Victor reckons CaRT should bend a little on removing boats

Published: Saturday, 25 March 2023

LIVEABOARD boaters presently moored at Bridgwater Docks on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal have orders to quit.

BridgwaterDocksCanal & River Trust's lease expired in March 2021 but they were allowed to stay without payment under an 'approved extended stay’ arrangement', with its council owners stipulating all boats must leave after the lease expires.

As it has now expired all ten boats are due to be removed to Bridgwater Marina following the trust's edict:

'According to the Trust records, you do not have a mooring where you can lawfully leave your boat and as advised in our previous letters, The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal is not suitable to meet the requirements of a 'continuous cruising' licence.

"You should now remove your boat from waterways owned and managed by Canal & River Trust, within 28 days of this letter. Should you fail to remove your boat the Trust may start court proceedings to get an order that will enable the Trust to remove your boat from its waterway'.

BridgwaterTauntonThe trust states it has been helping the affected boaters throughout this difficult period by looking at options for new permanent moorings along the canal and keeping in regular contact, it admitting:

"Unfortunately, the nature of the canal means that options for extra permanent moorings are limited.

"Similarly, the length of the canal also means that it is impossible for the boats to meet the guidance for boats without a home mooring by continuously cruising from place to place. So, boats on the canal need to have a home mooring.

"Unfortunately, having exhausted the options available, it meant that a small number of boats without a home mooring were required to leave the canal by January 31, 2023."

The canal is only 13.5 miles long so is not sufficient for normal continuous cruising.

And that's the problem, that except for the expensive marina moorings, there are few other moorings on the perhaps the trust should for once bend a little and allow a somewhat 'limited distance' continuous cruiser licence for those that want it...

Problem solved.

Now it's two days notice for lock operation!

Such is the state of available manpower that boaters now have to give two days notice to operate certain locks.

And the worst locks available too—those leading on to and off the tidal Trent.

sout cromwellFrom last Friday it was decided that locks connecting with the tidal river would need two days notice for access, including Cromwell Lock off the non tidal river (pictured) and Torksey Lock off the Fossdyke Canal.

And even Boston Lock off the Witham now requires the two days notice.

And worseall under varying opening and closing times.

So if you book don't be lateas you can well be with the fluctuating tides.  Then stuck somewhere or other on what could be a dangerous tidal river.

I wonder? Will either the Chesterfield Canal or Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation be next? Or perhaps they already arewho knows?

Why not?

Now I wonder, why is it that CaRT never offers any sympathies to the dependents of all the dozens of people that drown in its canalsthree already this year, but ner a word...

Victor Swiftstill telling tales after 23 years!