Can you plan a cruise?

Published: Wednesday, 08 March 2023

IT'S MARCH now and we are busy planning our three longish cruises for the year, writes Roger J Spurr.

At the back of my mind is how we deal with the frequent stoppages due to CaRT's 'wait till it fails" policies.
It seems to me that adding two or three days extra slack to any cruise is necessary to be sure that getting home on time is a reasonable goal as you would anyway to allow for a duvet round the prop!

Regular annual restrictions

What really gets to me now though is the regular annual restrictions on cruising hours overseen by padlocking paddles.

In the summer months it's lovely to cruise and lock through in the cool of an evening with few other boats and less rush. Similarly at times its nice to get an early start especially if very hot weather is forecast for midday onwards.

This of course is often curtailed unless you have a computer like ability to plan and access to long pounds.

The major point of cruising is the lack of overview and control that is rapidly reaching into every other element of normal life.

Inconvenience and annoyance

But I doubt anyone at CaRT understands this inconvenience and annoyance to we boaters and hirers who have paid a thousand pounds to the trust, probably three times more than the road licence.

I'm also not sure that walkers and cyclists who freely use the towpaths are catered for equally outside of urban areas where they seem to have taken over the boundaries of the cut.

Towpaths in many isolated and rural lengths being very muddy, overhung by foliage, segregated from the canal by high growth or eroded to the extent that cycling is impossible and walking if not dangerous then not attractive to casual leisure adventurers.

Without adequate funding

Like everything else in this country CaRT has been left without adequate funding, sold off the silver, and dabbled with obscure money pit commercial and environmental initiatives.

And nobody of any influence or power seems bothered.