Birmingham boat ban overturned

Published: Wednesday, 27 July 2022

THE Canal & River Trust decision to ban boats from mooring along the route of the Queens Baton Relay in Central Birmingham on Wednesday 27th July has been lifted.

IanLanewithBatonThe ban prevented boats mooring around the Mailbox and Sea Life Centre, Birmingham New Main Line, Salvage Turn Bridge to Aqueduct 6, Holiday Street on Worcester & Birmingham Canal, Bar Lock Footbridge and Gas Street to Brewmaster's Bridge.

Allan Richards tells us that National Association of Boat Owners' vice chair, Anne Husar contacted John Horsfall who has just replaced Adnan Saif as the Director for West Midlands regarding the matter (Is Canal & River Trust ashamed?)

[The photo shows Ian Lane carrying the Queens Baton at Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton.]

Ian Lane

On Allan's recommendation, she later contacted Ian Lane. It was Ian who speedily replied with Anne posting on Facebook:

"... Ian Lane of CRT has apologised for the stoppage notice on the 27th around Birmingham and the Baton Relay. Look out for a revised notice, all visitor moorings apart from a few will be available to use. The first stoppage message was inaccurate."

Allan had previously written:

"Over the years, West Midlands has had 'boater aware' management. Both Dean Davis and successor, Ian Lane, came from a waterways maintenance background and showed an appreciation…

…within the budgetary constrains imposed. As for Saif, he has just ignored boaters since his appointment. This is not really surprising when you hear what CRT says about him."

Some might take the 'inaccurate' claim with a pinch of salt. However, Allan tells us such 'cock-ups' have been a 'feature' in West Midlands Region since Saif replaced Lane four years ago. The latest occurred just days before Saif's fall from grace with him tweeting on 19 July:

"We've got low water levels on the Wyrley & Essington Canal near the Cannock Extension, the Daw End Canal and the Rushall Canal. Our water management team are doing all they can to manage the situation. Please can boaters not move until the levels have recovered."

...only to be corrected by his own staff:

"We’re actively bringing up the water levels and are expecting to be back at normal summer levels in the next day or so. In the meantime, the whole stretch remains navigable, so you are welcome to proceed with caution. Sorry for any confusion caused."