What a crying shame their procedures can't get it on Waterscape before the weekend - how hard can that be, really. Couldn't they pay some officestaff overtime in view of its importance ?
Current arrangements could easily (from my reading of it) allow someone to unknowingly be moving, or about to move, North of Lock 49 or South of Lock 39, and effectively end up "locked in" when it could so easily have been avoided. Moreover as winding will be impossible below 49, anybody who unwittingly ends up there either faces a (very) long reverse back through several locks or...... (well no other option, really!......)
I'm not trying to shoot the messenger, Jim, as I know you will have indicated firmly to Whyatt the issues of no advanced warning, but honestly, if nothing is being done to stop people ending up "in a bad place" what a mess, really.
I've emailed Jeff Whyatt to find out why boaters were given such short notice of the closure and he's kindly sent me a timetable of events leading up to the closure.
At then end of each boating season, late December, when lock movement is down to almost nothing, there is usually no extraction of water from the reservoirs into the canal. However, this year it was noted that the Tring summit was still demanding water at a much higher rate than would be warranted by the minimal lock movements.
Detailed recording was carried out over the Christmas break where it was discovered that 220 lockfuls of water per week were disappearing!
The first week back after the holidays was spent in deciding on the best course of action and further investigations revealed the true reason (see my first post) for this water loss.
On Friday last week BW met waterways business and modified their emergency plans. (Originally BW was going to lower the whole of the summit, including Cowroast marina) and on Saturday they met local boaters, who used this forum and the towpath telegraph to spread the news.
It could be argued that with all their sophisticated water monitoring equipment BW should have been aware earlier of the extent of the huge loss of water from the summit. Also, as Alan has pointed out, an extra couple of days' warning might have made a great deal of difference to boaters' plans. Notices on locks at strategic points would have been the easiest solution, since not everyone has access to Waterscape.