Victor: Cart reticent of telling of its EA take-over

Published: Sunday, 10 December 2017

DEFINITELY bucking its trend, Cart is now keeping a very low profile indeed over its claim to the Environmental Agency navigations.

Ner a single Press Release nor a command from up on high have we heard that it has put in an official claim to take over the Agency navigations, just a piece slipped into its in-house news letter.

In fact it is the IWA that has undertaken its dirty work by writing to the many MPs to flog the take-over,  no doubt as instructed.  The phrase 'Why keep a dog and bark' definitely springs to mind.

But alas, those at the IWA just had to crow, and so had no compunction but to tell all and sundry just how clever they had been, but well and truly letting the cat out of the bag. (My apologies for the dog and cat analogy!) Much, one should imagine to Cart's chagrin, that certainly does not want too many of the Agency's boaters knowing about its intention.  Especially those who have witnessed the state of our waterways...

And of course

And most definitely not wanting the boaters representative, the National Association of Boat Owners knowing, as unlike the IWA is not under Cart's jurisdiction and is well aware of the ever declining condition of our waterways and does not want its EA members landed with the same standard of maintenance.

But now NABO does know, and has lost no time in contacting the All Party Parliamentary Group for Waterways telling of its concerns, very much to Cart's chagrin.

Could be

I just wonder if that plan by Cart to get the Agency navigations is so it can then up the licence cost to that of its Gold Licence, that it charges to cover such as the Thames?

After all, the present licence we boaters pay covers all of Cart's waterways, whether we use them or not, with many over 60ft unable to use most of its northern waterways or broad beams unable to use the narrow locks, but still paying for the lot.

So adding the cost of the Agency licence on top would suit it fine. (I shall resist any more references to our canine friends by not referring to a dog with a bone!)

I wonder why

So there is to be yet another change of regions of the waterways—I've simply lost count of how many since we started boating, but every time it means extra travelling time and the loss of good people.  I well remember when the Devizes office was closed down and moved, losing one of the best managers the then British Waterways had. And the move from Nottingham to Newark, with many refusing the trek there and back every day.

In the old days a new chief executive meant a re-hash of the areas, but now they come fairly regularly, but only seem to result in staff problems and little benefit to the waterways.


Congratulation indeed to John Wallace with his article The magic has gone!  To my mind one of the best ever published by a contributor to narrowboatworld.

He really tells it like it is from actual experience of boating over the years—of the declining state of the navigations and of the worsening attitude of too many boaters, and from our own experience the magic really has gone, clearly proven from the lack of people enjoying the waterways to their becoming little more than somewhere to live.

I shall not comment on every aspect he covers, only to remark that I fully agree with all he states.

Our Thomas must have been impressed too, for a great believer in 'self praise is no recommendation'—you know what I mean 'The best',' No. 1', etc, etc—he has actually allowed John to praise us!  Can't remember when that last occurred!

Wrap up warm

And to the 1,205,000 visitors that Cart would have us believe will visit its waterways today, my advice—wrap up warm and take great care. It will be very cold and very slippy on the ice, and where you have it, snow.

Victor Swift