SO THE total of visitors is now an extra million, making it 9,000,000 visitors to the navigations—according to data!
But what data I ask? Oh, but now it's not visitors walking the towpaths it is visitors within 10 minutes of a navigation!—by bike? (bikes are mentioned) by car? or by foot? We are left in the dark! It's usually walking, which is four miles per hour, that certainly isn't very far in 10 minutes.
I've just had a map of England and Wales at the front of me showing the waterways, and all I can gather from the vast waterway-less spaces, that this is sheer rubbish. But perhaps a forerunner of another million visitors soon added with them reaching a billion, with the 'ten minutes' obviously being dropped from the equation!
But there is more! Also according to data in the past four years there has has been a 30% increase in people using canals for a range of leisure uses including boating, angling, walking, cycling, running, paddle boarding as well as walking the dog and even commuting.
Really? Well, in 2020— four years ago—our John Coxon quoted the trust as stating it had 440,000,000 visitors a year. Then early this month it boasted it had reached 800,000,000, that is obviously an extra 360,000,000 in three years—nearly doubled!
Now we learn it has had a 30% increase in visitors in that time. I don't think so. Reckon it up for yourselves.
But where on earth does this so unreliable data originate? My belief is—think of a number and keep adding a million—ad infinitum... It certainly seems that way.
But rest assured, my friends, no more 'visitor' complaints from me—until it reaches a billion! As of course it certainly will! As that, I reckon, seems the objective
Another thing I believe the trust should cease is these never-ending stoppage updates.
That really do give a negative impression, showing that jobs are taking 'for ever'. After all a 'navigation open' is all a boater wants to see, and not the many and varied reasons—mostly contractors dragging their heels making it last a full week or of course searching for that elusive 'method of repair'...
We have five of them:
Leeds & Liverpool—with the work at Lock 73 taking 'longer than expected'.
Worcester & Birmingham—with a 'contractor now assigned to the landslide'.
Leeds & Liverpool again—with the culvert repairs still ongoing at lock 145.
Shropshire Union—with another culvert (19) leaking.
Staffs & Worcs—yet another culvert packed-up with a 'repair plan in place'.
The trust continuously stating a navigation is closed certainly gives a negative impression. Can't remember when it first came in—not too long ago, and certainly with this lot.
Last Monday the trust would have us believe that Naburn Lock on the Ouse was restricted to 12ft narrowboats! Come Thursday it was 12ft again, but not for a narrowboat.
Then the following day, Friday. it told however 'passage will be restricted to vessels of 12ft beam until further notice', that I don't really get. But one thing is for sure—there will not be many 12ft beam boats available to take advantage.
Victor Swift—telling tales for 24 years.