Caught-out by the online booking

Published: Friday, 01 April 2022

WE ARE newbies to driving boats on the canals and feel that those in charge don't take this into account, writes John Farndon.

My partner and I had taken a boat out at Middlewich and been told to book online to go through that tunnel near Stoke so had done, but was of course not aware how long it would take to get up all those locks to get there as were completely unaware of what it entailed.

Day and half late

The upshot was we were a day and a half late arriving at the tunnel and it was completely closed down and had to wait two days to get a slot that completely spoiled out plans at meeting-up with friends in Stoke and taking them a ride.

I later learned that we could have somehow turned around and gone on another canal, but was not aware of what this entailed so we stuck there which was not very pleasant and eventually got through the tunnel making sure, based on the time it took us to book a slot to come back.

Not very clever

It is certainly not very clever having to pre-book things in view of the impossibility of being able to accurately judge the time it takes to get anywhere, and I was told twice that things break-down regularly and you are prevented from getting to where you want to be that make a mockery of the pre-booking online.

One thing is for sure, we won't be on the canals again, and I am able to publish widely in the publication I work for of the stupidity of how the canals are run.