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CRT reintroduces "Boating Buddies" scheme.


Ray T

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3 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

We think it's a good scheme - instead of whining that CRT staff don't understand boaters needs, take them out and show them.

 

We've already taken two CRT staff out since the scheme restarted.

 

Just bear in mind that the staff don't want or need several hours of ranting by grumpy boaters.  Show them the bits that could be improved by all means, but also remember the role of the people you take - a payroll administrator is unlikely to be able to arrange much dredging!

 

Indeed, I took a couple of CRT office bound staff out on a frosty November day a couple of years back.

 

I used it to show them how their failure to cut back off side vegetation compromised sight lines at bridges, even in winter, lack of routine lock maintenance risked closures etc.

 

They left having a much better appreciation of problems from a boaters perspective as well as having an enjoyable days boating.

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1 hour ago, Goliath said:

I don’t understand why CRT can’t give every new employee some basic knowledge of how the system works. 
It shouldn’t be for boaters to educate their work force. 

 

 

When I had a contract with the Coal Authority (a contract, not a job) we had a brief induction which included Aberfan - "It's our job to make sure this never happens again". My contract had nothing to do with securing mining tips, but the Coal Authoirty wanted  everyone to know what the Coal Authority was for.

I'm surprised CRT don't do the same and start with "we run an interconnected system of canals..." - it wouldn't be hard, just a map on an office wall and tell everyone that a boat on a canal on that map can reach any other canal on that map without the need of a crane - perhaps they do, and people just forget? 

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27 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Indeed, I took a couple of CRT office bound staff out on a frosty November day a couple of years back.

 

I used it to show them how their failure to cut back off side vegetation compromised sight lines at bridges, even in winter, lack of routine lock maintenance risked closures etc.

 

They left having a much better appreciation of problems from a boaters perspective as well as having an enjoyable days boating.

They may well appreciate boater's problems, but they almost certainly aren't in a position to do anything about them. They'd learn more by going out with work teams. And they still wouldn't do anything.

Edited by Arthur Marshall
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1 hour ago, Neil2 said:

 

I wish folk would stop using that name for the Cheshire Locks.  If anyone thinks they are "heartbreaking" you might as well give up canal boating.  As far as I know the name was coined in the modern era ie it doesn't come from the days of working boats and should rightly be consigned to the dustbin, or should I say trash can...   

I think the HNC from Huddersfield to Marsden is more deserving of the title,

Heartbreak Hill.

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22 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

They may well appreciate boater's problems, but they almost certainly aren't in a position to do anything about them. They'd learn more by going out with work teams. And they still wouldn't do anything.

 

If they change departments or get promoted to a role where they can influence maintenance, they may then be in a position to influence things for the better.

 

The more CRT staff that can appreciate problems from a boaters perspective, then more likely those problems may be prioritised.

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4 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

If they change departments or get promoted to a role where they can influence maintenance, they may then be in a position to influence things for the better.

 

The more CRT staff that can appreciate problems from a boaters perspective, then more likely those problems may be prioritised.

Exactly. I look at it like little grains of sand. Some will flow straight through but others will stick and gradually it will build something. The alternative is that the staff of CRT continues to have little connection with the waterways and that surely can't be a good thing?

 

Alec

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47 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

 


I'm surprised CRT don't do the same and start with "we run an interconnected system of canals..." - it wouldn't be hard, just a map on an office wall and tell everyone that a boat on a canal on that map can reach any other canal on that map without the need of a crane - perhaps they do, and people just forget? 


Exactly that. Simply a map on a wall in an office would be a start. I never saw one. 
 


 

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3 hours ago, Neil2 said:

Seriously I do think it's a good idea but why do CRT seem to have such difficulty recruiting people with some experience of canals or boating?  

 

I remember ringing customer services once and having to explain to the "adviser" what, and where, the Bridgewater canal is, simply because it didn't come up on her computer records. 

 

 


Probably because the Bridgewater is not a CRT canal.

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33 minutes ago, agg221 said:

Exactly. I look at it like little grains of sand. Some will flow straight through but others will stick and gradually it will build something. The alternative is that the staff of CRT continues to have little connection with the waterways and that surely can't be a good thing?

 

Alec

I like the analogy. 

But we need something speedier to improve things. 

 

14 minutes ago, adam1uk said:


Probably because the Bridgewater is not a CRT canal.

 Very true but it’s a well used link between CRT waters for CRT license holders, so they should know!

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1 hour ago, magpie patrick said:

... I'm surprised CRT don't do the same and start with "we run an interconnected system of canals..." - it wouldn't be hard, just a map on an office wall and tell everyone that a boat on a canal on that map can reach any other canal on that map without the need of a crane - perhaps they do, and people just forget? 

Perhaps they tell them exactly that - it could explain why there are now fat boats on the North Oxford and other inappropriate places 🙂

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It would be ironic to take a couple of "Boating Buddies" out and get them all enthusiastic at the chance to work the boat up a flight of locks, and then find the locks overstaffed with Vollies eager to do exactly the same...

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4 hours ago, Athy said:

Quite. It's normal for staff to know more about the business than customers do. If I went to Victoria Station I wouldn't expect a porter to come up and ask me the times of trains to Redhill.

I wouldn't expect a porter . . . 

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1 hour ago, adam1uk said:


Probably because the Bridgewater is not a CRT canal.

 

Er... That was precisely my point.

 

The adviser concerned was only aware of the canals under the control of CRT - actually this was  in the old BW days now I think about it.   When I explained the historical significance of the Bridgewater she confessed she didn't really know much about canals.  This was in the days when you could contact local offices by the way, so she was based in the North West.    

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I’d like it to be a two way thing. 
It sounds too much of a jolly on their part. A day off work, paid, to go boating at someone else’s expense (with the family).

I could take someone down the Rochdale to Manchester for instance. 
I’d like them to be from the office in charge of water levels, water management bods. 
They could explain to me the how’s and why’s and I could give them the experience and I don’t think £50-£100 would be too much to charge either.  
 

 

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7 hours ago, agg221 said:

I suppose it's like a lot of other businesses - if you make widgets then the IT department or payroll or whatever may have no idea about those widgets - they don't need to on the face of it to do their job.

 

In good (ie well-run) businesses the whole staff knows what the company does, and they can be proud of it.

 

 

 

5 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

I'm surprised CRT don't do the same and start with "we run an interconnected system of canals..." - it wouldn't be hard, just a map on an office wall and tell everyone that a boat on a canal on that map can reach any other canal on that map without the need of a crane - perhaps they do, and people just forget? 

 

Perhaps they know even better than us boaters how impracticable that would turn out to be, what with maintenance and unforeseen stoppages?

 

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I recently had a long chat with a young and enthusiastic CRT "operative".

His questions included:

Do CRT run the Thames?

Do CRT own any rivers?

 

On another occasion whilst going through a stop lock a CRT man said "they should get rid of this, it don't do very much, I don't know why they put a lock here" . I think he was serious but he just might have been joking.

 

I do suspect that CRT treats it workers a bit like mushrooms.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, wandering snail said:

Will never forget the question "What's a lock?" when ringing to report a problem on one. It was a few years ago though so maybe knowledge has improved??

 

We've had a fair few of these "bad phonecall experiences", maybe its got better or maybe some people are better than others, but had a few calls earlier this year to book a volunteer to help down the Rochdale and once I was through to the local office (I was transferred quickly) they were totally switched on. They knew the Rochdale was hard, they obviously had knowledge of the volunteer, they suggested that the stoppage on the Rochdale 9 was likely to over-run a bit and the Ashton (yes they knew the alternative route) was a bit low on water. We mutually agreed to delay a week. CRT can be very good when they try.

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10 hours ago, dmr said:

I recently had a long chat with a young and enthusiastic CRT "operative".

His questions included:

Do CRT run the Thames?

Do CRT own any rivers?

 

On another occasion whilst going through a stop lock a CRT man said "they should get rid of this, it don't do very much, I don't know why they put a lock here" . I think he was serious but he just might have been joking.

 

I do suspect that CRT treats it workers a bit like mushrooms.

 

 


This was a volunteer not an employee, but going up Atherstone top lock one of the lock keepers said that he kept hearing this strange tale of a lock with only a foot drop in the direction that we were going and did I know about it, and was it really true.  

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8 hours ago, dmr said:

 

We've had a fair few of these "bad phonecall experiences", maybe its got better or maybe some people are better than others, but had a few calls earlier this year to book a volunteer to help down the Rochdale and once I was through to the local office (I was transferred quickly) they were totally switched on. They knew the Rochdale was hard, they obviously had knowledge of the volunteer, they suggested that the stoppage on the Rochdale 9 was likely to over-run a bit and the Ashton (yes they knew the alternative route) was a bit low on water. We mutually agreed to delay a week. CRT can be very good when they try.

 

I know CRT used to use the West Midlands Ambulance Service to man their 24/7 help line, which probably accounts for the "bad phonecall experiences".

 

Does anyone know if they still do this or whether they have brought it back in house?

 

From your recent experiences it sounds as though they may have.

 

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I had a very good C & RT experience recently.

We had been in dry dock for a week and I had weeks before booked the Anderton lift up to the T & M for the afternoon of Saturday, when we got out. The lift didn't have a good week last week and broke down for the second time on Friday. Mid morning on Saturday, I thought it would be good to know if there was any chance of getting up that day or should we go boating and come back in a day or so. Phoned the lift booking office. It was Saturday so office closed. Phoned another number on a lift pamphlet I got  a few years ago and it wouldn't accept a call. Phoned the 0303 number and got an extremely helpful young lady. She didn't know the answer but said she would put me through to someone who would. However, she came back and aid she wasn't having any luck and she would get a message to him to phone me. Got a phone call from a gentleman at the lift to tell me that as soon as the engineers said the lift was operable, they would be sorting out who was travelling when (there was a queue at top and bottom and some had cancelled their booking and would phone me back. We saw the lift starting to operate and got a call to move to the holding moorings and we would be either next or next again up. I reckoned all in all and bearing in mind it as the weekend, they did well. 

Oh, and the guy at the lift and the area manager who phoned me the next day both gave me their numbers for future use.

It may have helped that at no time was I complaining, I was just trying to get info 🙂 

haggis

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18 minutes ago, haggis said:

>> It may have helped that at no time was I complaining, I was just trying to get info 🙂 

 

It's usually the case that being polite and friendly gets far better service. Experience suggests that there is never much point in getting someone's back up when they are in a position of any authority.

 

 

 

I sometimes wonder if that's really the problem with volockies.

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