Off with our heads

Published: Thursday, 10 May 2012

HERE is a picture of the latest Health & Safety lunacy—a hand rail support designed to chop off boaters heads!

Readers will know of the knee-jerk reaction to fence-off all boaters' bridges on the Staffs & Worcs Canal after a lad died rashly attempting to ride a bike over such a bridge at Stourport.

Dangerous for boaters

But British Waterways is taking this to extremes, now making it dangerous for boaters, as Rod Fox's photograph of the support for the hand rails of the boaters' bridge just erected at Falling Sands Lock shows—how long before a boater loses his of her head?

The person steering the boat shown in the photograph is under six feet, and the support would injure him, so what happens when a taller steerer with his attention diverted crashes into the sharp edge of the RSJ steel support?  He or she will be dead.

The 'guillotine'

Picture the situation in an hire boat—a person is steering the boat out of the lock, then suddenly up pops another with say a cup of tea, with his/her back to the bow just as the stern is approaching the 'guillotine'...

Readers of narrowboatworld will be well aware of British Waterways' very much suspect decisions, but this is the most dangerous of all, and the support should be removed without delay, before a boater is either very badly injured or killed.

Tom Crossley