The Floater January 2017

Boaters fight private bill that would allow Middle Level charges

January 2017 - Peter Underwood looks at a battle between boaters and bureaucrats in the Fens

Plans to start charging boats using the Middle Levels - a system of navigable drainage channels, linking the River Nene with Cambridge, are being challenged by boating organisations including the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA)

Lanky lovers battle on

January 2017 - Frank Sanderson reports

​A cold but fine day saw two teams of volunteers out and about clearing brash from two sections of the in-filled section of the Lancaster Canal, near Kendal.

One team continued the clearing at Larkrigg Hall Park, south of bridge 180 and burning the brash to open up and let in light on the canal bed to encourage wild flowers.

Was HSE told the whole truth?

January 2017 - Allan Richards looks at another example of the Canal & River Trust's interaction with the Health and Safety Executive.

Ken Churchill’s narrowboat, Patafea Percosa, sunk after hanging up on the wall at Lock 40, Newton Bank, Leeds and Liverpool Canal on 10 August 2012.

Despite settling his claim against them out of court four years later, the Canal and River Trust still insists it has done nothing wrong.

What C&RT wants you to know

January 2017 - By Peter Underwood

Here is a round up of the most recent Canal & River Trust press releases, they form a snapshot of what the charity wants the outside world to focus upon. Peter Underwood sees the waterways through C&RT lenses.

Bridge repair

The Trust is repairing the Acton swing bridge, near Northwich, from January 23. It carries the busy A49 road over the River Weaver Navigation and, as a result the Trust isn't paying for the work and the £1.5m cost will be paid by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Tunnel to be narrowed to widen towpath on high-speed cycle route

January 2017 - Peter Underwood reports on a plan to prioritise towpath users at the expense of boaters.

Planet police officer given no guidance on bailiffs

January 2017 - Allan Richards follows up his investigation into the events surrounding C&RT's seizure of an historic lightship.

The ineptitude that has surrounded the handling of the dispute between the Canal & River Trust and the owner of the historic lightship Planet continues to engulf those involved.

One boat - two businesses

January 2017 - By Peter Underwood

The Floater takes a look at canal traders – people creating businesses on our canals and rivers. Their numbers are increasing almost daily and the chances are you will see a floating market or a sole trader on the canal at most times of the year.

Welcome to The Canal & River Turst

January 2017 - Allen Richards investigates

Pointing out other people's mistakes in type is always fraught for a news organisation – which makes enough errors of its own – but Allan Richards has braved the fates as this time a simple transposition of letters has wider implications.

It is a standard part of the argument when some continuously cruising boaters question the Canal & River Trust's policies: “You accepted the terms and conditions when you paid for the licence – you can't complain now.”

Lack of London facilities unites IWA and Bargee Travellers against C&RT inactivity

January 2017 - By Peter Underwood

A survey conducted by the Canal & River Trust into London's boaters has brought together boaters organisations in unprecedented alliance – all calling on the charity to get on with providing more facilities and moorings in the capital.

Tower Hamlets council also wants to 'educate' boaters

January 2017 - by Peter Underwood

London's local councils, especially in the increasingly 'hipster' areas of the capital are attempting to have a greater say in how boaters live on the canals passing through their areas.

Club's campaign gets stuck in - again

January 2017 - By Frank Sanderson

Whilst the Canal & River Trust steadfastly refuses to regard the Lancaster Canal's Northern Reaches as anything more than a water supply and the official canal society seems impotent in the face of the Trust's intransigence one man continues to simply get on with restoration.

​Colin Ogden and his Facebook Group Owd Lanky Boaters have the bit between their teeth and , true to form, Colin Ogden has now started work on Natland Hall bridge 182 on the in-filled section of the Lancaster canal.

Half a million to fix a lock

January 2017 - By Peter Underwood

Big river locks are expensive beasts and the Canal & River Trust has just begun a £500,000 project to repair Brick Lock, on the River Stort near Roydon.

One of 15 locks on the Start navigation, Brick Lock was built in 1769 and now has deteriorated to the extent that one whole wall needs to be taken apart and put back together – although project Manager Colin Perks insists there is 'no immediate threat.'

New CRT Head of Legal has a good memory

January 2017 - Allan Richards digs into some intriguing metadata

A Freedom of Information Act request has resulted in publication of the letters from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) – and shown what an excellent memory the Canal & River Trust's Head of Legal has.

C&RT threatened with criminal prosecution following Pontcysyllte death

January 2017 - Allan Richards investigates

The Health and Safety executive has confirmed that an ongoing investigation into one of the recent deaths at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct may result in criminal prosecution. On 31 May 2016, 18 year old Kris McDowell fell to his death from the World Heritage Site Aqueduct.

Question time for the boating team

January 2017 - Allan Richards recalls promises made

Do you have a question you would like to ask C&RT’s boating team? Would you like to take part in a live Q&A session?

Trust forced to produce an equality policy

December 2016 - By Peter Underwood

After years of ambivalence about it's responsibilities under the Equality Act of 2010 it seems the Canal & River Trust may have finally been forced into adopting proper policies.

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