Pennine Waterways News

Monday 29 June 2009

Water Shortages lead to Restrictions on Rochdale Canal

A shortage of available water in the reservoirs feeding the Rochdale Canal means that BW has changed the arrangements for boats passing over the canal's summit between Walsden and Littleborough. Boat numbers are limited and passage supervised through six locks on each side of the summit pound. It is hoped that this revised operation will conserve water resources and prolong the operation of the canal as far as possible.

Boat passage across the summit must be booked at least 48 hours in advance (or longer to avoid possible disappointment, as daily numbers are severely limited).

To book a passage, phone Customer Services at Wigan on Monday to Friday between 08.30 am and 4.00 pm. Tel: 01942 405700. If you need to call at a weekend to book a passage, contact the lock keeper on 0773 3124596 who operates a call back service for passage bookings only.

Passages across the summit section commence daily at 11.00 am at either Lock 31 (Lightbank Lock) or Lock 44 (Sladen Lock). There is currently a maximum of two boats a day permitted in each direction.

Unless a mooring on the summit has been booked, boats must make a continuous passage between Locks 31 and 44. Visitor mooring on Summit is available for up to 48 hour, but must be booked in advance. Mooring on the summit is at boaters' own risk of becoming stranded due to water issues. If intending to moor on the summit, passage off the summit passage must be booked at same time as passage on to the summit. For those who have booked a summit visitor mooring, passages off the summit at Locks 36 or 37 will start at 9.00 am Monday to Sunday.

Lock keepers will ensure that boats within the critical summit section are doubled up wherever possible in order to maximise efficient use of water resources. Boaters are asked to follow any instructions or advice given by lock keepers.

Boats arriving late for bookings will be rescheduled. However, BW may allow additional passages, subject to water availability and at the discretion of the local lock keepers. This can only be established at short notice due to the rapid changes in water conditions.

Recommended moorings for boats booked to cross the summit are as follows: -
• East side: - Customers booked for the summit should moor the previous night below Lock 31.
• West side: - Customers booked for the summit should moor the previous night below Lock 44.
• Summit: - 48 hour mooring is available on Summit (see conditions above).
All boats not crossing the summit should wind below Lock 30 (Winterbutlee) on the east side and below Lock 48 (Littleborough) on the west side.

Any enquiries should be made to BW on 01942 405700.

Summit pound, Rochdale Canal

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