THE the comments by David Dare in the Daily Telegraph feature on the state of the waterways, where he states the canals are in good condition, have brought responses from boaters using the waterways.
In the feature Waves of discontent on the water, the Telegraph painted a true picture of the waterways today, but of course there were those produced that gave a different view with David Dare of Oxfordshire Narrowboats remarking 'the canals are in a better state of repair now than they have been for the past 20 years'.
Patch it up
It was in early June that boater Roger Guiver pointed out the state of the badly neglected locks on the Claydon Flight on the Oxford Canal, sending us the photograph of 'patch it up best as you can' he sees as the only method seemingly now used to keep it in working order.
It was pointed out that lack of money for maintenance, and local waterway managers being starved of cash means that the waterways are consequently deteriorating rapidly.
Worse state of repair
The comment by David Dare prompted boaters to object, with first Victor Swift, who first disclosed the Telegraph's feature, pointing out he had cruised the canals 18 years ago and regularly now, and the waterways are in a much worse state of repair. His photograph is of a Oxford Canal lock gate.
Boater James Henry complained:
"To say the waterways are in better condition smacked of the official view, for they certainly are not, as my emails to you have shown. I've cruised the Oxford and have just cruised the Trent & Mersey, and it's a mess, the broad locks gates all need re-hanging, and those at Stenson are so hard to close that something has been lodged behind the bottom gates to stop them opening fully, so they can be moved. But you can't get out without opening both gates. Diabolical."
Knows what is wrong
Another boater, Kevin McNiff, who actually moors on the Oxford Canal tells us:
"I moor at Lower Heyford: I use Oxfordshire Narrowboats; I know the parlous state of the South Oxford Canal; And so does Mr Dare as we have shared the concerns many a time while I have been on his wharf. Sadly, he does go out on his narrowboats and does know what is wrong, so how does he balance the comments made?"
This morning (Monday) columnist David Hymers too points out the worsening condition of the waterways, this time the Chesterfield Canal, comparing it with the last time he cruised the waterway.