Vindication—broad beams severely curtailed from the Oxford Canal

Published: Friday, 12 February 2021

THE Canal & River Trust has finally and officially realised that the north Oxford Canal is too narrow for the wide beam boats, writes Kevin McNiff. 

These boats are using it to get to and from the marinas at Only and Barby Pools from Braunston. 

Not followed through until now

When I pursued this issue in 2018 all the way up to the Ombudsman, it was decided that policy was not to disallow these widebeam boats so he couldn’t rule against them. One of the options I put forward at the time was to find a way to control and inhibit them from being out on the waterway for any length of time, but it was not followed through until now.

Passage must now be pre-booked in a similar way to Braunston, Blisworth and Saddington tunnels for broad beams. The trip must be completed without stopping along the canal and it will no doubt need similar stewards at each end to prevent other craft from travelling against the direction of movement.

Gigantic access should have been rejected

It would never have come to this if the plans put forward showing the gigantic access and turning area had been rejected at the outset.