David: No problems—yet

Published: Friday, 25 June 2021

I EXPECT I am asking for trouble.

WhaleyReservoirBut so far, on a trip which has taken us from Napton to Lymm via the Ashby, the Caldon, the Macclesfield and Whaley Bridge, we have been fortunate enough not to be inconvenienced by any of CaRT's multiple stoppages, except for the 'pollution incident' on the Peak Forest (hardly CaRT's fault) and the failure of Fool's Nook Swing Bridge on the Macclesfield (quickly rectified). These, and the odd out of use paddle, are the only problems that have occurred.

We did have to time our passages of Bosley locks carefully, as they are only open in the mornings 'to save water'. This is needed because of the loss of Toddbrook Reservoir at Whaley Bridge, although a volunteer told me that Bosley Reservoir is full. I walked up to Toddbrook while at Whaley Bridge and could see no sign of any work being done to rectify the problem, except for a large quantity of security fencing.

There was no construction plant in sight and the offending spillway still looked as it did when the emergency was first addressed. Perhaps they are still planning a solution—or trying to work out how to pay for it.

NuttsLaneMooringsLack of visitor moorings

I have noticed before that there are no visitor moorings at New Mills on the Peak Forest. This is a pleasant and interesting place, with good shopping facilities. The only moorings there are let as long termsorry 'leisure'moorings and there is no official provision for visitors, unless the sign has been vandalised.

What one is looking for is a new sign like the one at Nutt's Lane on the Ashby; rather ugly and strident, but impossible to miss.

More wide beams

The Trent & Mersey between Croxton Aqueduct and Preston Brook has joined the North Oxford in harbouring unexpected and inappropriate wide beam boats. I passed two of them, one at a boatyard looking as though it was fitting out and the other fully operational and moving.

Although this section of the T&M was once available to wide beams as far as Middlewich, this has not been the case since the 1930s when Croxton Aqueduct was replaced with one only 7ft wide. Sections of this part of the T&M are badly narrowed by reed growth, to the extent that two narrow boats would struggle to pass. Meeting an unexpected wide beam in these circumstances would be unpleasant, if not downright unsafe.

Why is CaRT permitting this? I have asked them via their complaints procedure, as well as the New Mills issue, but so far have only received acknowledgements in reply.