Now 36 defects per mile of C&RT waterway

July 2017 - Canal & River Trust has confirmed that its maintenance backlog, as measured by the number of outstanding defects, rose by 15 per cent in its last financial year, Allan Richards reports.

The Trust has given the number of outstanding defects at 1 April 2016 as 62,397 and and a revised figure for 1 April 2017 as 72,026. That's a increase of about 10,000 or 15 per cent in 12 months. Put another way, the Trust now has 36 defects for each mile of waterway.

'Defects' or 'defect notifications' are short hand for 'SAP ZX Defect Notifications'. SAP is a computer application and ZX is the code used differentiate 'defects' from other types of notification.

A defect notification is raised, usually as the result of an inspection, to register that something is defective and needs fixing. It stays 'outstanding' until the necessary remedial work takes place at which point it is 'closed'. As such the number of outstanding defects gives a measure of the maintenance backlog.

Last month the Floater highlighted the problems that C&RT are having in fixing its waterways. We said 'It seems C&RT is simply not repairing the network as fast as it is falling apart – something many boaters suspect from their personal experience ....'

At the time the previous article was published, an accurate figure for 2017 outstanding defects was not available due to C&RT attempting to fudge the numbers. We made a conservative estimate of 65,000 but this has proven rather too conservative with C&RT now admitting that 'SAP ZX Defect Notifications' outstanding at 1 April 2017 are 72,026.

Rather more than the 9,183 figure C&RT had previously suggested ...

Photos: (1st) Leaking lock gates - not fixed, (2nd) Collapsing bank - not fixed, (3rd) Failing structures - not fixed, (4th to 6th) Defect Notices 'closed'...

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