The barges were in decline by then, but a few would tie up, and come into my pub.
I was surprised how vast the network was, available to these huge (in my mind) barges. One typically would load with gravel for building, down the Trent, up the Humber, into the Ouze, and up towards York.
Stuff like building gravel is not required next day, but is planned long-term.
However, the people responsible for the waterways, and there at least THREE, wouldn't do anything to support this form of transport. Nowhere to tie up, apart from private land (mine included) NO pump out stations (so they had to discharge bilges & toilets into the rivers) No fresh water charging points. Yet these barges take hundreds of big trucks OFF the roads...
I think I saw the last barge in about 2015
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