Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Reporting Issues (2)

Henry Ford said 'don't find fault, find a remedy' but then Ford was not trying to work with the communications and reporting systems of the Canal and River Trust. 

Sending an email - currently gets the following reply:
Thank you for your e-mail. We just wanted to let you know that it’s taking us longer to respond to our emails than usual because of the high volume of enquiries we’re handling right now. We’re really sorry for the delay and are working very hard to get back to our usual prompt time scales as soon as possible. 
Just like buses you stand around and wait and then two come along almost at once. Here is a bit more feedback from the trust. You may remember from a previous Micks Musing that I reported the item below to the customer service team at the trust on the 12th of June.
On the Birmingham main line between the Netherton tunnel branch and the Gower branch. The canal narrows from the remains of an old toll gauging station. Whilst heading towards Birmingham we became stuck on something in the entry side of the right hand channel. It took us some time to get our boat clear of the obstruction. As it fouled both the propeller (which suffered damage) and the tiller. The left hand channel was clear and we were eventually able to pass through. Boaters should be made aware of the obstruction.
Today 6th July (24 days later) I received the following update.
Thank you for your email which I passed to the customer service team, they have visited the site and ensured that all obstructions are now cleared, should you have any further issues when using the canals in the West Midlands please do not hesitate to contact this office  
On the 19th of June I wrote to Customer Services.
Dear CaRT customer services.

Please pass on to whoever deals with the Droitwich Canal.

Droitwich Barge Lock (wide lock with central swing bridge) in the centre of Droitwich. All four gates on the lock cannot be fully opened. It seems that there has been a build up of materials or objects placed behind all four gates. Today is the start of the Droitwich festival this weekend which will be attracting numbers of boats into the area, as it is held alongside the canal. (CaRT have a stand) We struggled to pass through the lock last evening with our narrowboat. We had to enlist the help of people passing by to help swing the gates at each end far enough apart to squeeze through.
 On the 5th of July, sixteen days later I got a reply.
Thank you for your email and apologies for the late reply. I have copied in the local waterway office for you to make them aware but if you would like to contact them directly, their email address is enquiries.southwalessevern@canalrivertrust.org.uk
On the 5th of July, sixteen days later I got a second reply.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention, We are aware of this issue and are working to try and resolve this shortly. I will pass your details to our local team so they are aware.

On the 16th of June we were on the Birmingham and Worcester Canal. At bridge 86 we came across a fallen tree that almost blocked the canal. This was reported to CaRT straight away as a hazard to navigation. However, in all fairness its only been three weeks and counting, since I made the report.  Which is just as well, because we managed to squeeze past. I am still waiting for an acknowledgement to that one. 

We have arrived at Sharpness, on what seems to be visitor moorings. Once again its another chapter in the mystery that is CaRT and the way it employs signs around the system. Sometimes they are meaningless, sometimes they are confusing and sometimes you will need the services of a crystal ball.

Note the arrow and also note the penalty notice appended below.  Which is displayed like a parking fine charge in a council car-park. However, no where on the post is there a time limit displayed. 

Now if I moored to the left of the arrow I could face a fine of £25 rising to £50 a week. If I moored to the right of the arrow - would I be subject to the same fine?  Yet, there is more mooring space (20 narrowboats) to the right of the post than there is (10 narrowboats) to the left!  Is the whole of this visitor mooring a 'place' and if so, why is a penalty fine levied from the middle of the mooring to one end. But not the other way?

Now, you might like me think that the standard 14 days applies. Looking at the post there seems to be a gap where another plate could have been added. However there is no evidence of previous screw holes and the lichen would seem to support there has not been anything there for years.

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