Victor: Better use for lock gates

Published: Sunday, 14 January 2018

I SHOULD imagine most of you boaters know of locks—and I purposely use the plural—whose gates need replacing.

Locks, of course, that are well in use. So how come funds are being wasted on replacing the gates on Walbut Lock on the short Pocklington Canal that joins the Derwent in Yorkshire?

The stoppage notice states there will be a towpath closure, but of course not a navigation closure, as there isn't any!

Canal & River Trust flog it as 'the perfect location for a walk with the family, with plenty of wildlife to spot and views to enjoy', but hardly reason for funds being spent on replacing lock gates on a unconnected waterway.

Does he/she know?

With such bloomers in stoppage notices these days I have to ask—does he or she who is in charge of them know what they are doing?

There have been instances of the wrong waterway given and the recent one giving the two turning points of one stoppage as a coded number was ridiculous.

Now we have the lifting—at long last—of the stoppage of the Leicester Section, but it is now the Leicester Line. Mind you, I expect that is better that the Leicester Arm.

It makes you wonder that as these are actually published, does anyone in the offices at Cart actually check them, or more to the point, really know about its waterways...?

Dredged at last

The top end of the Coventry Canal, I am most pleased to relate has been dredged at last. 

The length from Fradley Junction to Streathay has been dredged, and I am told by boaters using it that it is vastly improved, so that part at least is open once again to deep draughted boats without a struggle.

Counting cyclists

Leeds City Council is intent upon getting more cyclists on to the towpath, so wants to upgrade the entire towpath through the city, and to this purpose have installed a cycle counter at a strategic point so, I expect, to show that there is great demand.

The council is installing a chamber along the towpath for this purpose—haven't a clue what that is, unless cyclists have to pass through something or other so as to be able to be counted.

But one thing is for sure, you can guarantee that it will create statistics. I just wonder if those of the council will match those of Cart... 

A bit late

I'm not one for browsing the internet, but I made an exception last week, to see what others were reporting, but I'm afraid not very much. There were those of the waterway mags that were more interested in getting you to subscribe and others seem to have had a sabbatical since late in December, so I learnt nowt.

But the lead story in ITV's Central Waterway News was most revealing, telling us:

'Prince Charles has been speaking about today's launch of the Canal and River Trust. He has previously been involved in canal heritage, working with the Shropshire Union Canal Society on the restoration of a seven mile stretch of the Montgomery Canal'.

Waterway Partnerships

We are told that the Waterway Partnerships are to have a  'greater clarity of purpose' whatever that means.

You may remember that these partnerships were the main reason that the then British Waterways was able to cajole the government into allowing its metamorphosis into a charity.

But alas, the partnerships have been nothing but a drain on finances, as once they had grabbed their £25,000 each they lost all interest is creating an income for Canal & River Trust as they were supposed, but became little more than individual quangos—the very thing the government was intent upon getting rid of.

But what actually do they do?  I tried in Google, but all I came up with was Cart's usual crap—but learnt nothing.

Perhaps someone out there knows?

Victor Swift