Victor asks if it was a boater(s) who damaged that lock gate

Published: Saturday, 06 March 2021

IN OUR report of the damage to the Radcliffe Lock gate it was suggested a boater(s) attempted to move it, and so it was damaged.

Which has brought a strong denial from David Fenton who was stuck in his boat on the Soar waiting to get to services, who tells us it was the contractors who were 'pushing and pulling' the gate, he thought to move the silt.

Whilst he was there he saw no boaters attempting to get through, but being told that it would be a long job as the men were waiting for a dredger, he reversed back up the cut to the river and turned back, for as a continuous cruiser he had no definite destination so could get services elsewhere.

Capability of contractors

With two other supposed repairs failing during the week—the coffer dam on the Aire & Calder and the lift bridge at Chadderton on the Rochdale and not forgetting the dropping of a couple of lock gates, coupled with the now long delays of the various breaches it makes you wonder at the capability of the contractors that are now let loose on our waterways.

There is one thing though, that plenty of reasons (excuses) are given, as I discovered spending a little time going through the past articles in narrowboatworldhere's what I discovered concerning the many stoppages:

'...discuss suitable methods of repair''undertaking of works inspection''closed for four weeks to facilitate repair'several months to repair'—'investigations are currently underway''team to form a method of repair''engineers continuing to work towards a resolution''currently working on design details''now established a design'.

Know what they are doing?

I have to askdo these 'reasons' really seem as though the people know what they are doing?  What it really seems is that they are floundering as these contractors, brought off building sites and such like, have no idea of the structures of the waterways. 

It was the former British Waterways engineers that had no need to 'discuss suitable method of repair', 'working on design details' and having to 'work towards a resolution'.  For they knew what they were doing and knew the solution.  But Canal & River Trust, in its very suspect wisdom, decided otherwise, so uses contractors instead.

Contractors, who it has been shown time and time again are not very good at all, and no comparison to those whose job it was in those days of old to keep the waterways operating successfully, but more importantly—continuously.

Victor Swift