudes and corporate-speak!