Restricting movement of wide beam on the Oxford

Published: Monday, 15 February 2021

I too welcome the measures just announced by CaRT to restrict movement of wide beam craft between Braunston Junction and Hillmorton Locks, writes  Alan N Estherby.

Re (Kevin McNiff 'Vindication—broad beams severely curtailed from Oxford canal').

Wide Beam WilloughbyExperienced difficulty

I have personally experienced difficulty navigating past wide beam craft moored on this stretch of canal and it is good to see that action is being taken to restrict movement of these craft along the North Oxford, and which should prevent them mooring here outside of the marinas. (Picture courtesy of Kevin McNiff.)

Hopefully the need to give notice of movements, and the time restrictions CaRT intend to impose, may prompt wide beam owners who currently moor at the marinas along the North Oxford (the recent Dunchurch Pools especially, which seems to have encouraged wide beams onto this waterway which is unsuited to them) to relocate their boats somewhere more suitable.

Watered down the rules

I am however slightly disappointed that CaRT seem already to have watered down the new rules; the original notice announcing the restrictions stated that two weeks notice would be required before a movement could take place; that was soon reduced to one week. Pressure from the marinas perhaps?

I would also like to see an information board erected at Braunston Turn informing wide beam skippers not to proceed onto the North Oxford unless they are heading direct to a marina. There is one particular wide beam, finished in battleship grey and has a particularly wide beam which regularly moors along the Oxford, creating a bottleneck, that I should like to see excluded from that waterway!