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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Just on the Clyde.
    Posts
    691

    Default Canals closing in Scotland

    In Fridays Daily Express front page is reporting that due to lack of investment in the Scottish canal system there may be closures and a great deal of disruption for users.
    Lack of investment has left parts of the canals unsafe to use. Funnily enough they were taken over by the Scottish government SNP only a few years ago and it would appear that they see no advantages in investing enough to keep them running.
    There isnít enough money to repair the pot-holes on the roads let alone the pot-holes in the canals. If there are too many pot-holes in the canals theyíll be no water end of problem.
    The Forth and Clyde is no longer open all the way from Grangemouth to Bowling due to safety issues.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    17,091

    Default Re: Canals closing in Scotland

    A very gloomy article along similar lines in today's Herald:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/1...osed_to_boats/

    In a new strategy document, Scottish Canals said that maintaining navigation across the network is “unsustainable”, and will be replaced with a strategy that does not involve the movement of boats.

    Scottish Canals said the 137-mile network needed to be looked after “for the benefit of the many as well as the few” and that might not include navigation. The strategy says: “Historically our approach has been to maintain all of the canals to a similar level of service, maintaining navigation and supporting a variety of additional uses. “While this has been achievable in the short term, it has resulted in a growing backlog of work and further deterioration in the serviceability of assets. Maintaining this approach is unsustainable."

    “Consideration must be given to the primary use and function of the various canals, recognising the wider benefits to the greatest number of people”.

    “This may not necessarily include navigation, although this is an important consideration.”

    According to the strategy, the two main canals will be the Caledonian and Crinan Canals, that between them see some 85,000 boat movements a year, compared to a mere 200 on the western section of the Forth and Clyde Canal between Glasgow and Bowling.

    I can't find the strategy document referred to anywhere on the Scottish Canals website. There is nothing along those lines in the "Policy & Strategy" section (https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/cor...egy-documents/) and the most recent overall plan is from last year and doesn't use the word "navigation" at all.
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,881

    Default Re: Canals closing in Scotland

    That's a pity.
    I have recently re discovered the Forth and Clyde Canal. I recall it as a disused repository for shopping carts. Shortly after it closed. I remember seeing a dump truck which had fallen through the wooded bridge at Dorchester. A fair amount of money must have been spent cleaning The canal up and making the locks serviceable again. The Bowling Sea pool was still functional.

    I walked from Annies land, Through Mary Hill past Firhill to Spiers Warf the other day and it was quite a nice way to pass through Glasgow. Not much boat traffic just 3 kayaks. a few ducks and swans. A lot of cyclists. But some nice canal boats down in Blowing and at Spiers Warf.
    Also walked from the Kelvin Aqueduct down to the Riverside museum again a beautiful walk. I saw salmon parr in the Allender and Kelvin. Changed days.
    Unfortunately it would appear the lifting bridges are NFG.
    It would be a shame to see this go back to the disused tip it was which would have avoided walking along.

    I have not been to the Falkirk wheel or the Kelpies. Yet again it seams a shame to let it fall back into disuse after putting all this into place.
    Had a walk along the Canal at bowling as well. The Canal pools at bowling looked nice. but the Sea pool looked pretty bad with a few old wrecks sunk in it.
    Looks like a good spot to put a Marina if you get rid of the wrecks. Of course its in Bowling. In isn't Greenock.
    Apparently you can navigate from Falkirk wheel to Grangmouth or Edinburgh.

    Its not just boats who use this canal or benefit from its use. But the usability of the canal by boats appears to be important to keeping it respected enough to not just fill it with old shit and shopping trolleys.
    Last edited by Uricanejack; 23-06-18 at 01:16.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    5,456

    Default Re: Canals closing in Scotland

    It is not just resources, though these are limited, it is the way thy are used. Several years ago the outdoor staff on the Crinan asked for a wage rate to equate to the skills the maintence jobs demanded, carpentry, dry stone dyking, welding etc. This was refused so they stopped doing maintenance, half finished landings are taped off, replacement swing bars are lying rotting in the grass, jettys are unusable because of rust nails and rotten timber while the replacement decking is still sitting around. A couple of recently recruited guys are doing some stuff but most of it has been left. A while ago it was reported that their wages were cut, so attitudes have hardened.
    We had a visit from the chairman of the quango a couple of years ago, he refused to answer any meaningful questions and gave the impression of intolerant arrogance, a real posterior aperture. There are no transits most months in winter but the Canal remains open and manned though hours are reduced, they just do not do any of the winter tasks they used to. At the same time substantial sums have been spent by Sustrans on the towpaths, they have new leds every 3m. set in to the surface all the way from Ardrishaig to Lochgilphead so when the Canal eventually fails there will be a cycle path along its route. The former 'Canal House' was a hotel, it was vacated about ten years ago and since has been boarded up and is now derelict, they had appointed an estate agent in Edinburgh who at the time did not have a website to find a new tenant? Meanwhile a £ million has been found to convert an old egg packing shed hidden behind the Canal office into a 'Gateway to Argyll'. Considerable sums have been spent on feasability study after study, with no action.
    Whether this can be laid at the door of the SNP is questionable but they did set up the quango and must have had a role in who was appointed to run it. If they could be persuaded they were being blamed for it they might do something? But then a month or so back with great fanfare they trumpeted the appointment of the CEO of Scottish Canals to run Scottish Enterprise, so the rot will spread?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Clyde
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Canals closing in Scotland

    A quote from Scottish Canals twitter feed.

    "Scottish Canals
    @scottishcanals
    We're the custodians of Scotland's canals - a vital part of our nation's rich heritage, contributing #CanalMagic to Scottish life for 250 years."


    Like all aspects of our current political regime... "Full of sound and fury signifying nothing"

    Very very sad to see such a decline. Especially so if it is on your door step.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    17,091

    Default Re: Canals closing in Scotland

    Quote Originally Posted by Uricanejack View Post
    Unfortunately it would appear the lifting bridges are NFG.
    They used a lot of high-tech solutions in the rebuilding (hydraulically jacked bridges, the drop lock) to avoid doing civil engineering which, in the long run, would probably have been a better choice. Road embankments don't often break down ...

    Had a walk along the Canal at bowling as well. The Canal pools at bowling looked nice. but the Sea pool looked pretty bad with a few old wrecks sunk in it.
    It was MUCH worse before the rebuilding. Nowadays its a few wrecks in the west end of the basin; then it was lots of wrecks in both ends. Picturesque, but not great for navigation.

    I would be much more tempted to make a transit if there was an affordable, professional mast-lowering-transporting-and-raising service.
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

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