Where next for CaRT's 'Arch'

Published: Friday, 05 January 2018

IT IS to be hoped that the next place where Canal & River Trust place its latest money wasting scheme 'Arch' is better than the first!

Carts ArchThis Arch, depicted in Maffi's photographs is supposed to welcome visitors to the Trust's waterway, proclaiming 'A wondrous world awaiting', with it's opposite side telling 'Share your hidden world'.


It's a 10ft high erection part built in a workshop of box construction with illuminated lettering across the top section powered by solar panels, with its idea to welcome people to its waterways.

However, its first location was soon discovered to be somewhat of a failure as it took anyone venturing to a part of the Oxford Canal that was far from 'wondrous', being overgrown and packed with mostly scruffy boats, so before long it was moved—to where we know not, but we will allow Maffi himself, who was present at its erection to describe:

Arch rear2Nothing exciting to see

"The Hidden Treasures that people were being invited to visit can look very nice, but currently it is overgrown and untidy. So really nothing exciting to see. The arch entices people to 'explore' and when they get there it is just another dirty old muddy ditch edged with a number of boats some of which float only by the grace of God and haven’t seen a paintbrush or soapy water for a good many years.

"On the Saturday I saw many people come through the arch on to the towpath and most of them barely walked 50 yards. As you get to the overspill at the end it stinks like a sewer. Come on CaRT all the flash signs in the world are wasted if the 'prize’ stinks like the last visit to the dunny!"

Moved to another location

Asked the cost, the foreman on the job told Maffi it cost £4,000, but will only be there a short time then moved at a further £4,000 to new location. We don't know the cost of the thing itself. But just how many other gateways will be the same size as the one on the Oxford, so if different will they have to be redesigned for the Arch to fit? More cost?

It all boils down to more and more waste of money, whilst navigations are 'closed indefinitely' and stoppages pile up one after the other, so we must agree with Maffi when he exclaims—I despair!