"We are looking into establishing a method of repair"

Published: Saturday, 27 March 2021

WITH a new season just around the corner I can see the whole waterways system grinding to a fairly sudden halt for boaters, writes John Coxon.

With CaRT's total lack of any realistic policy towards maintenance we have already reached a situation that will result in anarchy before the season is more than a couple of months old.

WatfordCollapse2Coming home to roost

Their total lack of effective maintenance and, more importantly, response, is now coming home to roost and biting CaRT on their collective incompetent backsides.

Like a row of dominos falling we have failure after failure!  Electrical systems faiIing, lock paddles failing, swing bridges failing, culverts failing and all we get from CaRT is 'we are looking into establishing a method of repair' or some such drivel.

Which leaves locks inoperable, canals blocked by land-slips, swing bridges that won't swing, sections of canal closed because of breaches etc, etc, etc.

Established a 'method of repair' by now

The canals have been around for over 200 years.  Any sensible person would have thought that any competent organisation or department would have established a 'method of repair' by now?  Most failures fall into about half a dozen categories ie: broken paddles, broken lock gates, electrical faults etc. It's not rocket science after all!

Middlewich stranded boatsShortI fear for this season. I fear for the poor boaters on their holidays. It's going to be busy on the canals, with no holidays abroad being allowed, there'll be a lot more people hiring boats.  It is after all a very easy way to keep within your social bubble so to speak.

All the boaters who moor in marinas will be wanting to get out as they've been banned from even visiting their boats for most of the last year.

Strain the system

The influx of all these boats is going to strain the system to such an extent that it will result in the whole lot teetering on the edge of collapse.  There are going to be a lot of ruined holidays because boats are stuck behind the latest stoppage whilst CaRT say they 'are looking into establishing a method of repair'!

9 broke beamBecause of the lockdowns over the last year or so we have just witnesed one of the quietest periods we've had for well over a decade but CaRT have still not been able to cope.

Every week we have been inundated with structrural failures and electrical failures but most of all by their so called engineers failures to promptly fix it or respond with any form of methodology to get it sorted out!  All we get is 'we are looking into establishing a method of repair'

One hell of a mess

We have to ask ourselves will the system be able to take the pressure?  Will CaRT be able to take the pressure?  Well, It's going to be one hell of a mess if it can't!

AtherstoneGateLeansWe have just about one week left to the end of the winter season when things should have been fixed, greased, painted etc. all ready for the new season, but we've already got the Trent & Mersey canal blocked with no opening date organised, the Weaver is just about a no-go area with bridges closed, locks closed, boaters services closed etc. to mention just a couple of waterways rendered unuseable because all CaRT can come up with is 'we are looking into establishing a method of repair'!

Priority work?

But what have we seen CaRT doing during the winter?  Well, we have to admit they have been very busy, they have been very busy changing all their black and white signs to shiny new blue ones! Priority work? Don't make me laugh! it's just a total lack of competence if you ask me!

HattonEmptyKeep an eye on narrowboatworld.com as we will bring you all the latest episodes hot off the press to a screen near you! Watch this space for the next thrilling installment of the CaRT soap opera!

Will it just be a minor failure?  Will it be broken?  Will CaRTs so called engineers have dropped it?  Will the bloke they send to look at it have a clue what to do about it?

Well we can all be certain about one thing, it won't be long coming, there will be plenty of it and somewhere amongst it CaRT will still be saying (all together now)—"We are looking into establishing a method of repair."