Missing a Trick
Jonathan Mosse, IWA’s Scotland representative, reflects on a missed opportunity…
I doubt my mother had so much as a millilitre of Scottish blood coursing through her veins but she brought me up to believe that Scotland did things a little better than the remainder of the United Kingdom! Having lived north of the Border now for something like 15 years I think she was right, certainly in the areas of health care and education that she was most fond of citing. However, unlike her son, she had little interest in the inland waterways in general, or their freight-carrying potential in particular. If she had, then she would almost certainly have had cause to modify her perceptions.
Essentially, there is little fundamental difference between the tidal Thames – from its estuary up to Teddington – and the tidal River Clyde from Tail O’The Bank (Greenock) through to Glasgow Green, and the lifting tidal weir that parts salt water from fresh. Except, that is, that the former heaves with river traffic in myriad shapes and sizes, while the latter … well, … doesn’t! Apart, that is, from regular deep-sea shipping bound for the Clydebank oil terminal or King George V Dock and associated wharfs, which handle general cargo, close to the city centre. If you discount the occasional Multi-Cat workboat there is absolutely no local traffic, be it bulk, waste, passenger or ‘last mile’.
[Photos by Jonathan Mosse ]