Pennine Waterways News

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Leeds and Liverpool Canal to re-open in two stages

British Waterways has announced that the closed section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is to re-open in two stages, after the latest review of the reservoir levels.

The 40 mile section between Wigan and Barrowford will re-open on Friday 17th September. The remaining 20 miles from Barrowford to Gargrave will re-open on Wednesday 22nd September.

British Waterways staff are removing stop planks from above the Wigan, Johnsons Hillock and Blackburn lock flights in readiness for Friday's re-opening. Barrowford, Greenberfield, Bank Newton and Gargrave lock flights will re-open next Wednesday.

Restricted passage on the Wigan flight will resume as before the closure, i.e: ONE supervised passage starting at 10.00 am between Locks 65 (Wigan Top Lock) & Lock 85 (above junction with Leigh Branch. Any boats arriving after this time will have to wait until 10.00 am the following day for the next available passage.

Passage through other lock flights will be restricted to 9.00 am to 4.00 pm.

Vince Moran, operations director for British Waterways, says that the re-opening has been made possible by a significant increase in rainfall in the last two weeks.

He said, "We would like to express our sincere thanks to all of our customers, boating businesses and members of the public for their patience and understanding during this demanding time."

"While the canal has been closed we have been able to bring forward a number of projects which would otherwise have been carried out during the winter, including lock gate replacements and repairs and leak prevention works," said Mr Moran, adding that BW hopes to have a much reduced maintenance program on the canal throughout the Winter stoppage season.

Waterway manager Debbie Lumb said that three pairs of head gates have been installed (at Lock 44 Greenberfield, Lock 61 Johnson’s Hillock and Lock 65 Wigan Flight). In addition to the head gates being replaced, the tail gates, ground paddles and faulty masonry have been repaired or modified. Also wash wall repairs, by-wash maintenance and leak prevention works have been carried out.

Wigan Locks, Leeds and Liverpool Canal


  1. I hear the sound of some empty stable doors being bolted!
    I've only been on the canals a couple of years yet I quickly saw what was lacking.
    BW's Board and Managers remind me of the Eddie Izzard description of the Republican Party (See Youtube).
    IMHO, one less Vince Moran and Debbie Lumb would give us a lots more maintenance resources.
    They are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem (e.g. the woeful lack of money line from Vince on the Radio 4 thing).
    However, the last thing the Con-Dem-olition lot want to do is to help us....

  2. I wounder did any of the tropical storms that have been running across the Alantic hit England yet casuing it to rain a lot this past week over there on the canals?

  3. Can you imagine the uproar if a major canal south of birmingham had been closed for nearly 2 months in the height of the season....

    by the time radio 4 noticed, it was nearly all over...

    The good news is thats its re-opening !

  4. Ocean Railroader - not sure I usually reckon about 6 weeks before we get the tail end of any hurricanes, we've certainly seen some strong winds and heavy downpours in the last week or so. so possibly your right !

  5. If there is no water then there is no water. If we need bigger,newer reservoirs then they need paying for.Stopping leaks need paying for. Do we want much higher licence fees of perhaps an extra toll for passage to pay for this? Or do we put up with what we have rather than pay a lot more for the few times that there is no rain?

  6. I hear what you are saying New City Transport, but lets see how much revinue B/W lose when nobody bids for moorings or Canal based traders and boatyards start to look at other locations because the lack of water scares people away. This may be the first time we have had stoppages but restrictions happen every year.

  7. As predicted, its started.
    Look at Leeds/Liverpool hire boat company to close.


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