...but wor­ries about Wheel

Canal Boat - - News -

IN AD­DI­TION to wor­ries about the fu­ture of the hire fleet, the Scot­tish Low­land Canals have also been the sub­ject of con­cerns re­gard­ing pos­si­ble re­stricted avail­abil­ity of the Falkirk Wheel for boat pas­sages as part of Scot­tish Canals’ ‘Ro­tate’ project.

The In­land Wa­ter­ways As­so­ci­a­tion drew at­ten­tion dur­ing last year’s Scot­tish Canals Pric­ing Con­sul­ta­tion to “the pro­posal for a static pon­toon to be fit­ted to one of the cais­sons of the Falkirk Wheel” for car­ry­ing pas­sen­gers, leav­ing just one cais­son for trip boats, hire-boats and pri­vate craft. The As­so­ci­a­tion has said it is “con­cerned” that SC is still pur­su­ing the con­cept, and believes that in­creas­ing the num­ber of boats on the canals” through hire-boats, trip-boats and af­ford­able boat­ing is “the most ef­fec­tive way to achieve its tourism rev­enue ob­jec­tives” – and called on SC to re­con­sider its po­si­tion and adopt a long-term strat­egy to in­crease boat­ing.

SC has re­sponded that plans are “still at an early de­sign stage” with no de­ci­sion to be made with­out cus­tomer feed­back, that the con­cept is for a “float­ing, non-fixed plat­form” which would be “for use at dif­fer­ent times of year” and would “ac­com­mo­date boat move­ments”.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said that if the project is pro­gressed, “Ro­tate will not change the na­ture of The Falkirk Wheel or pre­vent the nav­i­ga­tion of the Low­land Canals”, but that the big­gest im­pact would be that boaters would need to “fol­low the book­ing pro­ce­dure which al­ready ex­ists but isn’t al­ways ad­hered to”.

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