Pennine Waterways News

Friday 30 July 2010

Keadby Bridge Stoppage

There is a stoppage on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal at Keadby Bridge.

The wedges at Keadby Swing Bridge have failed, making the bridge inoperable. The bridge is adjacent to Keadby Lock onto the tidal River Trent and the stoppage means that boats will be unable to enter or leave the River Trent at Keadby.

This road bridge is owned by Lincolnshire County Council and British Waterways is waiting for an indication from them as to when the bridge will be repaired.

Boaters wishing to travel through Keadby should call Freephone Canals on 0800 4799947 for the latest updates.

Update: 2nd August
North Lincolnshire Council are awaiting parts in order to begin repair work. They are hoping works will be completed by Thursday 5th August.

Council staff are operating the bridge once a day depending on the tide times at Keadby. Please contact the Lock Keeper for further details if you wish to book passage through, on 07733 124611.

Monday 19 July 2010

Paddle Failure Shuts Leeds Lock

Failure of the head gate paddles has forced the closure of Leeds Lock on the Aire and Calder Navigation.

BW has announced that repairs to the lock will begin this morning but an update will not be given until tomorrow evening (20th July).

Leeds Lock is adjacent to The Armouries museum in Leeds. Boats will still be able to travel between the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and Clarence Dock, but will not be able to reach Clarence Dock from Knostrop lock cut.

Any enquiries regarding this stoppage should be made to BW on 0113 2816860.

Update: 20th July
Divers will be on site to install the repaired sluices tomorrow (21st July). BW will issue a further update tomorrow evening.

Update: 21st July
The lock re-opened at 5 pm today with a lock keeper to assist. Further work is to be carried out tomorrow morning (22nd July) which could involve delays for boaters of up to one hour.

Leeds Lock

Thursday 15 July 2010

Another Huddersfield Stoppage

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal may be the only Trans-Pennine canal not currently threatened with closure by water supply shortages, but it is having more than its share of short stoppages!

Lock 5e at Paddock, Huddersfield, is currently closed because of debris blocking a paddle. British Waterways staff are clearing the debris but the problem has allowed the long pound above the lock to drain.

Because the dry weather means BW has to be more careful than normal with the water in the canal, it is expected to take up to 24 hours to restore this section of canal to navigable levels.

BW will issue an update when the canal re-opens. Any enquiries regarding this stoppage should be made to BW on 01782 785703.

Update: 19th July
BW issued an update saying the lock would be closed on 19th and 20th July.

Lock 5e below Longroyd railway viaduct.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Leeds and Liverpool runs out of water

Water supplies to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal are running dry. British Waterways has announced that, from Monday 2nd August, sixty miles of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal between Wigan and Gargrave is to be closed to navigation.

All the locks along this stretch of canal will be closed, with locks padlocked and stop planks put in place above the top lock of each flight.

The closure will be between Lock 30 (Holme Bridge) at Gargrave and Lock 85 in Wigan. The lock flights affected are the Gargrave, Bank Newton, Greenberfield, Barrowford, Blackburn, Johnson's Hillock and Wigan.

The stop planks will help to reduce water loss from the long pounds above each flight to maintain levels for moored boats and protect the aquatic ecology but BW warns that some water will naturally drain from the canal once the feed from the reservoirs is no longer in place and that people with boats moored along the canal should regularly monitor and adjust mooring ropes.

Until 1st August, the current restrictions will continue to apply.

BW predicts that by the start of August the seven reservoirs that feed the Leeds and Liverpool Canal will be down to 10% of capacity.

The remainder of the canal is supplemented by local river feeds so it at less risk, although the current restrictions will continue to apply to those sections after August 2nd. The section west of Wigan is fed by the River Douglas which is at "medium risk". If water levels drop much lower BW may be forced to extend the closure westwards. The supply to the canal between Skipton and Leeds is not currently at risk although monitoring continues.

BW will consider re-opening the canal in stages once reservoir levels reach 20% again.

Holme Bridge Lock at Gargrave

Marsden incident shuts canal

A police 'incident' has shut the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Marsden.

Police are carrying out investigations at Lock 39e next to Warehouse Hill Road. Boaters are asked not to attempt to move water or boats through the locks. The towpath is also closed.

BW will issue an update when the lock becomes available for navigation. Any enquiries regarding this stoppage should be made to BW on 01782 785703.

Update: 13th July 10.00 am
BW announces canal has now re-opened for navigation.

Paul Shaw tweets that police helicopter seen hovering over Marsden this morning.

Huddersfield Examiner reports that a body was found in the canal at 7 am. Police had searched last night for a dog walker who had failed to return home.

Lock 39e in Marsden

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Huddersfield Canal locks closed after boat damage

Impatient boaters have damaged cills on two locks on the Huddersfeild Narrow Canal, resulting in stoppages.

There is an emergency stoppage today at Lock 17w in Mossley as BW staff repair the cill.

A similar emergency stoppage will close Lock 7e between Huddersfield and Milnsbridge on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th July.

Any enquiries regarding these stoppages should be made to BW on 01782 785703.

In both cases the wooden cill has been damaged by boaters attempting to enter or leave the lock while water levels were too low. This has happened a number of times in recent years. There are several pounds on the Huddersfield Narrow that are regularly low, so boaters should be alert to the risk of damaging the cill.

Boaters should be aware that, when closed, a lock gate butts up to a wooden cill 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.)

Update 9th July:
Repairs at Lock 7e have been completed ahead of schedule and the lock has now re-opened to navigation.

Lock 17w cill being repaired in 2008

Monday 5 July 2010

Tuel Deep Lock closed

Tuel Deep Lock, along with Locks 1 & 2 on the Rochdale Canal at Sowerby Bridge, will be closed for at least two days as a result of the continuing dry period.

Tuel Deep Lock is the deepest lock on the canal system, with a fall of 19' 8½". It replaced Locks 3 and 4 when the canal was restored and its use puts a heavy demand on the pound above. Although the pound is 2.5 miles long, it is not deep and quickly becomes depleted. It is normally topped up by a river feed at Luddenden Foot but, because of the dry weather, BW has been required to stop abstracting this water.

The level of the pound above Tuel Deep Lock has fallen more than expected over the weekend, making it necessary to close the locks below. BW is investigating the cause of the water loss and looking at other ways of feeding water to the area.

It is expected to take several days to restore water levels and BW will issue an update tomorrow evening (6th June). In the meantime, Tuel Deep Lock and Locks 1 and 2 will remain closed.

Maintaining water level on the the pound above Tuel Lane has been an ongoing problem for BW and they have sometimes had to install temporary pumps to back-pump water.

Any enquiries regarding this stoppage should be made to BW on 01782 785703.

Update 6th July:
British Waterways now intends to install "a significant temporary pumping scheme" at Sowerby Bridge but this is unlikely to be in place before the weekend. It is hoped that navigation through Sowerby Bridge can be resumed by Monday 12th July.

Update 8th July:
Work to install the pumping scheme starts Friday 9th July. BW warns that it will now be Tuesday evening (13th July) before the work is completed.

Update 13th July:
The pumps will not be in operation until tomorrow (14th July). BW is hoping to re-open the canal in Sowerby Bridge around midday.

Update 14th July:
The locks through Sowerby Bridge have now re-opened.

Tuel Deep Lock, Rochdale Canal

Emergency stoppage at Wigan Top Lock

Wigan Top Lock on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is closed today for emergency paddle repairs.

It is necessary to lower water levels to enable a repair to a ground paddle. The Wigan lock flight will be closed for today only.

BW expects passage to resume from 10.00 on Tuesday 6th July.

Enquiries about this stoppage should be made to BW on 01942 405700.

Wigan Top Lock

Water shortage hits Liverpool and Ribble Link bookings

The continuing water shortage in the North-West, already affecting the Rochdale and Leeds & Liverpool Canals, is now causing problems for boaters hoping to visit Liverpool or the Ribble Link.

From today British Waterways will be taking no further bookings for boats to use the Liverpool Canal Link to reach Liverpool Docks or the Ribble Link to reach the Lancaster Canal.

Boaters who have already made bookings will have those bookings honoured by BW, although that may change if the situation worsens.

BW will issue an update on Friday 9th July.

Enquiries about these restrictions should be made to BW on 01942 405700.

Liverpool Canal Link

Saturday 3 July 2010

Bridgewater Canal film wins award

A short film about the Bridgewater Canal has won a prestigious photography award.

The film, just 2 minutes 23 seconds long and produced by Felix Clay, was one of the Barton's Britain series produced by The Guardian. It can be viewed by clicking the big arrow on the image below. (Click the 4 small arrows bottom right to view full screen; hit Esc to return to this page.)

Barton's Britain: The Bridgewater Canal from Felix Clay on Vimeo.

(If the embedded video does not appear, click here to view.)

The Press Photographer's Year is a competition for UK-based professional photographers working in the media. The Guardian won three awards this year.

More short films in the Barton's Britain series can be viewed here.


Friday 2 July 2010

Rochdale restrictions start to bite

As water resources on the Rochdale Canal summit are diminishing with no sign in near future of replenishment, BW is reducing the number of passages across the summit. Only two boats a day in each direction will be allowed passage.

Boaters should book their passage through the Red Bull office on 01782 785703 in the usual way, but be aware that the date they want may not always be available due to other bookings.

Bookings are not currently being accepted for passages for mid-August onwards.

Some rain fell falling in the area overnight but not enough yet to make any appreciable difference to the supply situation.

Any enquiries regarding the situation should be made to BW on 01782 785703.

Summit level, Rochdale Canal