Pennine Waterways News

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Problems with locks on Huddersfield Narrow

Boaters navigating the Huddersfield Narrow Canal are facing delays with stoppages arising at two locks on the west side of the canal.

At Lock 26w on the Diggle flight a wooden head gate cill has been damaged by a boat passing over it when the water levels were too low. This is the wooden block on the floor of the canal that abuts the head gate to form a watertight seal. The damage is 'substantial' and the cill cannot be simply fixed. Scaffold access into the lock will be required and, once in place, the repair may take a few days to complete. CRT will issue an update on Tuesday with a timetable for the repair.

Meanwhile at Lock 10w near Millbrook a quoin has failed. This forms a watertight seal at the side of the gate. An attempted repair this morning was unsuccessful. CRT will issue an update on Tuesday with a timetable for the repair.

These problems have arisen just after a safety problem in Standedge Tunnel has been resolved.

Update Wednesday 2nd September:
In addition to the problems above, a cill has failed at Lock 8w near Millbrook. A repair was attempted yesterday but was unsuccessful. It is hoped that the repair can be completed today (2nd September).

This has delayed repairs to the quoin at Lock 10w. It is hoped that repairs to Lock 10w will be completed tomorrow (3rd September).

The repair team will move on to Lock 26w on Friday, when scaffolding is installed. It is hoped to complete the repairs at Lock 26w by Saturday afternoon.

Update Wednesday 2nd September, 3.30 pm:
The repair to Lock 8w is complete and the lock is now open to navigation. Boaters should note that they cannot proceed beyond Grove Road Services (above Lock 8w) as there is still a stoppage at Lock 10w.

Update Thursday 3rd September, 2.30 pm:
The repair to the quoin has now been completed,and the navigation through Lock 10w is now open.

Update Saturday 5th September, 10.00 am:
The repair to Lock 26w is complete and the lock is now open to navigation.

(Please note the restricted times of passage at Lock 19w from 7th September. See details.)

Note concerning cills:
Boaters should be aware that, when closed, a lock gate butts up to a wooden cill (or threshold) that forms a water-tight seal against the gate. These wooden cills are usually slightly higher than the adjacent canal bed. Attempting to enter or leave a lock when water levels are too low can result in the boat's skeg catching the cill and damaging it, or even ripping it out of place.

This will mean a water-tight seal cannot be made, making it difficult (or impossible) to completely empty or fill the lock.

When levels are low, boaters should proceed slowly and be prepared to stop and back off it the boat makes contact with the wooden cill. Forcing the boat over a cill is selfish and could result in other boaters having their holidays spoilt by a stoppage. The best course of action is to send someone to open the next paddle above the cill in question and wait until water levels are high enough to cross a cill without making contact. (Only enough water should be released to increase the water level sufficiently. The paddle should then be closed again to prevent the pound above also becoming too low.)

Lock 26w on the Diggle flight.

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