Victor: Living in a dream world

Published: Sunday, 28 January 2018

SO THE Canal & River Trust did not get to take over the Environmental Agency navigations.

If those at Cart believed for one moment that they would, all I can say is that they must have been living in a dream world, obviously believing their own propaganda.

But luckily the government ministers saw it for what it was—a cover-up of the real state of todays waterways supposedly in its care.

Alas for Cart, there were others that also contacted the ministers (our Thomas included) together with a few organisations, that told the government the facts of the endless stoppages, the 'indefinite' closing of important waterways and the less and less spend on maintenance.  And also told of its wasted spend instead in its many 'dabbles' into things that are better done by the organisations and professionals specially concerned with such matters.

The EA of course has its own problems, but seems to master them and keep its waterways working, which is more than can be said of Cart—it really was a no-brainer...

We can only hope that Cart sees this outcome as a lesson—to take more care of its waterways.


Being fully aware of the decline since the days of British Waterways, it is difficult to understand why the Inland Waterways Association would want its members who enjoy a decent standard of maintenance from the EA of its navigations to suffer the same fate as us boaters on the Trust's waterways.

Many boaters, and particularly from the Great Ouse Boating Association, have contacted us stating that they do not agree with its officers plugging the IWA policy of Cart taking over their waterway, but no doubt these self same officers are simply toeing the IWA party line.

Which no doubt has something to do with the IWA's far too close co-operation with Cart.

Completely lost the plot

There is little doubt that whoever is in charge of Cart stoppage notices these days just hasn't a clue. We are getting strange numbers instead of places, wrong locations, health and safety and now a 28 miles journey to wind—on a river!—yet with the stoppage notice clearly stating 'navigation open'!

Jimmy Lockwood remarks that someone should 'get a grip', but personally from the way the waterways are being managed these days since it was turned into a charity, the sooner it gets back to the former system the better, with better still, a complete clear-out of those who have either no knowledge or no interest in the waterways whatsoever, and it is obvious that there are now many.

Leave it to the experts

Cart is very concerned about such things as wildlife, ecology and the like, but really it should allow those organisations that know about such things take over from the amateurs at Cart who do little more than cause problems and waste money—that could be much better spent elsewhere.

The dredging of the Pocklington Canal to 'preserve the life of dragonflies' springs to mind—is a good example that its 'experts' just haven't a clue.

It boasted of 15 varieties of dragonfly being present, but its 'experts' of course don't know that a dragonfly spends years under water as a nymph in the canal until it eventually metamorphosis as a winged dragonfly.

So what did it do? It dredged the silt from the bottom of Pocklington Canal—'helping to reverse this decline and in turn see an increase in other wildlife such as dragonflies'—dumped it on the land killing all the living nymphs of countless dragonflies.

You couldn't make it up!


Most of us realise that undertaking all the wildlife, ecology and such like is Cart's belief that it will impress the government (and perhaps allow the take-over of the EA navigations!) but the resulting less of spend on its actual waterways has obviously not impressed the government at all.

But will it get the message and now get back to what it really should be doing?  Don't hold you breath. Common sense comes into it...

Victor Swift