Ben - 9's Waterways

Sunday, 18 April 2010

BW Missing a Trick?

A few weeks ago there was great dismay in the Wigan area when the canal ran out of water. The main lock flight was closed for repairs, so there wasn't the usual water coming down with boat movements. A local feeder was turned off because it was flooding a local estate. Then "vandals" came along and emptied the main pound through the town.

Then a mysterious thing was noted. Some blokes were seen dragging trolleys, bikes and other scrap out of the drained canal and loading them onto a lorry.

What is not clear is whether these blokes were opportunist metal collectors who spotted a chance of an unexpected haul while the canal was empty, or whether they were, in fact, the culprits who had drained the canal in the first place.

Now, having little better to do with my time, I have been giving some thought to this.

If loading a lorry with scrap metal to sell onwards is such a worthwhile thing to do, then since our canals are so full of such scrap crap, it seems to me that BW have missed a trick here.

Why doesn't BW make contact with blokes like the ones with the lorry in Wigan, tell them when various pounds are going to be drained on a planned and managed basis during the normal Winter stoppages, and invite them to come along with their lorry and clear the canal bed of scrap?

The scrap collectors would be happy at having a legitimate source. Boaters would be happy that there was less chance of getting grounded on a trolley or a motor bike. BW would be happy that someone wasn't coming along at night and emptying their pounds. They would also be happy that the junk was being removed for them at no cost.

I can't see a downside to this idea. Maybe someone should mention it to BW?