It's a bit low Victor

Published: Monday, 25 October 2021

IT IS pleasing that narrowboatworld has reminded everyone of the Toddbrook incident which CRT, Defra (as CRT's major funder) and EA (as reservoir regulator) have all tried to sweep under the carpet, writes Allan Richards.

Correctly identifield cause of failure

It says much that a member of the public, Graham Aldred, correctly identified that evidence of the root cause of failure was in plain sight.

It also says much that, whilst the incident was attracting world media attention and the site received visits from the prime minister and leader of the opposition, CRT chair Allan Leighton and Chief Executive Richard Parry were very conspicuous by their absence.

Any attempts, by myself or others, to find out what really happened have been blocked using the terrorist card by both CRT and the EA. The suspicion is that CRT staff reported what the public could see but the trust failed to act on it.

Toddbrook to cost £24 millions

I note that Victor reports the cost of repairing Toddbrook as between £12 and £16 millions. However CRT's 2019/20 Annual Report shows that the trust spent £5.1m on containment costs during the year with a further £19.3m provision for future repair and rebuild. That's £24.4 millions.

... but of course that is just Toddbrook. The trust has another 71 reservoirs some of which have also been found to be at risk. Take for example the Earlswood reservoirs on the Northern Stratford where CRT bodged a two landslip repair a few years ago (Victor: Toddbrook type dams need urgent attention). According to a recent press release, CRT have now spent £1.6 million strengthening 'the core of the main dam ... to improve its resilience during flood events'.

A £70 millions iceberg

However, Earlswood is just the very small tip of a very large iceberg. Although the secretive Canal & River Trust has made no public announcement, it is know to be recruiting reservoir engineers to oversee £70 millions of projects over the next five years to make its reservoirs safe.

With its bid for £220 millions extra funding from the Treasury now dead in the water (Has CaRT’s government bid for £220m extra funding failed?) one can only wonder where the money is coming from.

No doubt any attempt to find out more will be met with the CRT joker—the very dog eared terrorist card.