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Ray T

Canal & River Trust's dredging plans for 2019-20

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PRESS RELEASE

 

3 April 2019  

 

CANAL & RIVER TRUST’S DREDGING PLANS FOR 2019-20

 

The Canal & River Trust is spending £8 million on dredging in the financial year 2019-20 to help keep the waterways navigable for boaters.  The comprehensive programme covers locations identified by boaters, as well as the places that need dredging every year.

 

The Trust will be carrying out dredging work on the following canals over the next year: Oxford Canal (various locations between Enslow and Wolvercote); Grand Union Canal (various locations between Bull’s Bridge and Boston Manor); Upper & Lower Peak Forest Canal (River Tame to Whaley Bridge); Macclesfield Canal (at various lengths); Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal (Sebastopol to Usk Road); Coventry Canal (Coventry Basin to Hawkesbury); Worcester & Birmingham Canal (Diglis to Lea End Lane); Llangollen Canal (spot dredging); and Chesterfield Canal (River Trent to Babworth).

 

Annual maintenance dredging will take place on the River Weaver (including Hunts Lock), the Ribble Link, the River Severn and the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, and throughout the Yorkshire and North East region.  The Trust will also be clearing the River Thames approach to West India Dock, the River Mersey approach to Canning Half Tide Dock, and lock approaches on the River Trent.

 

This year the Trust will also be supporting feeder improvement works at priority locations across the network to maintain water feed – more important than ever given the dry weather over the past few years.  Alongside this, the charity will take on jobs that arise throughout the year and investigate sites for work in the future.

 

Jon Horsfall, head of customer service support at Canal & River Trust, said: “Any boater will tell you how important dredging is, and we agree.  It’s a never-ending task, and a necessary one, as we as work to keep the waterways navigable and stop them becoming silted up.  We listen to boaters’ feedback and we target our dredging accordingly: if we get lots of reports of a problem spot, it will go onto our priority list.  This year we’ll be tackling plenty of places that boaters have told us could do with a little extra attention.  We’ll also be focusing on supporting our charity-wide water saving work by using dredging to help clear feeder channels in key spots.

 

“Please do share your knowledge and experience with us.  Together we can make sure we target our resources to make the biggest difference we can to your cruising, so you can relax and enjoy your time on the water.”

 

The Trust will continue to evaluate the needs of the whole network and in some cases the projects may change. 

 

Boaters can get in touch with the Trust by filling out a webform, calling 0303 040 4040, tweeting @CRTcontactus or getting involved in a regional user forum.

 

-ends-

 

 

Fran Read

National Press Officer

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I don't have any problem approaching any of the Locks on the Trent but there are a couple of places that are 'middle of the MNC' that I hit the bottom.

 

Their own "Dredging Standards" document states that between Meadow Lane & Cromwell the MNC should be dredged to 11 metres x 2.0 metres (6'6" foot) and I only draw 4' 6" with full tanks.

The worst part is Between North Muskham & Holme, but the gravel bank opposite Farndon Marina is getting further & further across the river.

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It would have been re-assuring if they had added somewhere..."We acknowledge that last year we encountered some issues with contractor quality of delivery and can assure boaters that we will not allow those mistakes to be made again...."

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When you have no one competent to supervise Contractors you get seen off, every time.

 

N

  • Greenie 2

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When you have days lost because the contractor cant actually staff the operation with agency staff and have nothing in your contract to stop paying them it says lots about the kind of contracts issued.

  • Greenie 1

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Have they seen Keir's share price?

 

I have reported leaks till I am out of patience, with no physical response, occasionally getting the "we are monitoring" brush off but lately they have stopped responding to emails completely.

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Keir don't do dredging though- that is a separate contract with Land and Water.

 

N

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I thought so, one of Ratherns? motorised skips passed yesterday yet there is no mention of the Middlewich branch being dredged on that list.

 

Keir's work is still leaking onto the A530...............................................

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Wheel out the PR machine.

Cart are just scratching the surface, paying lip service to dredging.

The whole system needs a good dredging not just odd spots.

There are odd spots that don't need doing as they have just been done.

 

Shambles

Edited by Loddon

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5 hours ago, BEngo said:

Keir don't do dredging though- that is a separate contract with Land and Water.

 

N

Last year we were going down the Rufford Branch and CRT were having the canal surveyed post dredging to check the standard https://nbharnser.blogspot.com/2018/04/rufford-bridge-8a-wednesday-25-april.html

4 hours ago, Loddon said:

Wheel out the PR machine.

Cart are just scratching the surface, paying lip service to dredging.

The whole system needs a good dredging not just odd spots.

There are odd spots that don't need doing as they have just been done.

 

Shambles

The Norfolk Broads have a similar problem and can only just afford to stand still, not improve the dredging, Its a major expense disposing or spoil. How they did save money was to buy all May Gurney's dredging plant who had the contract for dredging the Broads and do it in house 

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4 hours ago, Loddon said:

Wheel out the PR machine.

Cart are just scratching the surface, paying lip service to dredging.

The whole system needs a good dredging not just odd spots.

There are odd spots that don't need doing as they have just been done.

 

Shambles

Hope they do more than scratch the surface.

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12 hours ago, Boater Sam said:

I thought so, one of Ratherns? motorised skips passed yesterday yet there is no mention of the Middlewich branch being dredged ..

Its Rothens,  they commissioned lots of new dredging work boats and pans last Summer....but weren't awarded the contract due to CRT giving another new contractor the job......using Rothens new kit 

It was so badly managed, Rothens had to go and fetch their own kit back to the lifting point as the contractor (after doing a rubbish job)just moored them up at the dredging site and left.

 

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19 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Its Rothens,  they commissioned lots of new dredging work boats and pans last Summer....but weren't awarded the contract due to CRT giving another new contractor the job......using Rothens new kit 

It was so badly managed, Rothens had to go and fetch their own kit back to the lifting point as the contractor (after doing a rubbish job)just moored them up at the dredging site and left.

 

If C&RT was a proper business they would be 'wound up' and the board sacked.

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I was employed for quite a few years as a Contract Manager. Mainly County Council contracts. This was as the contractor. If I had CRT as the customer my life would have been no where near as stressful. We had financial penalties awarded against us for not meeting the slightest detail in the contract. And it was enforced. Certainly by some evil bitch in Dorset. The one and only time I have considered how much it would be to get someone bumped off. Blasted woman. Heart attack and bypass operation later, I feel much better. CRT contractors seem to get away with 'murder'. 

  • Greenie 1

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I got involved with a dredging job for Leicester City Council, the dredger driver kept complaining that there was nothing to dredge.  Meanwhile I kept getting stemmed up where it was deep.  Turned out that the survey was being read upside-down.

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9 hours ago, Nightwatch said:

CRT contractors seem to get away with 'murder'. 

I expect this is largely down to CRT relocating their contracts team to Midsummer Wotsit. It was asking for trouble - the place is a bloodbath! The perpetrators will get caught in the end, of course, but at what cost?

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As a project manager I often had to write the specifications and contract. If it wasnt my responsibility then I i ensured that I had a lot of input into the contract.

 

I always insisted on insurance backed guarantees, so that if work was subsequently found to be defective it was easy to rectify. I would ask once for it to be rectified. If the contractor didn't do it or had gone bust, then I got another company to do the work and claimed off the insurance.

 

Not the cheapest way at tender time but definately the cheapest way overall.

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A major contract I managed was a Dorset County Council one. The company I worked for was MITIE. They were well know for undercutting competitors and 'going in cheap' to gain the contract and then down managing staffing levels and other costs. Dorset had it well and truly sown up. I attended mid term meetings at County Hall in Dorchester, which were at times fairly heated affairs, and time and time again I was informed that County advised MITIE to revisit costings with a view to increasing the value of the contract. County wanted MITIE to be awarded the contract but didn't believe that it could be honoured at the proposed cost. MITIE were confident that they (the business development guys, who get their commission regardless) could and would honour their commitment and deliver the service. Then comes Mr Sheep to the Slaughter, the fall guy, the numpty. I tried for 18 months to make it work. It never did. County had, unbeknown to me, got MITIE to agree that staffing levels would not go below agreed levels. I was on a hiding to nothing. After my health blip, and my return to work a position was made redundant, with 75% of the selection process being points for time off. You couldn't make it up. I went to acas and got awarded a token enhancement to my redundancy pay. Hey ho! (MITIE lost the contract a couple of months later) I was sad!! Not.

 

To manage a contract the customers/clients Project Manager has to be in the ball and ruthless and stick to the wording of the specification. That's if the contract is written fully water tight ( excuse the pun) with no loopholes. It's all a game really and the contractor has to come second.

 

Have I gone off topic. Oops! 

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The other maxim is to start as you mean to go on.  Never give the contractor an inch.  Otherwise he will be 1760 yds ahead in no time.

 

N

  • Greenie 1

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