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18 hours ago, PhilR said:

But several sections of towpath had been removed before 1970. I went through a few times in the 1960's and there wasn't a continuous towpath in 1964.

I thought that I recalled it as OK in 1967

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Could anyone who has booked a passage also confirm what kind of a 'slot' you are given?  Or is it just a passage for that day?

We normally do a long day to get close to the North end of the tunnel ready for the first passage the next morning, but the restriction on Bosley Locks make it difficult to know what time we will be able to get there. 

Thanks 

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just arrived in my inbox

 

Quote

Notice Alert

Trent & Mersey Canal
Location: Harecastle Tunnel opening times
Starts At: Harecastle Tunnel
Ends At: Harecastle Tunnel

Friday 17 July 2020 until further notice

Type: Booking Information


 

Original message:

 

Passage through the tunnel is available via a booking system only. Your boat must have a working front light and horn or you will not be allowed to enter the tunnel. Unfortunately, we are not able to safely lend these items out at the moment.

The booking slots for passage through the tunnel will be available for seven days a week, from 8 am until 2 pm. 

All passages must be pre-booked by email EventsNorthStaffs@canalrivertrust.org.uk Thank you.

For the latest information regarding Covid-19 and any restrictions or impact it may be having on our waterways please visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/safety-on-our-waterways/coronavirus

 

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14 minutes ago, Chris T said:

Hmmm thanks for that, still not clear what kind of a slot you get. 

Our shared boat went through Harecastle last week.  The owner on board booked the passage a couple of weeks beforehand and went through northbound at 9:00am.  I not sure whether the slot was his choice or whether it was given to him, but he did choose that particular day.  This was when passage was restricted (3 days per week?).

Edited by davem399

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3 hours ago, Chris T said:

Hmmm thanks for that, still not clear what kind of a slot you get. 

I got told I d be going through st 9am and to try to be there half an hour beforehand.

I also saw a new notice on a lock gate today that only showed the email address (no phone number), as well as meeting a hire boater who hadn't been told about it. You'd think the hire company would have told them - from Anderton, I suspect a fair few do the 4 counties.

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Notice Alert

Trent & Mersey Canal
Location: Harecastle Tunnel opening times
Starts At: Harecastle Tunnel
Ends At: Harecastle Tunnel

Friday 17 July 2020 until further notice

Type: Booking Information


 

Original message:

 

Passage through the tunnel is available via a booking system only. Your boat must have a working front light and horn or you will not be allowed to enter the tunnel. Unfortunately, we are not able to safely lend these items out at the moment.

The booking slots for passage through the tunnel will be available for seven days a week, from 8 am until 2 pm. 

All passages must be pre-booked by email EventsNorthStaffs@canalrivertrust.org.uk Thank you.

For the latest information regarding Covid-19 and any restrictions or impact it may be having on our waterways please visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/safety-on-our-waterways/coronavirus

 

You can view this notice and its map online here:
https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notice/17949/harecastle-tunnel-opening-times

You can find all notices at the url below:
https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices

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7 hours ago, Chris T said:

Could anyone who has booked a passage also confirm what kind of a 'slot' you are given?  Or is it just a passage for that day?

We normally do a long day to get close to the North end of the tunnel ready for the first passage the next morning, but the restriction on Bosley Locks make it difficult to know what time we will be able to get there. 

Thanks 

Just booked, asked for passage on a particular day and received email for 11am slot, arrive 30mins before.

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On 15/07/2020 at 18:53, PhilR said:

But several sections of towpath had been removed before 1970. I went through a few times in the 1960's and there wasn't a continuous towpath in 1964.

Not so much removed, but sections collapsing due to corrosion and being bashed by trains of towed narrowboats, The towpath had been disused since 1914 when the tug boat service started. Telford Tunnel like Brindley Tunnel suffer from subsidence resulting in its temporary closure between 1973 and 1977, when they drained the tunnel, the sections of collapsed towpath were still there. These remains plus the remaining sections still standing were removed while the tunnel was under repair. The may reason for remove the towpath was to allow boats travel down the centre so to gain some extra headroom which had been losted through subsidence. 

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Thanks everyone for replies. I'll give it a try and see what slot we get now that we know Bosley locks will be open every day. 

We hadn't fancied the thought of being tied to specific days and times on 4 days out of our week hol so had considered heading down Heartbreak Hill instead.  Hubby is relieved. 

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Follow up: it appears they are letting about six boats through at each booked time, assuming that many turn up. Which is about what they have always done in each direction, so I don't really know what the fuss is about, and nor do the guys on the tunnel. They also suspect the booking system is here to stay.

They are a bit disgruntled as they were told to come back 3 days a week and only got told they were working full weeks and the hours when they got to work. They haven't been furloughed as are seasonal, so just weren't paid. One of the longstanding ones has already quit and another probably won't be back after this season as he's fed up with it - they are no longer employed by CRT but by yet another agency.

Edited by Arthur Marshall

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For anyone else who is wondering, I emailed CRT today for a slot for our outgoing journey, requesting a slot as early morning as possible and received a reply within the hour, with an 8am slot. 

 

I'm less keen on pinning ourselves down to a time for the return passage but will have to do this next. It would be useful to know if they will allow changes if you end up getting there early and they have spaces. 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Chris T said:

 

 

I'm less keen on pinning ourselves down to a time for the return passage but will have to do this next. It would be useful to know if they will allow changes if you end up getting there early and they have spaces. 

 

 

 

 

If there are any 'empty slots' they will put you through early. 

(Should add I have been through early last three times...)

Edited by PaulJ
Add info

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28 minutes ago, Chris T said:

That's good to know, thanks. Did you email them or just turn up? 

Apparantly, from what was posted on another Forum I'm involved with, its working along these lines:

 

They recommend at least 48 hours notice and you need to email your details - your boat name; date of travel and direction of travel - to: EventsNorthStaffs@canalrivertrust.org.uk.

 

Southbound crossings are 8, 10 and 12 with northbound at 9, 11 and 1 pm.

 

Unlike somewhere like Anderton Lift I'd expect that as PaulJ suggested, they will most likely put you through early if there are spaces.

Edited by Rassiloth
Fixed spelling.

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47 minutes ago, Chris T said:

That's good to know, thanks. Did you email them or just turn up? 

As Rassiloth says ^

I always email well in advance but this is because I generally need to be somewhere by a certain time. Have to say 10/10 to North Staffs team though- they are always prompt, efficient, helpful and friendly.

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On 16/07/2020 at 12:56, Rassiloth said:

I'd add to that:

 

If you phone, select the options that lead you to the 'West Midlands' Regional Team. This way you go direct to C&RT and bypass the 3rd party call centre.

 

Fair enough!

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On 19/07/2020 at 08:20, Arthur Marshall said:

Follow up: it appears they are letting about six boats through at each booked time, assuming that many turn up. Which is about what they have always done in each direction, so I don't really know what the fuss is about, and nor do the guys on the tunnel. They also suspect the booking system is here to stay.

They are a bit disgruntled as they were told to come back 3 days a week and only got told they were working full weeks and the hours when they got to work. They haven't been furloughed as are seasonal, so just weren't paid. One of the longstanding ones has already quit and another probably won't be back after this season as he's fed up with it - they are no longer employed by CRT but by yet another agency.

We came through on Sunday but arrived Saturday lunchtime. The CRT men on the Southern end were volunteers - at least that's what it said on their shirt sleeves.

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Well, we arrived at the Southern end today at 12.30pm hopeful of going through, as one boat had just gone in and the lock keeper said more were due to arrive for the 1pm passage. He said we could go straight in until he found out that our booking was for the next morning and then said we couldn't. I asked why, as it didn't seem to make any difference if we were slotting in between other boats, he said it messes up their booking system and they aren't letting anyone go in early any more. 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Chris T said:

Well, we arrived at the Southern end today at 12.30pm hopeful of going through, as one boat had just gone in and the lock keeper said more were due to arrive for the 1pm passage. He said we could go straight in until he found out that our booking was for the next morning and then said we couldn't. I asked why, as it didn't seem to make any difference if we were slotting in between other boats, he said it messes up their booking system and they aren't letting anyone go in early any more. 

 

 

 

How absolutely ridiculous.  So if you had not known to book, would you have been allowed in?  Or never allowed in?

Feel like complaining to C&RT?

Edited by Tracy D'arth

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Would be difficult to claim you didn't know you need to book. There are notices on every balance beam on the way up to Stoke.

Edited by pearley

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So why can't you book as you approach the tunnel for immediate passage? Its rarely so busy and they used to let 8 boats each way at a time, not 6.

 

The whole system sounds to me to be deliberately obstructive for no good reason.

 

 

Edited by Tracy D'arth

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44 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

So why can't you book as you approach the tunnel for immediate passage? Its rarely so busy and they used to let 8 boats each way at a time, not 6.

 

The whole system sounds to me to be deliberately obstructive for no good reason.

 

 

It would be more sense to lobby for the removal of the booking system completely. If you turn up and there is no room tough

  • Greenie 2

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2 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

It would be more sense to lobby for the removal of the booking system completely. If you turn up and there is no room tough

That was the status  quo, it has worked fine for many years, I see this as the creeping progress towards charging for navigation rights that we are entitled to.

  • Greenie 1

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4 hours ago, Chris T said:

Well, we arrived at the Southern end today at 12.30pm hopeful of going through, as one boat had just gone in and the lock keeper said more were due to arrive for the 1pm passage. He said we could go straight in until he found out that our booking was for the next morning and then said we couldn't. I asked why, as it didn't seem to make any difference if we were slotting in between other boats, he said it messes up their booking system and they aren't letting anyone go in early any more. 

 

 

 

How many other boats turned up for their 1pm booking slot?

If all passages need to be pre-booked the tunnel keeper should have known how many boats were booked and whether or not they could slot you in.

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