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Tim Lewis

Forth and Clyde Closure

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I'll watch the news at 6pm, I wonder if the canal still goes from Bowling  to Falkirk, or will it go to Grangemouth  ?

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59 minutes ago, Jokar said:

I'll watch the news at 6pm, I wonder if the canal still goes from Bowling  to Falkirk, or will it go to Grangemouth  ?

How'd it go? I missed it. Did they do the story justice?

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Ronnie, the story told is about the decline of the canal due to lack of funds, canal society  were interviewed as was Ronnie Rusack,  and Richard Miller. I don't see anything happening if Nicola Sturgeon  thinks the canal at Falkirk and Glasgow  is thriving, she obviously  thinks the canal is the Falkirk wheel and the Port Dundas  water sports. We really need some  drastic change in management  and for the government  to see how bad the situation  has become.

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So much for hire boats...  :rolleyes:

 

[from Scottish Canals]

Quote

On Sunday a hire boat collided with Lock 6 at Bankside on the Forth & Clyde Canal after entering the lock chamber and hitting the bottom gate at full speed. The gate post split under the force and both the lock gate and the walkway were severely damaged. Our Operations staff made the site safe by chaining the gate into the recess, closing off the walkway and removing the boat.

 

However, it does mean that Forth & Clyde East is now closed for the foreseeable future until lock repairs and a lock gate replacement can be carried out. This may be number of months and will depend on the availability of funding.

3

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It just gets worse!

A hire boat hit the bottom gates of one of the locks between the Wheel and The Kelpies so hard that the gate post split and the gate and walkway were severely damaged.  Not only do Scottish Canals not have money to pay for a repair but the fabricators are too busy to make new bits and the canal between the Wheel and the Kelpies has been closed until further notice. Word on the street is that that will not reopen  this year. 

I reckon that's about all of the Forth and Clyde canal shut with no prospect of things improving anytime soon so looks like the Scottish Canals Board are getting their wish to close the canal for good.

 

It occurs to me that had Scottish Canals put money into maintaining the canals instead of investing in property the lock might have withstood the impact a bit better. I understand that the state of almost all the locks on the Forth and Clyde is so bad that it is only a matter of time till there are more failures. 

 

haggis

 

 

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54 minutes ago, haggis said:

It just gets worse!

A hire boat hit the bottom gates of one of the locks between the Wheel and The Kelpies so hard that the gate post split and the gate and walkway were severely damaged.  Not only do Scottish Canals not have money to pay for a repair but the fabricators are too busy to make new bits and the canal between the Wheel and the Kelpies has been closed until further notice. Word on the street is that that will not reopen  this year. 

I reckon that's about all of the Forth and Clyde canal shut with no prospect of things improving anytime soon so looks like the Scottish Canals Board are getting their wish to close the canal for good.

 

It occurs to me that had Scottish Canals put money into maintaining the canals instead of investing in property the lock might have withstood the impact a bit better. I understand that the state of almost all the locks on the Forth and Clyde is so bad that it is only a matter of time till there are more failures. 

 

haggis

 

 

It is very sad.

We were up your way a few weeks back babysitting the grandkids and took them on the Falkirk wheel. There is a recorded commentary on the tour boats and on the way back down the wheel, spent at least 10 minutes saying how much investment was going into the canals by the Scottish Government (lots!!!) and how active and bouyant the two canals (the Union and the FC) were now all that money was being spent. It sounded a really good story. I guess it was recorded back in 2005 - the previous time I went on it. By the way, the wheel was packed ......a very wet Saturday afternoon. Not a spare seat on the boat which must take 100 people paying nearly £10 each..... and 8 trips (???) a day? That place is raking it in.

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11 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

It is very sad.

 That place (the Wheel) is raking it in.

It is indeed very sad and it would be a lot worse if it wasn't for the sterling work being done by Keep Canals Alive. However, had politicians listened to us during the last several years when we tried to tell them what was happening, we wouldn't be where we are today.  Unfortunately, as they appoint the Board and Chief Executive they couldn't see that they had appointed the wrong people who were pass masters at  pulling the wool over the politicians eyes. 

You would think that with two trip boats running full all day that there must be money to maintain the canals but there doesn't seem to be. I wonder where the Wheel trip money actually goes

 

haggis

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2 hours ago, haggis said:

It just gets worse!

A hire boat hit the bottom gates of one of the locks between the Wheel and The Kelpies so hard that the gate post split and the gate and walkway were severely damaged.  Not only do Scottish Canals not have money to pay for a repair but the fabricators are too busy to make new bits and the canal between the Wheel and the Kelpies has been closed until further notice. Word on the street is that that will not reopen  this year. 

I reckon that's about all of the Forth and Clyde canal shut with no prospect of things improving anytime soon so looks like the Scottish Canals Board are getting their wish to close the canal for good.

 

It occurs to me that had Scottish Canals put money into maintaining the canals instead of investing in property the lock might have withstood the impact a bit better. I understand that the state of almost all the locks on the Forth and Clyde is so bad that it is only a matter of time till there are more failures. 

 

haggis

 

 

It’s straight out of the D&IE/BWB playbook of the 50’s, itself derived from the railway companies in the early 20thC. Do no maintenance, leave closures for years, apply for abandonment on the grounds that there’s no traffic.

 

I’m afraid it’s not a good prognosticator for how life in an independent Scotland would be.

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1 hour ago, haggis said:

 

You would think that with two trip boats running full all day that there must be money to maintain the canals but there doesn't seem to be. I wonder where the Wheel trip money actually goes

 

haggis

.......and quite a few kids activities costing £6 a pop, plus a big gift shop and two coaches turning up every half hour on their trips round Scotland.......and the cafe that was packed with 100 or so people wasnt exactly cheap. The kids really enjoyed it all! It was a good day out so well done Scottish Canals.....but how about spending some of the money?

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Scottish canals are a public  body,  if you want to know ask under the freedom  of  information  act, I'm sure they will need to give the information when asked. Maybe you should also ask for the maintenance  records for the faulty bridges at the same time lol

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24 minutes ago, 13-10 said:

Well there's a surprise.

 

Just heard Leamington Bridge now shut for 3 months

That will snooker boats moored outside who need diesel or a pump out. 

 

Haggis

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7 hours ago, 13-10 said:

Well there's a surprise.

 

Just heard Leamington Bridge now shut for 3 months

It's been a bit ill for a while. It is apparently waiting on some hydraulic components (where have I heard hat before?) but was making odd squeaking and groaning noises when operated and the deck was two or three feet up. Lochrin Belle was told a couple of months ago that user operation was not allowed any more, and that she should moor outside Edinburgh Quay to minimise bridge operations. It was still being operated for hire boats, though (and , obviously, for fuel and pump out).

 

Boat Movement/Assisted Passage told me that "arrangements will be made" for fuel and pump out, and suggested that it might be a tanker. I'd think a supply of jerry cans for fuel, and apparently Lockie James is arranging something for pump outs over the course of the week end. (Maybe that's what the tanker is for?)

 

No notification from Scottish Canals yet (assuming I haven't been dropped off their mailing list). According to the Lowland Canals Association, the guy that would send the email is out of the office until Monday. You couldn't make it up ...

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Just wondering if there is any feedback on the meeting with SC this morning at Bowling. 

I am on holiday and could not manage to get there as a sign of interest and support. 

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39 minutes ago, AllanD said:

Just wondering if there is any feedback on the meeting with SC this morning at Bowling. 

I am on holiday and could not manage to get there as a sign of interest and support. 

If you want to PM me tomorrow and I'll try and gather my scattered wits and talk you through what went on ..........

39 minutes ago, AllanD said:

Just wondering if there is any feedback on the meeting with SC this morning at Bowling. 

I am on holiday and could not manage to get there as a sign of interest and support. 

 

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8 hours ago, Jokar said:

Hi, was the meeting to do with service or the canal, can you make it public?

It was predominantly a follow up meeting to an original early in the summer John, called by the local MSP – Jackie Baillie, Bowling Community Council and residential boaters in the Bottom Basin. It was as a result of SC's decision to leave the site unlocked 24/7 and withdraw security. There was general concern that the poorly-lit sea lock was a hazard and that the hooligan element was a very real threat to boaters and their families living there. The outcome was instantaneous in that gates are now locked 20.00-08.00 and security has been reinstated for at least part of the night. It seems that although SC take little or no notice of their customers, they jump once an MSP pops up!

 

However, service was discussed at some length and featured future manning regimes for the office at Bowling and sea lock operating times. Nothing has been decided but opinions will be sought at the next meeting with a view to firming up the new operating times. You would obviously have an interest here and could therefore make a useful input. If you contact Scott MacMurry at Applecross Street, I'm sure he'll arrange for you to be invited at the beginning of December – I believe the 3rd.

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Thankyou for the info, I'll be at the next one for sure.10am on a Monday is a ridiculous time to expect folk to attend a meeting

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Had a look at Lock 6 (the broken one on the Falkirk flight) this morning. Lots of SC guys (from Highland division as well as Lowland :) ) removing the paddle operating gear from the balance beam in preparation for the gate being lifted out tomorrow (Wednesday). I believe they are also going to lift a few boats over the top gates at the same time, which is going to need a b big crane. The volunteer lockies have been cancelled for tomorrow, though, on the grounds that lock 6 is a working site. Not sure if SC realise there's another 13 locks to get boats through!

 

The gate has a split upright at its outer end. No sign of rot, so it must have been a goodly thump to have done the damage. 

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22 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

They surly cant claim boater vandalism when its CRT trained people who work the locks

Not CRT trained my friend. SC trained volunteers. Obviously this was a boat skipper issue, but IMHO the volunteers are not trained to deal with this kind of accident. Bring back the returning seasonal staff. They had a wealth of knowledge of the canal and of the problems encountered with hire boats. Not the first time I have cut ropes for a boat hanging up while being lowered in the lock. Or having to refill lock to get hire boat off the cill.  All done in a hurry but with constant monitoring of the boat in the lock. As for the bridges, I think it is a way for SC to put pressure on Gov to hand out more money. The 2 bridges in question have had the same type of issues for years. As for Leamington it should have a statutory inspection due to use of wire ropes to lift and lower it. There is no money pit. Certainly not the backlog amount of £70 million required to bring up to scratch. And if you ask taxpayers what they want to pay extra tax for, the NHS or the canals, I think you can answer that one yourself. 

 

Edited by WJD

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Yes, it is very sad that SC have allowed the canals to deteriorate as much as they have by spending money on property development rather than canal maintenance.  I think if the bridges etc had had money spent maintaining them, it would have cost far less that it will now cost to get them functioning again and as you say, the Scottish Government has other priorities. 

I heard on the grape vine (so it may not be true) that the number of incidents relating to lock operation is a fraction now of what it was before the volunteers took on the job. I know  we have had some hairy moments having locks operated by seasonal casuals but haven't had any with the volunteers but of course we are not up and down the locks often enough to really judge. 

The word on the towpath about the hire boat hitting the lock gate is that there had been a problem with the linkage a bit earlier and the skipper decided to repair it himself rather than call out an engineer. His "repair" only lasted a few minutes before he lost all reverse  and the boat belted the lock gate. On the bright side, the hire boats insurance is paying for the repair so every cloud has a silver lining.

 

haggis

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