Finally we have C&RT's list of 1,200 minimum safety standard failures

November 2017 - Two weeks The Floater asked whether C&RT was operating below minimum safety standards. Now C&RT, itself, has provided the answer - publishing a list containing around 1,200 instances where it is failing to comply, along with a much shorter list of instances where it has given itself a dispensation allowing itself not to comply. Allan Richards has been extracting the answers from the Trust.

The first inkling that something was wrong was C&RT providing its Navigation Advisory Group (NAG) with a list of non-compliance with minimum safety standards, explaining that it had given itself a dispensation for not meeting them. NAG, appeared to smell a rat and asked for a full list of non-compliances. However, there is currently no record of C&RT having actually provided NAG with such a list.

It was against this background (and concerns that C&RT is now treating standards as 'aspirational' rather than the 'minimum customers can expect') that a request was made under the Freedom of Information Act. On 1 October 2017, the Trust were asked to provide the two lists and publish them in the public domain. Under the Act C&RT should have replied promptly and, in any case, within 20 days. In the event, they delayed and did not reply until 16.55 on the last possible day.

Whilst C&RT did provide the two requested lists (see below), they also provided additional information. This was garbled and incorrectly formatted. It appears to provide further information on minimum safety standards relating to signs and lock ladders. C&RT have been invited to provide this additional information again but are under no obligation to do so as it does not form part of the original information request.

The list provided to NAG, where C&RT had given itself a dispensation for not meeting minimum safety standards, gives some 75 non-compliances dating back as far as far as 2006. However, most are dated within the last five years and do not date back to the days of British Waterways. No explanation is provided as to why a dispensation is justified for each non-compliance

The list of 'all non-compliances' shows about 1,200 occurrences where minimum safety standards are not met. According to the list, most of these failures are not planned to be fixed. However, that will come as no surprise because C&RT do not have any published plan to reduce the growing number of outstanding defects (72,026 on 1 April 2017) on its waterways to manageable level (Now 36 defects per mile of C&RT waterway).

Perhaps C&RT has also given itself a dispensation for all these.

Lets leave the last word to C&RT (from its Customer Service Standards) - "We have a defined set of ‘Minimum Safety Standards’. The safety standards have been introduced so that customers know the minimum that they can expect around our network."

C&RT have told its customers the absolute minimum to expect. It is failing to deliver that minimum. Worse still, it has tried to hide that failure …
See the lists for yourselves here:

Failures to meet minimum safety standards where C&RT has given itself a dispensation: 75 dispensations

List of all failures to meet minimum safety standards: 1,200 failures

Photos: (1st) C&RT promises - the minimum you can expect, (2nd) C&RT reality - just some of the 1,200 failures, (3rd) C&RT excuses - some of the 75 failures they have given themselves dispensation to make.

User login