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As temperatures plummeted last night, Kinver’s canals took the brunt of the cold as they froze over, making it a bit harder for boats to move. And owners aren’t happy.

Dave Guthridge, a canal user, contacted to vent his anger.

“It’s absolutely outrageous. There are gritters for the roads and grit bins in streets, but we’ve had ice now for the second time in as many decades, and it makes it harder to move my boat. Car drivers yet again get preferential treatment.”

A consortium of boat users has teamed up to demand South Staffordshire Council provide an ice breaker boat for such situations.

Our climate reporter, Mike Littisore, contacted South Stafforshire Council to ask their opinion. A representative said, “Unfortunately it’s unlikely to ever happen. We had our finance team run through the costs and benefits, and we found the cheapest ice breaker class boat would cost about £430,000. The current cost to the economy of ice on the canal is somewhere in the region of zero pounds, making it economically unviable.”

We put these comments to Dave, and he said “That’s typical of the short-sighted attitude of pencil pushing office workers who don’t see the real trauma for us on the water ways. We pay our taxes, too, we need to be looked after just like everyone else. But more so.”

South Stafforshire council refused to take any more calls on the matter.




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