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Down here in this space we are susceptible to a timely piece of symbolism. Imagine, then, the wry nods and arched eyebrows which greeted the news that the Lancaster Canal had finally been completed, 200 years behind schedule.

Down here in this space we are susceptible to a timely piece of symbolism. Imagine, then, the wry nods and arched eyebrows which greeted the news that the Lancaster Canal had finally been completed, 200 years behind schedule.

This was not only because we could now look upon Wembley Stadium, the high-speed Channel rail link, and our own modest travails with the kitchen extension through the calming eye of historical perspective; no. There was also the coincidence of the government report calling for a huge roadbuilding programme to cope with traffic pressure. We say: to the water!

Environmentally sound, soothing, scenic, speedier than anything you are likely to experience at Vauxhall Bridge or that bit on the M6 beyond Birmingham; very similar to a train that runs: a transport method whose time has come, particularly if the cross-London sedan chair link ever gets finished.

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