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Useless CRT staff


The Welsh Cruiser
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I went down the Bosley locks yesterday, they were opened for the day. There were maybe 20 boats there the day before, a couple more arrived in the morning. I was maybe 15th in the queue. My turn to go through lock 12 came at around 11.45 a.m. Except it didn't....a boat coming up left the lock so I untied ready to motor in. Except the CRT guys decided to close the gate on me and empty the lock to allow another boat up. I queried this, suggesting it was a waste of water. CRT guy replied: "there are too many boats waiting at the next lock" There were 4 boats waiting at the next lock, the pound is around 400 yards long. Shortly afterwards a boater who'd just arrived asked the CRT guys whether she's able to get through before they close. "I Don't know, we're chaining lock 12 closed at 1.00 p.m"

 

Thinking this through: not only had they wasted a lock full of water for no purpose, they'd also delayed boaters getting through lock 12, possibly resulting in boats who had travelled to get there not being able to get through.

 

I queried this again with the other CRT guy as I entered the lock. The other CRT chap shouted over to his mate "don't talk to them". They then upped sticks and went into the office.

 

Not the best customer service I've ever experienced, that's for sure.  

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13 minutes ago, The Welsh Cruiser said:

I went down the Bosley locks yesterday, they were opened for the day. There were maybe 20 boats there the day before, a couple more arrived in the morning. I was maybe 15th in the queue. My turn to go through lock 12 came at around 11.45 a.m. Except it didn't....a boat coming up left the lock so I untied ready to motor in. Except the CRT guys decided to close the gate on me and empty the lock to allow another boat up. I queried this, suggesting it was a waste of water. CRT guy replied: "there are too many boats waiting at the next lock" There were 4 boats waiting at the next lock, the pound is around 400 yards long. Shortly afterwards a boater who'd just arrived asked the CRT guys whether she's able to get through before they close. "I Don't know, we're chaining lock 12 closed at 1.00 p.m"

 

Thinking this through: not only had they wasted a lock full of water for no purpose, they'd also delayed boaters getting through lock 12, possibly resulting in boats who had travelled to get there not being able to get through.

 

I queried this again with the other CRT guy as I entered the lock. The other CRT chap shouted over to his mate "don't talk to them". They then upped sticks and went into the office.

 

Not the best customer service I've ever experienced, that's for sure.  

Not even slightly surprising.  I remember the lockie at Torksey turning the lock against me 3 times in succession while I was waiting to go up.  He knew I was down there waiting to go up (I'd spoken with him the previous afternoon).  In the end I borrowed a VHF radio off another boat moored there to ask why he wasn't letting me up.  He had no explanation and behaved like he was doing me a favour by allowing me to come through.  Arse.

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Some good, some bad, yesterday we got stuck at a lock on the Rochdale, one paddle out of action, the other jammed solid, and my tools could not fix it. Phoned CRT and they said somebody will phone you back, my heart sank. However ten minutes later a CRT bloke phoned to find out exactly what was wrong, another ten minutes and he was there fixing things and fifteen minutes later we were on our way. Said he would send somebody round in the next week to make a longer term fix, and also had a comprehensive knowledge of what was going on along the canal, problems and potential problems.

 

The Rochdale staff are generally great, but then with a canal like that they need to be.

 

...............Dave

 

 

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Have you got the lock numbers the wrong way round? Lock 1 is the top lock with the long pound below it, lock12 is bottom lock. I was 7th in line going down, and as far as I know, everyone going both ways managed to get through succesfully. Although last passage was 1.00pm, there was no-one at lock 12 stopping boats going up.

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32 minutes ago, Pennine said:

Have you got the lock numbers the wrong way round? Lock 1 is the top lock with the long pound below it, lock12 is bottom lock. I was 7th in line going down, and as far as I know, everyone going both ways managed to get through succesfully. Although last passage was 1.00pm, there was no-one at lock 12 stopping boats going up.

I think you're right, I have it the wrong way round.

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2 hours ago, The Welsh Cruiser said:

I went down the Bosley locks yesterday, they were opened for the day. There were maybe 20 boats there the day before, a couple more arrived in the morning. I was maybe 15th in the queue. My turn to go through lock 12 came at around 11.45 a.m. Except it didn't....a boat coming up left the lock so I untied ready to motor in. Except the CRT guys decided to close the gate on me and empty the lock to allow another boat up. I queried this, suggesting it was a waste of water. CRT guy replied: "there are too many boats waiting at the next lock" There were 4 boats waiting at the next lock, the pound is around 400 yards long. Shortly afterwards a boater who'd just arrived asked the CRT guys whether she's able to get through before they close. "I Don't know, we're chaining lock 12 closed at 1.00 p.m"

 

Thinking this through: not only had they wasted a lock full of water for no purpose, they'd also delayed boaters getting through lock 12, possibly resulting in boats who had travelled to get there not being able to get through.

 

I queried this again with the other CRT guy as I entered the lock. The other CRT chap shouted over to his mate "don't talk to them". They then upped sticks and went into the office.

 

Not the best customer service I've ever experienced, that's for sure.  

Please email that in as a formal complaint....it needs to be logged...both to the local office and using the contact form on the website. Ive experienced similar there when a gate was shut on the lock below me as we descended a lock...the CRT chaps then all got on the boat coming up and blanked me as asked why they shut the gate on me......

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The CRT staff after helping all the boats in front of me (all with crews), by the time it was my turn - single handed - they seem to got bored/needed to cosult phones/disappeared into the cabin, and just completely ignored me ... so I was through and away quite speadily.

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I had exactly the same happen to me a couple of years ago at Bosley, gate shut in front of me to allow another boat up. Every time I've been through there (probably about 20 times) I've had an argument with the guy at the top lock, for a variety of different reasons.

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1 hour ago, Pennine said:

The CRT staff after helping all the boats in front of me (all with crews), by the time it was my turn - single handed - they seem to got bored/needed to cosult phones/disappeared into the cabin, and just completely ignored me ... so I was through and away quite speadily.

I swear all the vlockies have a black book that they put names in nationwide....my name must be in it too....which suits me just fine!!

3 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

I had exactly the same happen to me a couple of years ago at Bosley, gate shut in front of me to allow another boat up. Every time I've been through there (probably about 20 times) I've had an argument with the guy at the top lock, for a variety of different reasons.

Maddening isn't it? 

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1 hour ago, Pennine said:

The CRT staff after helping all the boats in front of me (all with crews), by the time it was my turn - single handed - they seem to got bored/needed to cosult phones/disappeared into the cabin, and just completely ignored me ... so I was through and away quite speadily.

That was lucky

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1 hour ago, Keeping Up said:

I had exactly the same happen to me a couple of years ago at Bosley, gate shut in front of me to allow another boat up. Every time I've been through there (probably about 20 times) I've had an argument with the guy at the top lock, for a variety of different reasons.

I've had the same at Bosley. The blokes there are mostly pompous jobsworths, hate putting their tea mugs down. In the fifteen years I've been on the Macc, I've met one helpful one who set locks for me as he walked down. Others just walked past with a pointless windlass or in one classic, having watched me work my solo way up, lectured me on the proper way to do it. I did ask, no, he didn't have a boat. I really don't know why they're there, but expecting any help from them is a nonstarter.

It's odd, because elsewhere round the system they're generally pretty good now.

Edited by Arthur Marshall
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4 hours ago, doratheexplorer said:

Not even slightly surprising.  I remember the lockie at Torksey turning the lock against me 3 times in succession while I was waiting to go up.  He knew I was down there waiting to go up (I'd spoken with him the previous afternoon).  In the end I borrowed a VHF radio off another boat moored there to ask why he wasn't letting me up.  He had no explanation and behaved like he was doing me a favour by allowing me to come through.  Arse.

You should have your own VHF for the R Trent .  A handheld will do.

 

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When we went up meeting a boat coming down the lady volockie at the top went to a lot of trouble trying to persuade Diana not to draw the bottom paddles, sh couldn't understand that after half an hour water leaks into an empty lock and with 10" differential you can't just open the bottom gates

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Classic cases of what can happen when you give someone a uniform and the “ little hitler” syndrome kicks in.  But it also illustrates what happens when you have poor or incompetent management.

 These characters will have been complained about before, but nothing has been done.  At best they need ‘retraining’, at worst they should be fired and told never to set foot on CRT property again.

 

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A few years ago we had a completely different experience at Bosley. As we worked the bottom lock, a volunteer appeared at the next lock and he ably assisted us for a few locks when he was joined another volockie - his wife. The pair of them worked us right up the flight and they were a pleasure to share the work with. 

 

haggis

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9 hours ago, haggis said:

A few years ago we had a completely different experience at Bosley. As we worked the bottom lock, a volunteer appeared at the next lock and he ably assisted us for a few locks when he was joined another volockie - his wife. The pair of them worked us right up the flight and they were a pleasure to share the work with. 

 

haggis

I've had similar experiences with the volunteers, can't fault the ones I've met. It's the CRT staff who were on lock 1 that were the problem. Particularly the older chap. He struck me as someone who hated his job and saw customers as a nuisance.

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Once after coming into the top lock from below, I shut the bottom gates and wound down the bottom paddles. The old CRT guy, who was watching from a few feet away, started shouting at me for leaving the pawls off (the way have been doing it for over 50 years) - yelling about how my thoughtless incompetence could lead to the next user being killed if they wound them open without first putting the pawls on the ratchets. He carried on ranting at me, all the time that the lock was filling.

 

A year later I came back up through that lock and the same CRT guy was there. This time I smiled at him as he watched me (exaggeratedly) replace the pawls on the ratchets after lowering the paddles. He immediately started yelling at me that my stupidity might make it impossible to fill the lock, because if the paddle was actually slightly open the ratchet would prevent it from dropping properly into place. Oh well, I thought, at least it shows he had heard what I had said to him the year before.

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18 hours ago, The Welsh Cruiser said:

I went down the Bosley locks yesterday, they were opened for the day. There were maybe 20 boats there the day before, a couple more arrived in the morning. I was maybe 15th in the queue. My turn to go through lock 12 came at around 11.45 a.m. Except it didn't....a boat coming up left the lock so I untied ready to motor in. Except the CRT guys decided to close the gate on me and empty the lock to allow another boat up. I queried this, suggesting it was a waste of water. CRT guy replied: "there are too many boats waiting at the next lock" There were 4 boats waiting at the next lock, the pound is around 400 yards long. Shortly afterwards a boater who'd just arrived asked the CRT guys whether she's able to get through before they close. "I Don't know, we're chaining lock 12 closed at 1.00 p.m"

 

Thinking this through: not only had they wasted a lock full of water for no purpose, they'd also delayed boaters getting through lock 12, possibly resulting in boats who had travelled to get there not being able to get through.

 

I queried this again with the other CRT guy as I entered the lock. The other CRT chap shouted over to his mate "don't talk to them". They then upped sticks and went into the office.

 

Not the best customer service I've ever experienced, that's for sure.  

I've always found them very helpful.

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1 hour ago, Tracy D'arth said:

I have a golden rule.

 

My boat, in my lock, please go away. I will work the lock, my way.

TD'

Agreed. If these people were volunteer lock keepers, they are there to assist boaters, they are not in charge and cannot give instructions to boaters. My experience of voluntary lock keepers ranged between very pleasesant and helpful, to uninformed and pompous. I always thanked the helpful ones, but usually ended up disregarding the unhelpful ones.

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I met one on the way down to Stone a couple of years ago, just before I got to the first of the locks. She hadn't even signed on for work, but when she saw me approaching, asked if I was singlehanding, then ran down to the lockie station, got her gear, ran back and helped me through each lock, setting the next one for me each time.  Really helpful.  Most of them are, these days, and i think the training is a lot better as they seem always now to ask whether you want them to help you through or not.  Except at Bosley,  where I just assume they're there to drink tea and snark at us.

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