Canal & River Trust
Transforming Maintenance and Investment in the Nation’s Canals
The Canal & River Trust looks after one the UK largest national and historic assets – the canals and waterways of England and Wales. One of its objectives is to improve the wellbeing of the nation and ensure that more than 2,000 miles of historic inland waterways are accessible and available for use by the population.
To achieve this goal, they need to decide how best to spend their annual £100m asset maintenance budget. This decision-making framework for investment planning and scheduling needed to be a risk-based approach, consistent across asset classes, meaningful to engineers, and justifiable to stakeholders. With an old and deteriorating asset base it’s crucial that the Trust spends its money carefully, focusing on repairing and replacing what matters most.
The approach needed to work across their huge variety of assets (canals, buildings, mechanical and electrical equipment, waterways and reservoirs, culverts, weirs and many more). The ages of these assets range from modern data communication equipment to items more than 200 years old. Assets fail in many different ways, and these have different effects and require different pre-emptive interventions. The greatest challenge was the data; they had very little quantitative data on asset condition and historical failures and relied heavily on qualitative assessments from subject matter experts (SMEs).
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