Pennine Waterways News

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Bridgewater Stoppage Delayed

A stoppage on the Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal has been delayed and will now take place later than planned.

Vicars Hall Bridge, roughly half way between Astley Green and Bridgewater Marina at Boothstown, is to be replaced and this will involve closing the canal to navigation.

This was originally planned to take place between 31st October and 24th February but this was put back to 5th December to 27th March.

It has now been announced that the stoppage will run from 8.00 am on Monday 9th January 2017 until Friday 30th April.

This is later than the normal stoppage "season" and the delay may affect some people's plans to travel through to Liverpool.

The towpath will be open but with a short diversion.

Barton Swing Aqueduct will be closed between 13th and 27th March for its annual maintenance.

Vicars Hall Bridge, Bridgewater Canal

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Rochdale Re-opens

The re-opened channel near Todmorden. Photo: Canal & River Trust

The Rochdale Canal has re-opened to through navigation this week after being closed by a landslip near Todmorden since the end of last year.

The flooding on Boxing Day 2015, caused when a massive amount of water from the River Calder overtopped into the Rochdale Canal and the Calder & Hebble Navigation, left behind major clean-up operations and a number of complex engineering projects, including the re-building of Elland Bridge.

The Trust, helped by hundreds of volunteers, has been working hard ever since to clear thick layers of mud and silt from popular walking routes, rebuild damaged canal walls, repair scoured towpaths and remove litter and other debris dumped on paths, lock sides and even in trees.

Some of the most severe damage was around Todmorden where the powerful floodwaters washed away a 15m section of canal bank allowing water to drain out of the canal onto nearby allotments.

Since then contractors have been hard at work filling the void in the bank, repairing the canal walls, relining the bed of the canal and reinstating the towpath. The Trust has also restored the allotments so that they can be enjoyed once more.

The local community played an important role in the repairs with the local allotment group giving up their time over Christmas to put sandbags in place to create a temporary canal bank and reduce water loss.

Also near Todmorden a landslip blocked the canal with earth, trees and debris from adjoining land. With the help of local residents who gave permission for access onto their land, the Trust has been able to clear the canal. Specialist contractors installed steel piling along the edge of the canal to protect the slope whilst the earth and debris was removed.

David Baldacchino, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust, said; "We’re delighted that the canal can be reopened. It’s a really significant moment for boaters and the local community.

"It’s been a long, hard year and the repairs we were left with to get this 200 year old canal back up and running were far from straightforward. Almost overnight we were faced with a number of really challenging and complex engineering projects.

"In so many cases local people have been really helpful - whether by allowing access onto their land or, as in the case of the allotment group at the breach site, rolling their sleeves up and helping us out – and I’m just so pleased that they now have their canal back."
The landslip near Todmorden at the end of 2015. Photo: Canal & River Trust

Monday, 22 August 2016

Bank Newton Locks closed for 2 days

Bank Newton Locks on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal will be closed on Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th August to enable emergency repairs to be carried out to both head ground paddles at Lock 41 (Top Lock).

The lock flight be re-open in time for the Bank Holiday weekend.

Lock 21 (Dowley Gap Top Lock) had been closed to navigation today (Monday 22nd Aug) due to a damaged ground paddle but was re-opened to navigation at 3.00 pm.

Lock 41, Bank Newton

Friday, 1 July 2016

Elland Bridge to re-open shortly

Elland Bridge, across the Calder and Hebble Navigation, is set to re-open early in July.

The bridge was badly damaged in the floods earlier in the year and has had to be re-built.

The Canal and River Trust hope that the works will be ready for the navigation to re-open on 4th July.

Re-building of Elland Bridge. Photo: Canal & River Trust

Monday, 20 June 2016

Doncaster Lock closed

A gate has failed at Doncaster Lock, on the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation, making the lock inoperable.

The Canal and River Trust will issue an update when more information is available.

Update Monday 27th June:
The lock has been repaired and the canal is now open.

Doncaster Lock

Friday, 17 June 2016

Stoppage at Barrowford Locks, L & L

Barrowford Locks on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal have been closed because of a problem at Lock 46.

A void has formed under the floor of the lock chamber, which has affected the concrete supporting the bottom of the gates. This makes the lock unsafe as the gates could suddenly fail.

Lock 46 at Barrowford

The Canal and River Trust have started repairs. The damaged concrete has been removed. Steel reinforcements have been put in place in readiness for the new concrete.

The concrete will need several days to harden before the lock can be filled with water.

It is expected that the lock will be re-opened on Wednesday 22nd June.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Stoppages on Macclesfield and Peak Forest

The Upper Peak Forest Canal has been isolated by two unrelated stoppages at Bollington and Marople.

The Macclesfield Canal is shut at Bollington Aqueduct, where a section has been drained to investigate a serious leak. Water has been escaping through holes on the canal bed outside Clarence Mill, under the embankment and flooding the nearby recreation ground.

The Canal and River Trust intend the fill the holes with hardcore and a layer of puddle clay as a temporary repair which they hope will enable the canal to reopen in a week.

The stoppage and emergency repair are needed to prevent the leak developing into a major breach.

The leaks have been repaired and the canal is now open.

The holes outside Clarence Mill, Bollington. Photo: Coalboat Alton

In a separate stoppage, Marple Locks have been closed because of a gate failure at Lock 12.

These stoppages will affect boaters intending to navigate the Cheshire Ring.

Update Monday 23rd May:
The repairs to Lock12 have been completed and Marple Locks have re-opened to navigation.

Update Tuesday 24th May:
Inspection of the site at Bollington showed that the problems are worse than expected with more extensive repairs being needed. The canal is expected to remain closed at Bollington for a couple of weeks. The towpath will also be closed.