Pennine Waterways News

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.


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