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Editor Nick Wall muses on the benefits, and possible drawbacks, of recently launched booking services in the new issue

Inside the issue:

Boat test of the Elsie Alice from Tristar

How the 200-year-old Leeds & Liverpool was built on a battleground

Liveaboard David Johns moors up for the winter

Steve Haywood on the joys of autumn

Cruise guide: Yorkshire Ouse

Most Read

Restoring the Norwood Tunnel

Why your boat heater might not be working

Mosey along the Macc

And much more!

Buy the print or digital edition here.

Canal Boat editor Nick Wall says…

I tend not to worry too much when I’m out and around the waterways – for me that’s a big reason for going to them. But recently I have had a small concern, call it a bit of a niggle if you like.

One of CRT’s recent initiatives is an online one-stop-shop booking to service ‘to make life easier’; so from November if you want to, for instance, plan trips on the Anderton Boat Lift, through Standedge Tunnel, the Liverpool Canal Link, the Ribble Link and Frankton Locks, or want to use Wigan and Ellesmere dry docks, you will be able to book up to two years in advance.

So far, so good – and very helpful.

The Trust goes on to say that if it’s successful, it will look to roll out online booking to other bookable passages and dry docks across the network.

Then, of course, there is the trial of booking visitor moorings in London (something certainly needs to be done).

What’s niggling at me, though, is where, and what, all this might expand to become. I’m all for the internet making life easier, but I’d hate to find that in the long run it curtails the freedom to roam.

We all should be able (within the laws) to do what we like, when we like. Not when an automated system says we can.

Finally, don’t forget that we’ve unveiled a new app. Packed with 50 issues, it’s a great way to take CB with you. You can download it from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or from the Amazon App Store.