Victor: How many are closed now?

Published: Saturday, 01 May 2021

I RECKON it was a bad decision by CaRT to published that 21 of its canals had stoppages at the start of the season.

It certainly wasn't very good public relations, even though one was repaired, that was rather quickly negated by our Keith Gudgin reporting four more were closed in one day!

Boaters are asking how many are actually closed now and where they can cruise, to which I can only remark that I just haven't a clue.

It obviously has to be well over 20 and I can only agree with Keith who reporting yet another closure, this time on the Huddersfield Broad, remarked that it seems there are now more closed than open.

It is getting absolutely preposterous with so many canals closed preventing their use, and surely Canal & River Trust have to realise that its 'wait until it breaks then mend it' policy has proved a complete failure, and clearly shows that the British Waterways method of putting the maintenance of canals its primary object instead of the many things that CaRT gets involved with these days, is the best and only way to ensure that they are kept open for cruising.

Or isn't that the prime objective any more?

Do we need new keys?

That the old BWB key failed to open structures on the Droitwich Canal and that a brand new key was required is rather worrying

Surely this does not mean all the locks are to be changed on the rest of the waterways and new keys are needed.

What is also worrying is that there was no notice of the change.

It's started

A couple of weeks with no rainfall and in come the restrictions on the leaky Leeds & Liverpool.

For from next Friday all the flights will be locked-up from either 4pm to 6pm depending on the length of the flight then not opened until 10am the following morning—to save water.

CaRT are blaming the 'combined effect of reduced reservoir capacity for essential maintenance and continued low rainfall'.

Ner  a mention of the many leaking lock gates that allow water to drain away over the overflows.

Let's hope it doesn't end up like it did a couple of seasons ago when that waterway was closed all summer.  Remember?

As expected

It was no surprise at all that the damaged culvert on the Llangollen was repaired in just two weeks—and more than anything it showed where CaRT's loyalties are—supplying water to Hurleston Reservoir.

For when it is only boaters who are inconvenienced, repairing a culvert will take months.  Take the failed culvert at Bennett's Bridge (80) on the Shropshire Union that occurred in January and was not repaired until Easter—reckon that up!

One thing though, the Llangollen should be a safe canal to cruise.  Always providing you can get there—and back!

But where?

Not long now until we take our own cruise—but where is the problem.  Our esteemed believes down the Trent is the safest bet, but I'm not too sure as delving into its stoppages I discovered that every single one of its locks has had a problem in the last few years, so not so safe after all.

And anyway, after three hectic forays down the tidal, She Who Must etc will have none of it.

Victor Swift