Did they enjoy their experience with closures?

Published: Thursday, 22 November 2018

I SEE that Drifters Waterway Holidays is again promoting its boat hire with a 'taster' session, writes James Henry.

But I wonder how many of the estimated 400,000(?) who we are told enjoyed hire boating holidays actually enjoyed their experiences this year with all the closures?  The boat you portrayed was from Shire Cruisers whose base it at Sowerby Bridge, which means for most of the August holiday period one way via the Rochdale was a no-go as it was closed. Luckily they are on the Calder & Hebble so hopefully were able to satisfy customers to a degree.

Not been so lucky

But other hirers especially those using the other northern canals, will not have been so lucky, with the Leeds & Liverpool barely open and the Huddersfield Narrow more closed than open, and even then with impossible times for inexperience hirers to fulfil to get from Huddersfield to the restricted opening of the tunnel.

As for the rest of the system, I read somewhere that at one period Canal & River Trust had 84 closures on its website, though of course some would have been short ones due to its 'wait until it breaks' policy, but all prevent hirers doing what they intended.

Warning of possible closures

I really believe that hire companies, in 'dangerous' areas of closures, should now have a codicil warning of possible closures. Surely it is only fair to prospective hirers who as this year has shown risk having a very curtailed holiday.

Being told by the 'experts' that things are going to get worse owing to climate change, resulting in even more closures, a warning would be considerate.