More work for Ombudsman
DESPITE A REDUCTION in the number of official complaints entering the Canal & River Trust’s complaints system, the number that remained unresolved and were, therefore, raised with the Waterways Ombudsman has shown a slight rise from 54 to 62.
Ombudsman Andrew Walker’s annual report shows that out of these he opened 16 new investigations. He also completed 14 existing ones, out of which eight complaints were upheld at least in part. They involved: CRT taking over six months to provide a key to a sanitary station for a disabled boater. A boater incurring marina and travel costs as a result of being trapped on the far side of the Ribble Link by water shortage when CRT had already been aware that levels were low. A boat damaged while reversing out of Foulridge Tunnel ( pictured) after it met a CRT workboat coming the other way – despite having entered on a green light. Safety issues including uneven surfaces at a CRT permanent mooring Sinking of a sailing boat with a keel, possibly as a result water level dropping Delays in extending a waterside property lease. Failure by CRT to provide a clear explanation of context when supporting an application for a new marina. Failure of procedures to deal with reporting of leakage from a canal into farmland Those which were not upheld included: Refusal of permission for overstaying by a boater who said she couldn’t move her boat safely on her own with young children on board. The Ombudsman felt that the situation “must have arisen before” and there must be “an element of parental responsibility”. A boater with a home mooring ( but not generally using it) being treated by CRT under the same rules as those without home moorings. The Ombudsman said he could consider whether CRT has implemented its own rules, but that it is not his role to decide on interpretation of the law.
See waterways-ombudsman.org for the full report and case summaries.