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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

So....it seems we pay through the nose again!

 Let me start at the beginning.

In 1968 the Erewash Canal Preservation &Development Association (ECP&DA) was formed in response to a threat by the British Waterways Board to close the canal. One of the ECP&DA's achievements was the re-opening of the Great Northern Basin at Langley Mill. This canal basin was the point at which the Cromford, Erewash and Nottingham Canals met. The Langley Mill Boat Company, formed in 1974 by members of the ECP&DA ( Pete was one of the original members) and based at the Great Northern Basin, had cleared and put back into water a short section of the Cromford Canal connected to the basin. Pete now runs the Langley Mill Boat Company and with him and members of the ECP&DA had the dock and workshop built and helped encourage boat owners to moor in a safe environment.

For a while now ( I'm going back well over a year )  Pete has been getting letters from a council official stating that he was no longer allowed to keep his security gate closed thereby allowing the public the right to the dock area, workshop and the berth holders boats. As far as she was concerned this was a public right of way and as such must not be closed off!  It seems that, although Pete has fought the council writing letter after letter and attending umpteen meetings or so, his words about security went unheeded. So on Monday morning this started.

The gates in green open and the dock and boats beyond

It now appears that the Council official reluctantly gave way and bypassed the gate making the footpath go along land owned by C&RT. So thegate can remain closed protecting Petes dry dock and workshop area, but it would rejoin the track a little further along still offering no security for any of the berth holders. Yesterday I walked over to the workshop and spoke to Pete. He was understandably peeved off but totally resigned to what was going to happen. He then surprised me by saying it wasn't the council that was paying for the path but C&RT! So it seems that we as licence payers are providing this footpath for the pleasure of the public. To me this is an outrage especially as at the end of the track there is nothing but a quagmire. To even attempt to walk through it would be foolhardy. There is no route along this section of the disused Cromford canal as a very wide obstacle stands in the way. The River Erewash!!! To me this is a total waste of the licence payers money. It should never have been proposed and we certainly should not have had to fork out for it!

I have found a discussion started by Mat B about this 'so called right of way' on the boating canal forum  of which there had been numerous replies but this one by Hugh C stood out. I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

There has never been a public right of way along this route. Before the stretch was restored by the ECP&DA and the Langley Mill Boat Comapny the land had been opencasted and was lying waste; before that there was a working colliery wharf and railway over much of the site.Going further back a tramway feeding the Nottingham canal was laid along the site.At this stage the whole area was a wasteland and the canal had totally disappeared from just above the derelict lock. When industrial development was taking place alongside the basin - about 12/15 years ago- on the site of Beggarlee wharf the plans showed buildings built to the edge of the water so there was no ROW shown on the definitive map at that stage None of these uses lend themseleves to being shared by a pedestrian ROW.The question of whether or not a ROW exists has been deliberately engineeered by someone with an agenda they seem to prefer not to make public and this has been backed by a pushy footpaths officer for reasons about which we can only speculate. The whole site encompassing the Great Northern Basin and the Langley Mill Boat Co. moorings and dry dock has been brought back from dereliction to provide both a well used public amenity and a useful and much needed boaters' facility. Public access to the moorings will destroy any security and lead to a exodus of boats and the Erewash does need as many boats as possible. Regards, HughC.

 And finally:-

1 comment:

KevinTOO said...

Well, I wish I could say I am suprised... but I'm not sadly :(

I've 'lifted' the following from Bruces' Sanity Again blog... hope he doen't mind...

"This is the invite we’ve had from Fran Read at CRT:

The Canal & River Trust’s chief executive, Richard Parry, is hosting a series of open meetings for boaters and other waterway users. The meetings are a good chance to informally air views or have a chat with Richard about any local or national issues.

I would like to invite you to come along to the meeting from 3pm on Saturday 8 February in Nottingham. The meeting will take place at Waterfront, Castle Wharf, Canal Street, Nottingham, NG1 7EH, and a light buffet will be provided. The meeting is expected to last for a couple of hours. We are sending these invitations to boaters living or currently cruising in the Nottingham area and, while everyone is very welcome, Richard is particularly keen to reach boaters who don’t normally go to user groups or other meetings with the Trust and have not had the chance to talk to us face to face.

Please note that capacity is limited so do email me if you would like to come along, and please feel free to extend the invitation to other boaters who may be interested.

The email to use is fran.read"at"canalrivertrust.org.uk, replacing the "at" with @

Perhaps you need to book yourselves a bus??


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