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Tim Lewis

Forth and Clyde Closure

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7 minutes ago, ronnietucker said:

Another question which struck me when looking at Google Maps:

Out of sheer curiosity, how far down the River Clyde is it possible to sail? The damn thing runs for miles winding all the way up, over, and down to Glenochar.

Australia for starters I would say Ronnie!

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There are some weirs which would hinder you. The first one you would encounter going up river is in Glasgow city centre at Glasgow Green.

You travel by canoe and indulge in portage around the weirs. 

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4 minutes ago, Up-Side-Down said:

Australia for starters I would say Ronnie!

Or if you're meaning up the river, then there's an unnavigable weir at Cambuslang and a couple of shallows between there and the M74 crossing. When the water makes a level each side of the Glasgow Green weir it can be lifted for navigation. Depending on whether neap or spring tides this can be from a period of around 5 minutes, up to approximately half an hour. I've been through and it's an impressive structure when viewed from underneath! Beyond Cambuslang it's a canoe and portages as AllanD says. And a swiftly flowing river!

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13 hours ago, ronnietucker said:

how far down the River Clyde is it possible to sail?

If you mean down river, the answer is probably North America.  Up river, the limit of navigation is at Rutherglen, where the Rutherglen Cruising Club have a yard with pontoons and a large slipway.  To reach Rutherglen you need to call Glasgow City Council to have the tidal weir opened at Glasgow Green which can only be done at sufficient height of tide.

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7 hours ago, Waterway2go said:

you need to call Glasgow City Council to have the tidal weir opened at Glasgow Green

Should only take a couple of weeks. No doubt 'the cooncil' will send one apprentice to open it, three others to stand, watch, and supervise, then another two for health and safety inspections.  :D

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At First Minister's questions this morning, in response to a question tabled by Edward Mountain (Con. – Highlands and Islands) Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Government were making £1.6m available to SC for the repair of Bonnybridge and Twechar Bridges. There is, as yet, no idea of time scales but I'd be extremely surprised if they are re-opened this season.

 

I would view this as the end of the beginning: there is still a very long way to go before the Lowland Canals are off the sick list ....... but it's a result of sorts!

  • Greenie 1

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8 minutes ago, Up-Side-Down said:

Edward Mountain (Con. – Highlands and Islands)

Mr Mountain from the Highlands? Really? Did you just make that up?  :D

 

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1 minute ago, ronnietucker said:

Mr Mountain from the Highlands? Really? Did you just make that up?  :D

 

No ......... but I took great pleasure in writing it!

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15 minutes ago, Up-Side-Down said:

At First Minister's questions this morning, in response to a question tabled by Edward Mountain (Con. – Highlands and Islands) Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Government were making £1.6m available to SC for the repair of Bonnybridge and Twechar Bridges.

Here's the question and response: 

 

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17 minutes ago, ronnietucker said:

Here's the question and response: 

 

Thanks for posting that Ronnie. I have the audio transcript but not the pics. This makes all the difference.

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Good news. At least it is a start and the MSP from up north certainly knew what to ask to make Sturgeon squirm. She managed to avoid answering the question though. 

Thanks Ronnie for putting up the video. 

Haggis 

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Very good news for the Forth and clyde canal, BUT, now  folk need to use the canal,  transits, and general boat movements, we need the canal used to control the weed, catch 22 though, if folk struggle due to the the depth  and weed they won't use it, then as we moan how shallow it is others won't use it, this could be the best chance we have to keep the waterway open and use it, I will be honest  I have transited the Forth and clyde canal  a few times and the scenery all but matches the crinan, it's a cracking trip if all goes well. We went through both the Crinan and Caledonian  canals in the past few weeks and they both need money spent, but both are a joy to use. The crinan is hard work with just one crew but it was well worth the effort, the Forth and clyde is every bit as good  when the boat is suitable.

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Prompted by another thread, I make no apology for posting this again on this thread, as I feel that it's a very telling indicator as to the direction that SC are taking – a direction that no amount of additional funding for broken bridges will change, unless considerable pressure from high up is brought to bear.

 

Graeme Harvey, Chairman of the Lowland Canals Association, recently turned this up:

 

Trawling through the Government website today I came across the following.

Consultation on the future of the Scottish Planning System. (2017)

Scottish Canals response is reference 51530440. In response to question 32 their reply is quite telling.

"Scottish Canals, which is a statutory undertaker, has experienced inconsistent interpretations of our permitted development rights across various local authorities. Given the changing nature of our business from a canal body to an increasingly leisure related business, it would be advantageous to have an agreed basis for permitted development and to have an extension of such rights. We would welcome further discussion with Scottish Government on this issue."

 

Various things come to mind.

a) Scottish Canals cannot be a statutory undertaker as that is only a trading name of British Waterways.

b) They appear to be admitting that they are abrogating their statutory duty under the Transport Act 1968. et al. "Moving away from a canal body to an increasingly leisure related business"

c) If that is not the case, then the above statement is a clear falsehood and surely contrary to the Civil Service Code of Practice and therefore gross misconduct.

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I kept telling  them boating is a leisure activity,  when they cut down to a 4 day week and cut the hours at Bowling. The Caledonian  canal and the crinan were very busy with foreign  boats,  no reason why the east coast of Scotland boaters don't come through to the west once the canal gets reopened 

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How true, Jokar. When came up the flight in Fort Augustus last week we shared the locks with 5 other vessels. One was a Dutch couple in a hired cruiser, one was an English crew also in a hired cruiser, one yacht was crewed by guys from Northern Ireland and 2 yachts crewed by Europeans circumnavigating Britain.

A route via the Forth Clyde, Crinan and Caledonian canals would surely be a good thing. 

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8 hours ago, Up-Side-Down said:

) Scottish Canals cannot be a statutory undertaker

The Order that transferred BWB functions in England & Wales to C&RT and put the Scottish Canals under to sole control of Scottish Ministers contains the following quote

"By virtue of the Transport Act 1962 and a number of other public and local enactments, the British Waterways Board exercises a range of functions. The Board operates as a navigation authority, a statutory undertaker and a harbour authority under a wide range of enactments."

 

So "Scottish Canals" ie. BWB is a statutory undertaker.   The point to watch here is that their permitted development rights exist ONLY because of their formal role under the various Transport Acts.   It would be very wrong if the Government, of any Local Authority agreed to extend those rights to any work which is not directly related to their prime function - the management of canals.

 

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Adding to Ronnie's video clip of the First Minister, this was on the Scottish Canals website - though I'm sure most have seen it already and I'm not sure that it really says very much.

 

a1e4dcc2959056d820a4a76859955a90?s=72&d=
By Scottish Canals 28 JUNE 2018
Categories
Boating
News

The Scottish Government has today announced an additional £1.625m funding for Scottish Canals, to enable repairs and improvements to Bonnybridge and Twechar bridges on the Forth and Clyde Canal, and to carry out further repair work at Ardrishaig Pier.

Catherine Topley, Interim CEO of Scottish Canals, said: “We are delighted with the news. We have been in dialogue with the Scottish Government for a number of months about needing additional investment to fix these assets and this injection of money will enable a long-term repair that ensures the bridges and the pier fully operational once again.

“We are passionate about maintaining a moving canvas on the Lowland canals as this is important to their renaissance, which has delivered significant investment, new jobs, tourism spend as well as health and environmental benefits since they were reopened in 2002.

“However, we are managing a complex portfolio of 250 year old heritage assets which hold a large percentage of Scotland’s water and are under increasing pressure from climate change. With a repairs backlog in excess of £70 million, we continue to work with Ministers to find a way of addressing this challenge.”

 

 

*Copied from the SC website.

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IWA Press Release

 

THE INLAND WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION - POSITION STATEMENT ON SCOTTISH CANALS

Issue date: 3rd July 2018


The Inland Waterways Association, a national charity which campaigns about all 6500 miles of inland waterways in mainland Britain, has expressed dismay at the suggestion that sections of the Lowland Canals in Scotland could face closure.

Notwithstanding the additional allocation of £1.6m from the Scottish Government announced on 28th June, IWA fears that there is a very real danger of Scottish Canals implementing the closure of its Lowland Canals, and is extremely concerned at suggestions that these waterways could be downgraded in status.  Proposals that sections of these canals could face closure are outlined in an Asset Management Strategy published on 21st June by Scottish Canals. 


The Forth & Clyde and Union canals were restored as a Millennium project, with funding from the Millennium Commission, European Regional Development Fund, Scottish Enterprise and local authorities.  Some of the grant funding included conditions that the canals must be maintained to cruising standard for up to 25 years. The canals were reopened just 17 years ago. 


The canals were upgraded from “Remainder” to “Cruising” waterways in 2011, and this placed a statutory duty on Scottish Canals to maintain them for cruising vessels. This change was put in place in order to protect the investment made in restoring the canals and it would seem very short sighted to reverse that decision just 7 years on. Given the importance of the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies to Scotland’s tourism it seems ludicrous that Scottish Canals should even be considering closing the through route that helps to keep these tourist attractions alive with boats. 


Scottish Canals argues that the coast to coast route is not being used sufficiently to justify it being kept open, but in IWA's view a lack of dredging and poor maintenance – together with recent closures and restrictions – will have contributed to a reduction in use.  IWA considers that the level of use should not be a significant factor in whether or not a waterway is kept open, as a vibrant waterway is kept alive by boats using it, and this in turn brings benefits in terms of improved health and wellbeing for the local population, as well as increased income through recreation, tourism and regeneration. 


IWA believes that Scottish Canals should be doing everything it can to keep the Lowland Canals fully open, and urges that this should include using some of the revenue raised from their property and tourism investments, which is currently not being spent on the core function of maintaining the waterways, despite an expectation from the Scottish Government that it should do so.

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WGreat to see the IWA backing our canal, and I totally agree, more needs to be done to encourage  boats to use the canal, no reason why foreign boats can't use the Forth and Clyde the way they use the Caledonian  canal I'm sure some Sweden, Finland, Denmark and German boaters would transit to the west coast through the F&C and crinan  rather than going down from the north at Inverness. Very  short sighted management. 

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1 hour ago, Jokar said:

WGreat to see the IWA backing our canal, and I totally agree, more needs to be done to encourage  boats to use the canal, no reason why foreign boats can't use the Forth and Clyde the way they use the Caledonian  canal I'm sure some Sweden, Finland, Denmark and German boaters would transit to the west coast through the F&C and crinan  rather than going down from the north at Inverness. Very  short sighted management. 

I would echo your last sentence ......... it pretty much sums up why we are where we are now!

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2 hours ago, Jokar said:

WGreat to see the IWA backing our canal, and I totally agree, more needs to be done to encourage  boats to use the canal, no reason why foreign boats can't use the Forth and Clyde the way they use the Caledonian  canal I'm sure some Sweden, Finland, Denmark and German boaters would transit to the west coast through the F&C and crinan  rather than going down from the north at Inverness. Very  short sighted management. 

One reason is that a nominal 2 metre draught is fairly common for Scandinavian and European sailing boats. The original plan for the Forth and Clyde was a guaranteed 2.3 metre depth. This was not fully achieved, due to isolated spots where services crossed the canal on the bed rather than under it. (A gas pipe with a concrete capping above it near Auchenstarry was particularly notorious for "tripping" sailing boats).

The bridge under the M9 on the new Carron link, however, was built with a depth of 1.8 metres, so that is now the new standard.

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26 minutes ago, Up-Side-Down said:

I would echo your last sentence ......... it pretty much sums up why we are where we are now!

Exactly! When I mentioned to our departed CEO a few years ago that he now had hardly anyone in his executive who knew anything about canals and boats his response, before he turned his back on me was "you don't need to know anything about boats to run a business". I wonder if he still thinks the same but I don't suppose he cares having been so well thought of by the Scottish Government that he was put in charge of Scottish Enterprise. 

 

haggis

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Reading my way through this makes me feel a bit better about changing our plans for next year.  We were going to spend 2 weeks cruising between Glasgow and Edinburgh, but then I started to read about the closures, maintenance etc.  After the K&A in 2016 (that was hard to find a mooring that wasn't overgrown and heaving with nettles) we didn't want to experience that again. So we have changed the plans to go on the Llangollen from Autherley instead, but I'm still sad about not seeing Scotland by boat.   Might have to just come back in a few years and have another crack!

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2 hours ago, Alison007 said:

Reading my way through this makes me feel a bit better about changing our plans for next year.  We were going to spend 2 weeks cruising between Glasgow and Edinburgh, but then I started to read about the closures, maintenance etc.  After the K&A in 2016 (that was hard to find a mooring that wasn't overgrown and heaving with nettles) we didn't want to experience that again. So we have changed the plans to go on the Llangollen from Autherley instead, but I'm still sad about not seeing Scotland by boat.   Might have to just come back in a few years and have another crack!

You could always hire a boat on the Caledonian canal for some spectacular Scottish scenery. 

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