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Possible breach near Wharton's Lock, Shropshire Union


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3 hours ago, David Mack said:

And what preventive maintenance could have stopped the canal overstepping and breaching during extreme wet weather?

 

Possibly ensuring lock bywashes and overflows from the canal into neighbouring streams aren't blocked with rubbish / driftwood / weeds.

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1 hour ago, furnessvale said:

The photo itself showed how small the original breach was and how repair materials could have been brought in a wheelbarrow.

 

All the way from Shady Oak along a muddy towpath in the rain?

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To put the recent rain in perspective - this is the A555 yesterday near Manchester, obviously the overflow weirs and sluices didn't work here either ;)

 

How long would the breach have gone from overtopping the towpath? How near would plywood and sandbags have to be to get them in by barrow? Chas's yard is on that pound IIRC correctly so I guess if he could have staunched the flow he would have done just out of self-preservation

 

 

 

A555.jpg

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9 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

To put the recent rain in perspective - this is the A555 yesterday near Manchester, obviously the overflow weirs and sluices didn't work here either ;)

 

How long would the breach have gone from overtopping the towpath? How near would plywood and sandbags have to be to get them in by barrow? Chas's yard is on that pound IIRC correctly so I guess if he could have staunched the flow he would have done just out of self-preservation

 

 

 

 

 

Not a good example, that road has flooded about 8 times now in it's short lifespan of about 3 years. It's a complete farce, it doesnt even take a particularly wet spell to close one of the carriageway.

That car ignored road closed signs and cones to get where it was.

 

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35 minutes ago, matty40s said:

 

Not a good example, that road has flooded about 8 times now in it's short lifespan of about 3 years. It's a complete farce, it doesnt even take a particularly wet spell to close one of the carriageway.

That car ignored road closed signs and cones to get where it was.

 

It's a very good example - if Highways England can't get it right on a multimillion pound road scheme that's a few years old why are we so critical of C&RT with 200 infrastructure? 

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1 minute ago, magpie patrick said:

It's a very good example - if Highways England can't get it right on a multimillion pound road scheme that's a few years old why are we so critical of C&RT with 200 infrastructure? 

 

Because CRT install blue signs and Highways England don't?  ;)

 

B4F9HN.jpg.721d178ec95398fae1655e6b4c2cb0a9.jpg

 

 

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12 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

To put the recent rain in perspective - this is the A555 yesterday near Manchester, obviously the overflow weirs and sluices didn't work here either ;)

 

How long would the breach have gone from overtopping the towpath? How near would plywood and sandbags have to be to get them in by barrow? Chas's yard is on that pound IIRC correctly so I guess if he could have staunched the flow he would have done just out of self-preservation

 

 

 

A555.jpg

 

I don't know how much deeper the road is off the bottom of the picture but that driver must have had one of the biggest "Oh $#!t" moments ever!

 

I assume they were not parked while the water rose around them (although the snow on the roof suggests it's been there a while); the only other alternative is they ignored the "road closed" signs, came round the corner still going full chat and then the headlights picked up a very large puddle...

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2 hours ago, 1st ade said:

 

I don't know how much deeper the road is off the bottom of the picture but that driver must have had one of the biggest "Oh $#!t" moments ever!

 

I assume they were not parked while the water rose around them (although the snow on the roof suggests it's been there a while); the only other alternative is they ignored the "road closed" signs, came round the corner still going full chat and then the headlights picked up a very large puddle...

I'm guessing he was there overnight - up here* we had torrential rain, such that the heavenly procurement office was advertising for shipbuilders, followed by overnight snow 

*To other mystified readers, although I live in Frome I'm in Marple at the moment and for lockdown

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4 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

I'm guessing he was there overnight - up here* we had torrential rain, such that the heavenly procurement office was advertising for shipbuilders, followed by overnight snow 

 

 

What - they were advertising for overnight snow ?

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16 hours ago, StephenA said:

 

All the way from Shady Oak along a muddy towpath in the rain?

I take it you are being facetious?  If not, I agree times have changed from when I worked on the railway in all weathers, especially sorting out emergencies.

 

We certainly would not have seen a photo like the one above and decided to go and have a look tomorrow!

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I don't think even in days of old, lengthsmen could have prevented this or even have the staff on the ground. That particular day was horrific with the volume of water falling from the sky and I would imagine that all CRT ground staff were running in all directions.

 

With regard to the shroppie, such was the volume of water that the lock paddles on Hurleston were opened to stop the reservoir from overflowing, the temporray dam at Bridge 80 was removed to allow the massive flow from Audlem to come through, River Weaver was about to top the banks and a large number of CRT staff were involved in that especially to try and protect the towns and villages alongside.

 

The use of overflows and side paddles to regulate the flow also have to be consistent with not flooding other area's. It was a pretty intense day with the weather.

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16 hours ago, Cheshire cat said:

I believe that bit of the link road has pumps installed but they arent working reliably

Quote from the council

 

"Although the pumps did not fail, the road’s storage tanks were full and, with the surrounding land saturated, there was nowhere to safely discharge the water without causing problems elsewhere"

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On 21/01/2021 at 10:57, matty40s said:

Yes, about 40 years ago...

He started with camping boats almost 50 years ago .

Heres me in 1981

20210121_105727.jpg

 

I'll see your 1981 and raise you a 1987 (I'm on the left, Magpie Patrick on the right)

Chas.jpg.9ff09a3ef26a6d17ad35bf90b387eb2b.jpg

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2 hours ago, jam said:

Quote from the council

 

"Although the pumps did not fail, the road’s storage tanks were full and, with the surrounding land saturated, there was nowhere to safely discharge the water without causing problems elsewhere"

That points up a much wider problem when water management people are criticised for not doing 'something': I think I heard a similar comment elsewhere today (but forgotten where!) that flood areas are already full and so cannot be used to take any more so that properties end up being flooded when they hoped that flood management systems would prevent it. When there is a lot of rain, and when the holding places are already full, such as very high water tables, something has to get hit.

2 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

Never mind the family - it's the "Diesel 80p/gallon" that I'm looking at!

about equivalent to 68p per litre today - still a lot cheaper but.

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8 hours ago, furnessvale said:

I take it you are being facetious?  If not, I agree times have changed from when I worked on the railway in all weathers, especially sorting out emergencies.

 

We certainly would not have seen a photo like the one above and decided to go and have a look tomorrow!

 Only slightly.

 

Given how over full that pound obviously was I think the first action should have been an attempt to drop the level - either through side sluices or dumping it through the lock - but of course that would have just pushed the problem into the next pound, but I think that one does have quite a large weir in it.

 

If they'd shored up that breach, and done nothing else, it would have just topped the bank somewhere else on that stretch.

 

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6 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

Never mind the family - it's the "Diesel 80p/gallon" that I'm looking at!

I remember, in the mid 90's, preparing a ready reckoner for our caretaker for diesel at 12.5p per litre. The last concern for any boater then was the cost of diesel.

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There's a lot of speculation, guesstimating and conjecture but I would like to see the figures when it comes to the argument between "fix it when it's broken" and "preventative maintenance". Looking at the total cost of repairs to Toddbrook, Middlewich, Aire & Calder, regular breaches, failed locks etc. Throw in the cost of signs, Facebook managers, media men bean counters and that amounts to a lot of £millions. The cost of employing and training lengthsmen will also amount to many millions but would be good to see a comparison.

 

As I see it CaRT are supposed primarily to be a navigation authority, but keeping the system open seems to be at the bottom of the list. Unless you are a boater or live near a canal or reservoir that's about to breach, it could be said CaRT have been very successful at everything bar keeping the system open for navigation.

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19 minutes ago, Midnight said:

There's a lot of speculation, guesstimating and conjecture but I would like to see the figures when it comes to the argument between "fix it when it's broken" and "preventative maintenance". Looking at the total cost of repairs to Toddbrook, Middlewich, Aire & Calder, regular breaches, failed locks etc. Throw in the cost of signs, Facebook managers, media men bean counters and that amounts to a lot of £millions. The cost of employing and training lengthsmen will also amount to many millions but would be good to see a comparison.

 

As I see it CaRT are supposed primarily to be a navigation authority, but keeping the system open seems to be at the bottom of the list. Unless you are a boater or live near a canal or reservoir that's about to breach, it could be said CaRT have been very successful at everything bar keeping the system open for navigation.

The current level of funding for CaRT probably means that such a comparison is not relevant - if the cost of such preventative maintenance is above the level of budget available then it is unattainable even if it is better value then reactive maintenance. We are already seeing reports that both reactive and planned maintenance is being pushed back to deal with top priority reactive repairs.

 

I doubt whether the costs that you cite as unimportant amount to a lot of maintenance costs when you strip out those parts of such costs which are mandatory (or almost such) You may not like the need to spend money on anything other than boater-specific matters but the reality is that there are other things in CaRT's life as well, some of which in the long term are aimed at ensuring the continuance of support for navigation.

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Isn't it all the type of funding? The opposite to the stuff the Lottery funds  which is capital but no running costs, so most of what they fund in museums etc closes after a year or two.

CRT sort of get funded for running costs, which pays for staff etc as long as nothing awful happens but haven't got the resources for big costs, such as preventive maintenance like fixing big stuff before it breaks down. But major disasters get the tab picked up either by insurance or, if they endanger life or property,  the government. And, of course, as far as I'm aware they don't have much of a maintenance fleet any more, so are dependent on the availability of contractors.

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1 hour ago, Midnight said:

There's a lot of speculation, guesstimating and conjecture but I would like to see the figures when it comes to the argument between "fix it when it's broken" and "preventative maintenance". Looking at the total cost of repairs to Toddbrook, Middlewich, Aire & Calder, regular breaches, failed locks etc. Throw in the cost of signs, Facebook managers, media men bean counters and that amounts to a lot of £millions. The cost of employing and training lengthsmen will also amount to many millions but would be good to see a comparison.

Not forgetting that such a comparison would still have to include the costs of dealing with those failures that still occurred, despite the presence of lengthsmen.

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39 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Isn't it all the type of funding? The opposite to the stuff the Lottery funds  which is capital but no running costs, so most of what they fund in museums etc closes after a year or two.

CRT sort of get funded for running costs, which pays for staff etc as long as nothing awful happens but haven't got the resources for big costs, such as preventive maintenance like fixing big stuff before it breaks down. But major disasters get the tab picked up either by insurance or, if they endanger life or property,  the government. And, of course, as far as I'm aware they don't have much of a maintenance fleet any more, so are dependent on the availability of contractors.

The answer is clearly to get the Lottery to fund the major disaster repairs.  They ought to last a lot longer than a year or two. 🙂

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2 hours ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Isn't it all the type of funding? The opposite to the stuff the Lottery funds  which is capital but no running costs, so most of what they fund in museums etc closes after a year or two.

CRT sort of get funded for running costs, which pays for staff etc as long as nothing awful happens but haven't got the resources for big costs, such as preventive maintenance like fixing big stuff before it breaks down. But major disasters get the tab picked up either by insurance or, if they endanger life or property,  the government. And, of course, as far as I'm aware they don't have much of a maintenance fleet any more, so are dependent on the availability of contractors.

The use of contractors v direct labour is really a minor issue - down to the effectiveness of the spend but what we are really looking at here is the total available to spend.

 

The use of direct labour is potentially attractive on the basis that you do not have to pay profit to the contractor but this can be illusory since there are inefficiency costs of DL - you have to pay for it even on days when there is nothing much to do. But in the terms you use, contractors are potentially a more expansible resource than DL. Recruiting staff is usually quite a lengthy process whilst contractors are, metaphorically anyway, waiting at the end of a telephone call. Where there is a big difference is when you want to downsize a particular area - redundancy etc can get very expensive and the longer you have employed someone (advocated by those who want 'experienced' staff) the more it costs.

 

What CaRT seem to be doing is working out the most effective balance between the two - they do still have a non trivial DL force. It can also be the case that the management overhead can be more easily managed, but it does take different skills. 

 

One advantage of having the budget headroom to do more planned and preventative maintenance is that it is more suited to contracting out, leaving the DL to deal with reactive responses. But too naive a use of contractors can lead to difficulties when the unplanned repair middle scale - too small for ad hoc work but too urgent for a contract call. This may be why we heard recently of the new plan to have a number of contractors sort of 'on call' - not overnight but quicker from start of a stoppage to boots on the ground. Of course, today we have to factor in the amount of time needed in planning even quite small projects. |Even getting access over private land can be time consuming.

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