Victor believes there was not much thought behind the appeal

Published: Saturday, 06 August 2022

WHAT Appeal? You no doubt wonder—the appeal from CaRT for boaters to report leaks to save water.

Coventry leakJust think about it—the only leaks that boaters will see from the waterways are leaking gates so, should boaters take this as the 'leaks' referred to, then the trust will be inundated with reports!

As to real leaks as the one we reported on the Coventry whilst walking the dog, (hence the water in the field pictured) just how many boaters even leave their boats when they moor to be able to spot such a thing and with vegetation being allowed to grow at the waters' edge, less opportunity to both moor and actually see a leak.

So when you really think about it—as CaRT obviously has notit's a daft appeal.

The usual

We are told the usual percentage of the 'canal' closures but for me it needs a pinch of salt as the very small percentage it claims includes rivers that rarely have water problems causing stoppages and tidal rivers that never do.

One thing for sure, boaters planning a canal boating holiday in the near future had better take great care where they venture.

What will affect them is that the most popular canals are either closed or have restrictions, these including such as the Grand Union, the Trent & Mersey and the Oxford.

And as for those poor northern canals such as the Leeds & Liverpool with 85 locks closed, the Peak Forest & Macclesfield with their flights closed, the Rochdale completely closed as is the Huddersfield Narrow, that's a definite no-no.

As for ourselves, we are leaving it as late as possible, with the hope that things improve and we find somewhere to cruise.

Not much sense

Like Roger Fox I too am bewildered at the now annual suggestion from some idiot or other to solve the country's water problem by using the Grand Union to move water from the Trent at Long Eaton down to London.

Someone must surely whisper in their ear that it is 'uphill' from the Trent right up to where Watford Gap is situated by the M1 and the Grand Union Canal. 

Then another 'uphill' from Stoke Bruerne to Marsworth, so the cost of pumping the stuff all those miles would cost a fortune and where would they lay the pipes?  Not by digging up around 100 miles of towpath—CaRT would make sure of that!

Someone should tell him

So CaRT has a new chairman, in the form of David Orr, who tells us:

"The creation of the Canal & River Trust ten years ago has been transformational in the way the waterways are cared for—with more people and more diverse communities using them and involved in their care and upkeep than ever before."

Well, he admits he does walk the towpaths so he should know, but somehow I reckon he has been somewhat misinformed.

My interpretation of the way CaRT 'has been transformational in the way the waterways are cared for' is that they are in a much worse condition that ever before as the alarming number of monthly stoppages testify—and before the water shortage occurred.

Mind you he comes from housing, so perhaps not yet so knowledgable about waterways, eh?

And the Chief Executive Richard Parry did not have much canal experience before taking over Canal & River Trust, being involved with the London Underground.

A good error!

The listing of Atherstone Locks on the Coventry being closed from the 12th of August in CaRT's list of closures and restrictions was an error, it admits.

The locks will not be closed on this date, but have a restriction only.  A good error indeed.

Victor Swift