Safety Second on the Thames
Whilst BW are considering selling off all their property in order to spend it on monitoring the behaviour of Stockton fish and the like the Environment Agency (EA for short) which manages the River Thames amongst others has a more frightening idea.
They have just announced that they are to sell off 22 lock cottages to the public and rehouse the lock keepers somewhere cheaper. I have no statistics to hand and have done no research but I would hazard a guess that this will have an impact on safety at the Thames locks. EA assures us that lock keepers will still be on duty during their normal working hours but accidents do not keep office hours and many boaters have reason to be thankful that the lock keepers to date have not felt so restricted either.
So now it's Money First, Safety Second on the Thames.
Being a sceptical bod I can foresee the day when the new resident of a lock cottage, having no experience of rivers but having fallen in love with the idea of this utopia, will have a rude awakening one day when their barbecue is disturbed by boats of all things making a noise outside their front door and will apply for the nuisance to be abated.
Oh boy what fun we can look forward to!