Could cruising become too pre-planned?
Itend not to worry too much when I’m out and around the waterways – for me that’s a big reason for going to them. But recently I have had a small concern, call it a bit of a niggle if you like.
One of CRT’s recent initiatives is an online one-stop-shop booking service ‘to make life easier’ (see page 9); so from November if you want to, for instance, plan trips on the Anderton Boat Lift, through Standedge Tunnel, the Liverpool Canal Link, the Ribble Link and Frankton Locks, or want to use Wigan and Ellesmere dry docks, you will be able to book up to two years in advance.
So far, so good and very helpful. The Trust goes on to say that if it’s successful it will look to roll out online booking to other bookable passages and dry docks across the network.
Then, of course, there is the trial of booking visitor moorings in London (something certainly needs to be done).
What’s niggling at me, though, is where, and what, all this might expand to become. I’m all for the internet making life easier, but I’d hate to find that in the long run it curtails the freedom to roam – because we should all be able (within the rules) to do what we like, when we like. Not when an automated system says we can.
Finally, don’t forget that we’ve unveiled a new magazine app. Packed with 50 issues, it’s a great way to take CB with you. Search for Canal Boat magazine in the App Store.