Pennine Waterways News

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Bosley Locks Closed

Bosley Locks have had to be closed to navigation after a void was discovered alongside Lock 3.

This was discovered in the course of operating the lock. There is a risk of the ground alongside the lock collapsing so the Canal and River Trust have closed the lock for investigations. They are looking at ways of allowing passage through the lock without endangering crews.

An update will be issued tomorrow.

With Marple Locks not due to re-open until 24th May, this means that the summit level of the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals is temporarily cut off.

Update 11th April:
CRT has issued the following statement -
"Our Teams have managed to erect a temporary platform which has been built above the void to enable the lock to still be in use.
"The flight is now open for navigation."

Update 16th April:
The flight will be closed on Wednesday 17th April between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm to allow repairs to be carried out on Lock 3.


Lock 3, Bosley flight, Macclesfield Canal

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Burnley Reopening Delayed

The closure of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Finsley Gate in Burnley is to be extended until May.

The Canal and River Trust has announced that the canal will not re-open in Burnley until Wednesday 8th May.

The Trust says that, once the canal was dewatered, it was discovered the amount of silt along the affected area was far greater than expected. The silt was tested and found to be contaminated, which means special measures have to be taken to remove it and dispose of it safely, causing significant delays to the project.

It was also found that the retaining wall was in a much worse condition than originally thought. This, too, has resulted in additional works.

CRT says that their contractors are doing everything they can to complete this project as soon as possible but will not be in a position to re-open the navigation until 8th May 2019. The Trust sincerely apologises for the inconvenience this may cause.

The stoppage at Finsley Gate was to enable canal relining works, work to the towpath retaining wall and offside soft bank protection.

Finsley Gate on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Burnley.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Marple Locks Reopening Delayed

Another setback has been announced for boaters wishing to use the Peak Forest Canal.
Trouble-hit Marple Locks are now to remain closed until the end of May.

The Canal and River Trust has revealed that rebuilding work at Lock 11 in Marple is a few weeks behind schedule. It is now planned to re-open the canal to boats at the end of Friday 24th May 2019.

It had originally been planned to re-open the locks in mid-March,. Engineers say they encountered delays in the piling phase of the works, with ground drilling and the installation of reinforced concrete piles behind the existing lock walls proving slower than expected. Some design changes were also needed due to site constraints. The piling is now complete and the ground stable so that the failed lock walls can now be carefully dismantled.

The re-building of the lock walls back to the correct alignment is complex and time consuming, as construction has to comply with heritage requirements, with Lock 11 being a Grade II Listed structure.

Lock 11 has been closed since July 2018 because the sides were moving slowly inward. It had been open on a restricted basis for only a few weeks after the lock flight had been closed from September 2017 because of serious subsidence at Lock 15.

These extended stoppages have affected boaters intending to navigate the Cheshire Ring.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Leeds and Liverpool lock restrictions lifted

The restricted opening times of lock flights on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal between Wigan and Gargrave are being lifted from Friday 21st December. The Canal and River Trust has announced that reservoir levels have improved.

However, to help ensure that water remains available around Wigan, some overnight closures will be in place. Locks 88 (Pagefield) and 89 (Ell Meadow) will be opened at 8.00 am and locked at 3.00 pm daily. These locks will be padlocked outside of those hours.

Update 21st December:
Following a severe act of vandalism at Blackburn Top Lock, the Blackburn lock flight (52 - 57) will be opened at 10.00 am and locked at 3.00 pm daily with last entry onto the flight at 2.00 pm. Blackburn lock flight will be padlocked outside of those hours.

Ell Meadow Lock, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Leeds and Liverpool lock flights to close again

The Canal and River Trust has announced that the lock flights on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal will be closed again from 26th November because of 'below average rainfall'.

The lock flights affected are from Wigan (Lock 85) to Holme Lock, Gargrave (Lock 30). These closures are necessary because of the limited water resources currently available and to reduce the risk of the reservoirs not refilling in time for the start of the main boating season next year.

However, CRT intends to offer 'windows of opportunity' for boats to move, with the locks being open for navigation each Saturday. Opening times are yet to be announced. Please re-visit this page for updates. If there is sufficient demand CRT will consider additional days.

These restrictions are expected to last until at least the New Year.

Boaters should be aware that the canal is now closed to navigation at Finsley Gate in Burnley until March.

Update 20th November:
The lock flights between Gargrave and Wigan will be open for navigation only at the following times:

Gargrave flight (Lock 30 Holme Bridge to Lock 35 Stegneck Lock) - Saturdays 9.00 am to 3.00 pm, last entry to flight 2.00 pm

Bank Newton flight (Lock 36 to Lock 41) - Saturdays Saturdays 9.00 am to 3.00 pm, last entry to flight 2.00 pm

Greenberfield flight (Lock 42 to Lock 44) - Saturdays Saturdays 9.00 am to 3.00 pm, last entry to flight 2.00 pm

Barrowford
flight (Lock 45 to Lock 51) - Saturdays Saturdays 9.00 am to 3.00 pm, last entry to flight 2.00 pm

Blackburn flight - no restrictions

Johnson's Hillock flight - no restrictions

Wigan flight - Thursdays 8.30 am to 3.00 pm, last entry to flight 10.00 am

No booking is required, but boaters are asked to check all gates and paddles are closed after use and to share locks where possible.

Assistance on the Wigan flight is available to single handed boaters or crews of two people where one cannot assist with lock work for health reasons. This can be booked by calling 03030 404040 and asking to speak with the North-West office. This service available on Thursdays subject to availability.

The canal remains closed to navigation at Burnley until March.


Lock 73 on the Wigan flight

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Wigan Locks to re-open

Wigan lock flight (Locks 65 to 85) on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal will be open to navigation again from Tuesday 23rd October.

The lock flight was closed in July, along with many of the other lock flights on the canal, because of the seriously low water levels in the reservoirs following a prolonged dry spell. The other lock flights were re-opened by the end of September. However the Canal and River Trust had taken the opportunity to move forward some of the maintenance work scheduled for the coming winter. As the reservoir levels had improved faster than expected, the repairs on the Wigan flight had not yet been completed. Work will be carried out over the weekend to speed up the re-opening and repairs are expected to be completed by 4.00 pm on Monday 22nd October ready for boat passages to start again the following morning.

Bringing the repairs forward means that Wigan lock flight will not be closed for repairs over the winter months. However, boaters should note that the canal will be closed at Burnley from 12th November until March.

Wigan Top Lock, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Friday, 28 September 2018

Leeds and Liverpool Canal to re-open except Wigan flight

The lock flights on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal between Gargrave and Johnson's Hillock are to re-open on 29th September. Reservoir levels have improved following recent periods of rain, allowing the locks to be opened on a restricted basis.

The following lock flight will be open between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm each day. Last entry to each flight will be at:
• Gargrave Locks - 3.00 pm
• Bank Newton Locks - 3.00 pm
• Greenberfield Locks - 3.00 pm
• Barrowford Locks - 2.30 pm
Boaters arriving at the locks after that time will need to wait until the next morning.
There will be no time restrictions on Blackburn or Johnson's Hillock lock flights.

Wigan Lock flight will remain closed as repairs to Locks 73, 81 and 85 are still under way. The completion date for these stoppage works is Monday 22nd October, which was the date by which it had been expected that water levels would recover. In the event, reservoir levels have recovered faster than anticipated following recent storms. However, the completion of these works means that the Wigan flight should be open for navigation throughout the winter period.

From 12th November the canal will be closed for work at Finsley Gate in Burnley (until March) and at Poolstock Locks and Plank Lane on the Leigh Branch (until December). There will also be a stoppage on the Rufford Branch (until December).

Lock 56 in Blackburn

Bosley Locks to re-open

The Bosley flight on the Macclesfield Canal is to re-open on 6th October. Reservoir levels have improved following recent periods of rain, allowing the locks to be opened on a restricted basis.

Bosley Locks will be open at 8.00 am each day, with last entry onto the flight being at 1.00 pm. Boaters arriving at the locks after that time will need to wait until the next morning. These restrictions will be reviewed after the first week.

Bosley Locks will then close again on 5th November to allow work on Locks 8 and 12 to be completed.

Marple Locks on the Peak Forest Canal will remain closed until repairs at Lock 11 have been completed.

Lock 2 at Bosley

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Leeds and Liverpool to remain closed between Wigan and Gargrave

The Canal and River Trust has announced that the lock flights between Lock 85 (Wigan) and Lock 30 (Holme) on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal are to remain closed until at least the end of October, possibly later if there is no significant and prolonged rainfall over the coming weeks.

The canal's reservoir holdings are still extremely low. At least 5 weeks of prolonged rainfall would be required before the locks can be re-opened for navigation.

The lock flights at Wigan (locks 65 to 85), Johnsons Hillocks (58 to 64), Blackburn Flight (locks 52 to 57), Barrowford Locks (45 to 51), Greenberfield Locks (42 to 44), Bank Newton Locks (36 to 41) and Gargrave (locks 35 to 30) are padlocked closed and the gates have been ashed up to reduce leakage. To prevent unauthorised use, measures have been taken to make the locks inoperable.

Whilst the canal has been closed CRT has been taking advantage of the closure to carry out work to remedy issues on the locks, including paddle repairs, vegetation clearance, pointing works, and leakage repairs on the gates. CRT is bringing forward the winter works planned for Locks 43, 73, 81 and 85, with this work taking place during September while the lock flight remains closed.

An update will be issued at the end of September.

Holme Bridge Lock (30), near Gargrave

Friday, 10 August 2018

East side of Leeds and Liverpool to close

Following the worsening situation with falling reservoir levels, the locks on the east side of the Leeds and Liverpool are to be closed from Friday 17th August.

The navigation closure affects all locks between Skipton and Leeds. The main lock flights, i.e. Bingley Five Rise, Bingley Three Rise, Field Locks, Newlay Locks and Forge Locks will be padlocked closed, with the gates ashed to prevent leakage.

The Canal and River Trust says that "measures will be taken to make all locks inoperable" to prevent unauthorised use (e.g. by someone breaking the padlocks).

The Canal and River Trust says that it is not known how long the closure will last for but that it’s likely to be throughout August and potentially beyond if there is no significant, sustained rainfall. The towpath will remain open.

Update - 29th August:
The Canal and River Trust is to re-open the Leeds and Liverpool Canal between Newlay Top Lock and Holme Lock, below Garsgrave at 10.00 am on Friday 31st August.
This means boats will then be able to navigate between Skipton, Bingley, Shipley and Apperley Bridge.
Passage through Bingley Five and Three Rise lock flights will be down between 10.00 am and 12.00 noon and up between 1.00 and 3.00 pm.





The locks will remain closed between Leeds and Newlay and between Garsgrave and Wigan.

Update - 4th September:
The locks between Leeds and Newlay will re-open on Wednesday 5th September.
Passage through Newlay, Forge and Kirkstall locks will be down between 10.00 am and 12.00 noon and up between 1.00 and 3.00 pm.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Restrictions on Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals

The continuing dry and warm weather will result in restrictions and lock closures on the Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals.

Marple Locks are closed again because of continuing movement at Lock 11 and will remain closed now until the lock walls can be rebuilt.

Access to Bugsworth Basin will be closed from Monday 13th August.

Passage through Bosley Locks is being restricted to between 8.00 am and 2.00 pm from today.

Bosley Locks will be closed completely from Monday 13th August.

The Canal and River Trust says that it has reluctantly taken these decisions due to the low levels of the reservoirs because of prolonged low rainfall and with the forecast for further dry weather.

The Canal and River Trust says that it is not known how long these closures will last for but that it's likely to be until the end of August and potentially beyond if there is no significant, sustained rainfall. The towpath will remain open.

These restrictions follow a difficult time for boaters on these canals with long stoppages on the Marple flight, a recent stoppage because of a leak at Bollington and several stoppages at Bosley Locks. Some boaters may have difficulty returning to their home moorings before the closure at Bosley.

Lock 2 at Bosley

Water shortage to shut Rochdale and Huddersfield Canals

The continuing dry and warm weather will result in the closure of large parts of the Rochdale and Huddersfield Narrow Canals from Monday 6th August.

The sections of canal to be closed with locks padlocked are -

Huddersfield Narrow Canal:
Lock 1e (Huddersfield) to Lock 24w (Wool Road).

Rochdale Canal:
Lock 1 (Sowerby Bridge) to Lock 48 (Littleborough).

The section of the Rochdale Canal from Hebden Bridge to Todmorden (between Locks 6 and 19) will remain open but with navigation restricted to between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm under a local booking system.

Although the canal will remain open between Manchester and Littleborough it is unlikely that many boaters would decide to travel beyond New Islington Marina.

The Rochdale Nine lock flight in Manchester will remain open, linking the Ashton and Bridgewater Canals.

On the closed sections, the canal and River Trust says that "measures will be taken to make the locks inoperable" to prevent unauthorised use (e.g. by someone breaking the padlocks).

These closures will come into effect a week after the closure of the central section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from 30th July, meaning that all three trans-Pennine routes will be closed.

The Canal and River Trust says that it has reluctantly taken this decision due to the low levels of the reservoirs because of prolonged low rainfall and with the forecast for further dry weather.

The Canal and River Trust says that it is not known how long these closures will last for but that it's likely to be throughout August and potentially beyond if there is no significant, sustained rainfall. The towpath will remain open.

Update 27th July:
Because of the serious shortfall in water supply, the closures on the Rochdale Canal are brought forward and go into immediate effect.

This involves the closure of all locks between Sowerby Bridge (Lock 1) and Littleborough (Lock 48). This includes the section between Locks 7 and 19, which it had been hoped to keep open on restricted opening times. The Canal and River Trust will liaise with boaters on this section so that  they can access vital services when possible, offering restricted, controlled passage.  Other than this all locks will be secured and out of use.

Update 29th August:
The Canal and River Trust is to re-open the Rochdale Canal between Lock 1 (Sowerby Bridge) and Lock 34 (Warland) on Friday 31st August.
Locks 5 to 13 through Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge will be closed overnight from 4.00 pm until 9.00 am.
The canal remains closed for now between Locks 34 and 48 (Littleborough) while repairs to reduce water leakage through the locks are continued.
The canal remains open between Littleborough and Manchester.
Predictions of below-average rainfall for September mean that it may be necessary to close parts of the canal temporarily if water levels are too low.

Update 30th August:
The Canal and River Trust will re-open the Huddersfield Narrow Canal between Locks 24w and 1e on a trial basis but only for boats needing to pass through Standedge Tunnel.
The first tunnel passages will be on Wednesday 5th September.
- Boats booked to pass westwards through Standedge Tunnel on 5th September will be admitted through Lock 1e in Huddersfield on Monday 3rd September, before 12.00 noon. No other boats will be allowed to enter the canal.
- Boats booked to pass eastwards through Standedge Tunnel on Wednesday 5th September will be admitted through Lock 24w on the morning of 5th September.
Following this trial an update will be issued on Friday 7th September, with the hope of repeating these restricted passages on following weeks if available water supplies allow.
The canal remains open from Lock 1w (Ashton) to below Lock 24w (Dobcross).


Update 7th September:
The summit of the Rochdale Canal will re-open to navigation on a restricted basis from Saturday 15th September. The section between Locks 34 and 44 will be closed on Mondays and Fridays as well as being locked overnight. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays the section between Locks 34 and 44 will be open between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm.

 Update 7th September:
The arrangement for boats booked to pass through Standedge Tunnel will be repeated next week, with tunnel passage on Wednesday 12th September.
- Boats booked to pass westwards through Standedge Tunnel on 12th September will be admitted through Lock 1e in Huddersfield on Monday 10th September, before 12.00 noon. No other boats will be allowed to enter the canal.
- Boats booked to pass eastwards through Standedge Tunnel on Wednesday 12th September will be admitted through Lock 24w on the morning of 12th September.

 Update 13th September:
The arrangement for boats booked to pass through Standedge Tunnel will be repeated next week, with tunnel passage on Wednesday 19th September.
- Boats booked to pass westwards through Standedge Tunnel on 19th September will be admitted through Lock 1e in Huddersfield on Monday 17th September, before 12.00 noon. No other boats will be allowed to enter the canal.
- Boats booked to pass eastwards through Standedge Tunnel on Wednesday 19th September will be admitted through Lock 24w on the morning of 19th September.

 Update 27th September:
Restrictions on the summit section of the Rochdale Canal have now been lifted. Recent rainfall has meant  the reservoir levels have improved but it may be necessary to restrict access at short notice if levels fall again. Overnight closures remain in place from Lock 5 to 13 in the Hebden Briddge area, with locks being open between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm.

Looking towards the summit of the Rochdale Canal from Lock 38.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Leeds and Liverpool to close from Wigan to Gargrave

From next Monday (30th July) locks on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal will be closed between Wigan and Gargrave because of diminishing water resources.

The closure affects lock flights between Lock 30 (Holme Bridge Lock, Gargrave) and Lock 85 (bottom of Wigan 21).

The Canal and River Trust says that the lock flights at Wigan, Johnson's Hillock, Blackburn, Barrowford, Greenberfield, Bank Newton and Gargrave will be closed. They say that "measures will be taken to make the locks inoperable" to prevent unauthorised use (e.g. by someone breaking the padlocks).

Although this section of the canal is closed, there will be nothing to prevent boats moving along a pound as long as there is sufficient depth, although boaters risk becoming stranded.

The Canal and River Trust says that it is not known how long the closure will last for but that it’s likely to be throughout August and potentially beyond if there is no significant, sustained rainfall. The towpath will remain open.

Update 27th July:

The last passage for all affected flights will be 3.00 pm on Monday 30 July, with the exception of Barrowford, where the last passage will be at 2:30 pm and the Wigan Flight, where the last entry onto the flight will be between 8:30 and 9:30 am.

Holme Bridge Lock (30), near Gargrave

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Water shortage leads to restrictions on Leeds and Liverpool

Lack of rainfall over a period of weeks is leading to a shortage of water on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. This has now resulted in restricted opening hours at several lock flights.

On the Wigan flight, the top and bottom locks (65 and 85) will be padlocked shut except for the following times:
• 8:30 am to 9:30 am to allow entry onto the flight
• 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm to allow exit from the flight

Overnight mooring on the flight is only allowed at Rose Bridge, between Locks 77 and 78.

Assistance for single handed boaters is available on Thursday mornings at 8:30 am. Contact the Wigan Lock keepers on 01942 405774.

Restrictions are already in place between Gargrave and Barrowford, where locks are only open to navigation from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm daily at :
Barrowford Locks (45 to 51). Last passage at 4:30 pm.
Greenberfield Locks (42 to 44). Last passage at 5.00 pm.
Bank Newton Locks (36 to 41). Last passage at 5.00 pm.
Gargrave (Holme Bridge Lock 30). Last passage at 5.00 pm.
These lock flights will be padlocked at 6.00 pm. Boaters should make sure they enter the lock flight with sufficient time to get through, noting the last passage start times. Moorings are available at the top and bottom of these flights.

Update - 12th July:
The above lock flights are to be CLOSED to navigation from Monday 30th July. This closure is likely to last through August. Entry locks will be made inoperable during this time.

Wigan Top Lock, Leeds and Liverpool Canal