New towpath mowing regime WILL be detriment to boaters

Published: Thursday, 30 September 2021

REGARDING the article 'Towpath mowing will benefit wildlife', one thing is certain and that is, it WILL be to the detriment of boaters no matter how many times CaRT state the opposite, writes John Coxon.

JohnClaydonReading the article, CaRT states too many times that they are looking after the safety and/or well being of boaters. Then proceed to show by their actions that they have no such policy in mind at all.

Reminds me of the phrase: 'The lady doth protest too much', me-thinks!

Do not have safety of boaters in mind

It is absolutely obvious that CaRT do NOT have the safety and welfare of boaters in mind with this new policy of mowing a corridor through the vegetation on the towpaths and leaving a band to grow high and wild right up to the waters edge. They also state '...there will be no general cutting along towpaths at informal moorings along a canal...'.

JohnLineOfSightIf CaRT had the boaters' safety and welfare in mind then they would cut the corridor back from the waters edge. This would not reduce the width of the overgrown band, just move it inland slightly and place it next to the hedges and fields that would benefit wildlife more and improve access to all users. It's just common sense?

It would also solve the problem of clearing sight-lines (pictured) as this would now be automatic and it would also continue to give their precious cyclists room to maintain their unhindered access to speed along and also allow boaters to get to the bank in safety either to moor or in an emergency? Anglers and duck feeding children will benefit too as they will have safe access to the waters edge.

JohnOxfordDangerous to step off your boat

So much of the towpath surface is badly maintained, damaged, full of pot-holes or has iron bars sticking out etc that it is dangerous to just step off your boat without being able to see what you are putting your foot on or in. Even when you can see the ground it is not always obvious what it's like under the grass or weeds! Many boaters are elderly and a twisted ankle to an 18 years old is a broken ankle, leg or hip to a 70 years old!

No, CaRT's policy is not designed to help boaters or anglers or walkers or wildlife or any other users for that matter. It's just so obviously badly designed by accountants to save CaRT money by not paying contractors to cut all the towpaths every couple of weeks and even worse, that they think we boaters are so gullible that we would actually believe them.

Is not ensuring boaters safety

The trust however maintains that 'ensuring the safety of boaters remains paramount...'. Who do they think they're kidding? Deliberately preventing boaters getting to the safety of the towpath in an emergency is most definitely not ensuring boaters safety. What happened to 'Duty of Care"? Perhaps a few High Court injury claims might make them see sense.

[Instead of choosing the the worse lack of canal-side towpath mowing photographs from various canals, all these are of CaRT's claimed second most popular canal—the Oxford, clearly showing its complete lack of access for boaters. Editor.]