Victor asks why the Toddbrook repair was not put out to tender

Published: Saturday, 23 October 2021

SO THE repair to the spillway on Toddbrook Reservoir is going to cost between £12 and £16 millions!

And it is being done by Canal & River Trust's contractors, Keir.

ToddbrookBrokenBut why wasn't a contract of this magnitude put out to tender?  You may remember this is the contractor that took five days to put two wooden strips on gates on a lock on the Leicester Section, and now seem to take them from Monday to Friday with about every stoppage it attends to, whilst CaRT's own team do them in hours or a couple of days at the most.

The company was over a year late too in fulfilling its contract to expand the M1 to four lanes up to junction 29.

So the betting is that the cost will be nearer £16 millions than £12.

This does not seem right to me.

Going electric

So in keeping with virtually everything else the waterways are going all electric says the government.

Which means every single boat will have to get rid of its diesel or petrol engine and install an electric one, at a cost that will get rid of around half of them straight away—ours included.

I'm not going to attempt to go into a boat's usage of electric power, especially that of continuous cruisers, all I know is it needs four hours running during the day to provide enough power to last us the afternoon and evening with the refrigerator, a bit of telly and say the Mikuni on for a little heating should it become too cold.

So as an electric motor cannot use and charge electricity at the same time, boaters are going to be in a bit of a mess.

Perhaps loads and loads of batteries and an afternoon at a charging station would solve the problem, and it will be a problem with the thousands of boats on the waterways all wanting to plug in.

As to CaRT and the EA installing the hundreds of power points needed.  I leave that to your imagination.

ElectricBoatGone electric

Coming back from our cruise along the Trent & Mersey we met an electric powered narrowboat at Stenson that was busy charging its batteries with a petrol generator!

But I reckon it then had enough power as the next day it came oh so slowly past us as we were moored for the night.

The next time we passed it was in the side as shown, going nowhere.

Then a week later we espied it in Sawley Lock, but alas tied to another boat that was providing the power.

Okay, I do realise there are now trip boats that are electric powered. But of course they don't need the power of a lived-in boat and are obviously stuck in a power point all night!

How much longer

It is a fortnight since the breach on the Leeds & Liverpool between bridges 109 and 110 and though one of the major flights is now workable, the others are either still under strict restriction or have not enough water for navigation.

At this rate CaRT's guessing that the breach will not be repaired until next Easter is looking more and more likely!

Victor Swift