OVER £74,000 has been spent on lock landing stages by the Environment Agency on the Nene that boaters claim are too short.
The old timber landing stages at Wollaston, Denford and Billing locks have all been replaced using materials designed to make them last longer and make them safer for boat users, but it seems the agency believes that only the short cruisers use the river, as they are not long enough to take full length narrowboats.
They include new fibreglass anti-slip decking, new steel deck supports, recycled plastic fenders and new mooring bollards, but will not accept two narrowboats.
Boater Eva Pearson told narrowboatworld:
"The agency does not, or does not want to, realise that more and more narrowboats now cruise the Nene, in fact at one of the few decent moorings by the football ground (pictured) we stayed at, the huge majority were narrowboats.
The agency gets a good screw out of us for using the Nene, so you would think the least they could do was make sure the lock landings would accommodate narrowboats."
Of the replaced landing stages Steve Crooks, from the agency explained:
"The old timber decks became slippery when wet, even when new. Over the years, they become covered in moss, which makes the situation even worse. The new decking has silicon grit bonded in to it to create an anti-slip surface."