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Thursday 5 June

Today's news from the web

Wednesday 4 June

Today's news from the web

  • Argument over Harecastle tunnel fire-fighters thisisthesentinel.co.uk

    Boaters have criticised firefighters for refusing to come to their rescue when their engine cut out and started smoking in the middle of a two-mile tunnel. ...

Tuesday 3 June

Today's news from the web

  • So this is what BW's ex-HQ looks like now... easier.com

    A striking two-bedroom show apartment has opened at Willow Grange, Barratt North London's exclusive development on a former British Waterways site in Church Road, Watford. ...

  • Regent's Canal bridge cleared for King's Cross renewal building.co.uk

    A disused railway bridge spanning the Regent's Canal was lifted away from the canal last week by one of the UK's largest cranes, in preparation for the first major phase of the 8m sq ft regeneration scheme at King's Cross. ...

  • New exhibition on display at salt works iccheshireonline.icnetwork.co.uk

    A NEW exhibition exploring the history of the Trent and Mersey Canal is on display at Northwich’s historic salt works. ...

Monday 2 June

Out of the mouths of babes (and DEFRA "customer contact" officers)

Civil servants at DEFRA, the Government department responsible for the waterways, have been working overtime responding to boaters' letters about the impending sell-off of Thames lock-houses.

The responses are, of course, all the same, which is largely what you'd expect. There's just one problem with them - see if you can spot it in these excerpts.

Dear [boater],  

Lock Houses
Thank you for your e-mail of 23 May to Hillary Benn. It has been passed to Defra and I have been asked to reply.
British Waterways own 57 houses and have 45 lock sites and some of the houses are not located on the lockside. They have reviewed the operational need for the lock houses, including the impact on boating, water level management and flood risk...

British Waterways will still provide the same standard of service in managing weirs and water levels that are an important part of flood risk management on the Thames...

British Waterways have had one-to-one discussions with all of those affected and are working out transition plans for the next five years...

This is part of a modernisation of the service on the river where they will be changing other ways of working. British Waterways will increase the number of seasonal lock staff when they are most needed in the summer and reduce permanent staff numbers while maintaining the levels of service needed in winter..

British Waterways are changing the way that they work to operate more efficiently... The sale of the lock houses will help them raise income which will be invested in further improvements to their service...

Or do they know something we don't?

Richard Fairhurst  | 3.48pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Cyclists Urged To Take More Care thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

    Signs have been erected on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath asking cyclists to be more considerate to walkers who use the route. ...

  • A great place to live, and you can park your boat on the canal edinburghnews.scotsman.com

    If it gets the go-ahead, the new canal basin at Ratho will have 30 public berths, as well as 118 family homes with three to five bedrooms and a new 60-bed private care home on former greenbelt land around Freelands Road. ...

  • Paving blocks stolen from towpath wigantoday.net

    Bare-faced thieves have stolen a stretch of paving blacks from beside a Wigan canal. British Waterways is investigating the mystery disappearance of more than 15 square metres of heavy stone towpath paving alongside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. ...

  • Full steam ahead at £7m marina thisisderbyshire.co.uk

    More than 100 people have snapped up a spot at a new £7m super-marina in just one week. ...

Friday 30 May

Today's news from the web

  • Cow rescued by boater icsolihull.icnetwork.co.uk

    A COW that wandered into the Grand Union Canal off Jacobean Lane, Copt Heath last Thursday, May 22, was helped to safety by fire-fighters and a boatman. ...

  • Rundown district in £450m revamp news.bbc.co.uk

    A revamp for the Aston Locks area of Birmingham could include a theme park and a new university campus. ...

  • BW to sell off properties? propertyweek.com

    British Waterways, the authority that manages the UK’s canals, is considering a sale of its residential property portfolio, which is thought to be worth up to £50m. ...

  • 'Waterways Watch' on Cheshire waterways northwichguardian.co.uk

    Action is to be taken against those who persist in causing a nuisance on or near the area's waterways. ...

  • Praise For Canal Gem thisisyork.co.uk

    John Craven hailed the Pocklington Canal as the "best for wildlife" in his league of top ten spots, which is featured in the June issue of Countryfile Magazine. ...

  • New footbridge for L&L bdonline.co.uk

    Construction of the £700,000 structure, which spans the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, will begin in August and will be completed by the end of 2008. ...

Thursday 29 May

National Waterways Museum boat collection - the priority list

In our May issue we promised to make the Waterways Trust's draft priority list of boats available for download. After it vanished somewhere in the office computer system, we've now unearthed it again and you can see it here (two-page PDF) - sorry for the delay.

Richard Fairhurst  | 3.39pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Mum Flees Blaze gazetteandherald.co.uk

    A WOMAN and her 22-year-old son are homeless this week after their canal boat caught fire and sank. ...

Wednesday 28 May

BW mooring consultation begins - at last

It's around one year ago that the news first leaked that British Waterways was planning to allocate new moorings through an auction, or tendering system. The system finally went live in the autumn and remains controversial even today.

Now, at last, BW has announced its consultation on the issue, giving boaters a chance to make their views known.

Full details at the BW website. Robin Evans' message in the introduction betrays a surprising degree of exasperation that people haven't responded more favourably:  "It is now time for the debate to move on from 'it's not fair' to consider the subject in more depth and make a genuinely useful contribution to our final decisions." But maybe the lack of what he considers "genuinely useful" responses is an indication that BW is no longer on the same wavelength as most boaters?

Richard Fairhurst  | 6.18pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • National Waterways Museum reopens thisisgloucestershire.co.uk

    Visitors of all ages visited Gloucester Docks over the Bank Holiday weekend to see what the refurbished National Waterways Museum had to offer. ...

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