Pennine Waterways News

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Do-it yourself approach to Liverpool Canal Link

From Monday 16th April boaters visiting Liverpool will be able to "do it themselves". Improvements have been made to swing bridges and locks to allow self-operation by boaters.
• Bridge 9 at Wango Lane (Handcocks Bridge) is now boater-operated using a new push-button console. However, boaters should note that, because it is a busy road, it cannot be used during rush hours. The bridge will not operate between 7.30 and 9.30 am or between 2.00 and 6.00 pm.
• Bridge 6 at St Oswald's Lane (Netherton Bridge) is now boater-operated and has new landing stages to make this easier.
• Stanley Locks Branch is now boater operated, following improvements to paddles and the installation of a pontoon landing below the bottom lock.
• Princes Dock now has a pontoon landing making easier access to the lock for boater operation.

Liverpool Canal Link times of operation:
The Liverpool Canal Link between Salthouse Dock and the top of the Stanley Dock Branch will be available for operation:
• From the top of Stanley Dock Branch, heading into Liverpool, 1.00 to 4.00 pm (except Tuesdays).
• From Salthouse Dock, heading out of Liverpool, 8.00 to 9.30 am (except Tuesdays).

Booking is still required for the link and for a mooring in Salthouse Dock.
Booking your passages in and out of the Liverpool Canal Link and your mooring in Salthouse Dock can be made online by logging into your CRT account. (You will be charged an administration fee if you do not turn up and have not cancelled your booking.)

Information about the Liverpool Link, along with downloadable skipper's guides and other useful guidance, can be found here.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Marple Locks to re-open in May?

Boaters will be disappointed to learn that Marple Locks are unlikely to re-open before May.

A new target has been announced, with CRT hoping to re-open the lock flight in time for May Day Bank Holiday on 4th May.

The lock flight on the Peak Forest Canal has been closed since September due to serious subsidence at Lock 15, resulting in a narrowing of the lock chamber. As work to repair the lock proceeded more problems have emerged.

CRT had hoped to re-open the locks by late March but they discovered while dismantling stonework from the lock chamber wall, some of the stones have started splitting and crumbling and will not be able to be reused as expected. CRT have managed to source new replacement stone from a local quarry, but the need to have new stones cut to size has added a further delay to reopening the lock.

Work at Lock 15, Marple. Photo: Ian McCarthy

CRT have taken advantage of the enforced closure to carry out other work on the flight, with new lock gates being fitted at Locks 1 and 13, a total of 10 locks having been grouted, large wash wall repairs between Locks 8 and 9, Lock quadrant walls rebuilt and Lock slope towpaths upgraded. CRT volunteers have also been removing vegetation, installing new paddle gearing to the locks and fixing parts of the towpath where it is in bad condition.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Date given for Marple re-opening

The Canal and River Trust has announced that it aims to re-open Marple Locks by 29th March.

The lock flight on the Peak Forest Canal has been closed since September due to serious subsidence at Lock 15, resulting in a narrowing of the lock chamber. There was movement of the lock wall, with a risk of collapse.

The work is complex, with the need to dig boreholes to assess the nature of the work needed. The job has been further complicated by the confined space in which to carry out the work and the need to follow procedures for working on a Heritage Grade II Listed structure.

The confined space in which work at Lock 15 is being carried out. Photo: Ian McCarthy

The lock gates have been removed and the chamber filled with stone to stabilise the wall while the ground behind is excavated. A retaining wall will be constructed and the lock wall rebuilt. The retaining wall will eventually be out of sight within the structure.

The anticipated re-opening date of 29th March is later than originally hoped, but in time for the Easter weekend. (See update below.)

With fabric to protect the stones, the lock chamber has been filled with stone to stabilise the wall.Photo: Ian McCarthy.

While the Marple locks are closed, CRT is taking the opportunity to carry out a number of other repairs to the locks and bank, and the controversial safety work at Marple Aqueduct.

Update 1st March:
CRT will not now be able to meet their anticipated opening date of 29th March, but now hope to re-open the lock flight in time for May Day Bank Holiday on 4th May.

Thanks to Ian McCarthy for the photographs and additional information.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Barton Aqueduct Maintenance Dates Confirmed

The Bridgewater Canal Company has now confirmed the dates when Barton Aqueduct will be closed for its annual maintenance.

The structure will be closed for navigation along the Bridgewater Canal from Monday 5th March for two weeks. It will re-open on Monday 19th March.

The Bridgewater Canal Company say that work is expected to be completed within the specified time. However, due to the nature of the work they cannot guarantee completion on the published date.

This stoppage affects the Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal.