Pennine Waterways News

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Blackburn delay

Boaters on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal could face delays if they are heading through Blackburn.
A problem has been identified with the tailgate cill at Lock 55, the fourth lock down the flight of six, and the locks are currently closed.

Canal and River Trust staff have been de-watering part of the lock flight so that they can investigate the problem. Sometimes cills are damaged by boats trying to get across them when water levels are too low.

The Canal and River Trust will issue an update tomorrow, 29th August.

Boaters approaching from the west may wish to moor up before reaching the Blackburn area, such as at Riley Green or around Millfield Bridge 92. Boaters approaching from the east may wish to moor at Eanam Wharf, after Bridge 103a, or around Side Beet Bridge 106.

Update Thursday 29th August:
The problem has been investigated and it has been found that the wooden cill and the concrete base have suffered significant damage. The materials and plant required are being ordered and arrangements for access being made. Once everything is in place the repair should take about one week. There will be a further update on Monday 2nd September.

Update Thursday 5th September:
The concrete work has now been completed and will need three days to set. There will be a further update on Friday 6th September.

Update Friday 6th September:
It is expected that the canal can be re-opened to navigation through Blackburn Locks on the afternoon of Sunday 8th September.

Lock 55 in the background. Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Blackburn.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Leeds and Liverpool bridge stoppage near Parbold

Bridge number 36 on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Spencers Swing Bridge, is to be closed to navigation next Thursday, 29th August, for repairs.

The bridge, between Burscough and Parbold to the west of Wigan, is to be closed so that the contractor can undertake refurbishment works to the hydraulic pressure unit. Work will begin at 7.00 am and should have been completed by 10.00 pm.

Spencers Swing Bridge

Tuesday 20 August 2013

One day Huddersfield Stoppage

Lock 23w of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal is closed today for repairs to a broken paddle. Canal and River Trust staff need to de-water a section of canal in order to carry out the repair. It is hoped the lock will be re-opened later today. Staff will keep waiting boaters informed of progress.

Lock 23w is Lime Kiln Lock which is below Saddleworth Railway Viaduct between Uppermill and Dobcross.

Lock 23w below Saddleworth Railway Viaduct near Uppermill

Barton Swing Aqueduct Stoppage

Boaters using the Bridgewater Canal are warned that there will be a stoppage at Barton Swing Aqueduct on the morning of Wednesday 21st August.

The Bridgewater Canal Company engineers need to carry out an urgent repair to the unique swing aqueduct. The stoppage may extend until 2.00 pm.

Barton Swing Aqueduct, Bridgewater Canal

Monday 19 August 2013

Rochdale stoppage at Hebden Bridge

Boaters using the Rochdale Canal face a delay near Hebden Bridge after the failure of a ground paddle at Lock 8 (Mayroyd Lock).

The head chamber paddle gearing is inoperable. Timber stop planks need to be installed to allow de-watering of the head of the lock so that the repair can take place. The timber planks need to be made to size off site before they can be installed.

The Canal and River Trust will issue an update when it is known how long the work is likely to take.

Lock 8 is half a mile east of Hebden Bridge. Boats heading eastwards may moor or wind at Hebden Bridge. Boats heading westwards may moor or wind above Lock 7.

Update Tuesday 20th August:
The navigation is expected to re-open on Wednesday evening, 21st August. An update will be issued on the 21st August.

Update Wednesday 21st August:
The repair has been completed and the lock has re-opened to navigation.

Mayroyd Lock 8 at Hebden Bridge

Saturday 10 August 2013

Paddle problem delay on Huddersfield

Another problem has developed to cause delays to Trans-Pennine boaters. There is a fault with a tail gate paddle at Lock 13w on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Mossley. The fault means that boaters are unable to make a level when filling the lock.

Canal and River Trust staff will be carrying out repairs and these are expected to be complete by Tuesday 13th August.

For the latest information about this stoppage, contact Canal and River Trust on 03030 404040.

Lock 13w, Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Photograph of latest Huddersfield Narrow sinking

As reported here a few days ago, there was an unfortunate incident on Sunday in which a narrowboat sunk at Lock 9w on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

The photograph below was taken by local boater Peter Killan and shows that the boat was travelling uphill and was exiting the lock at the time of the incident. The short pound above the lock was low (which is fairly common) and the boat grounded on the head gate cill. It is reported that water was leaking out of the tail end of the lock and that the water level in the lock went down quickly. Before the boater, who is reported to have been single-handing, was able to remedy the situation, the stern of the boat had sunk below the water.

This week's sinking at Lock 9w. Photo: Peter Killan

There is a remarkable similarity to an incident which happened in the same lock two years ago in which a boat entering the lock became stuck on the cill and sunk as water levels dropped quickly.

The 2011 sinking at Lock 9w.

These incidents are worrying for boaters as something similar could happen to anyone. They are not, as many sinkings appear to be, the result of carelessness or inattention. Many boaters will wonder whether they could have done anything differently. Once the head gate is open, leaks at the tail of the lock mean the water level in the lock chamber and the short pound above may fall rapidly. Water can be run down from Lock 10w but the hydraulic paddles are fitted with anti-vandal locks and cannot be opened rapidly in an emergency.

Many boaters will be wondering what the Canal and River Trust has done to address the issues at this lock since the 2011 incident.

Boaters ascending Lock 9w would be well advised, if they see that the pound above the lock looks low (which is likely if they have just filled the lock), to run some water down from Lock 10w before attempting to exit Lock 9w. Boaters descending from Lock 10w should be prepared to run extra water down if the pound below looks low and should not attempt to enter the lock if levels are low.

(Running additional water down should be done with care, so as not to flood the towpath below or drain the pound above.)

More photos of the 2011 incident, including pictures of the recovery, can be seen here.

Monday 5 August 2013

Leeds and Liverpool starts running out of water

Part of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal has been temporarily shut as water levels have started to run low.

The locks at Gargrave, from Holme Bridge Lock to Stegneck Lock, have been closed to prevent use after water levels became too low. The Canal and River Trust are feeding water into this section of canal and will issue an update tomorrow (Tuesday).

The lock flights at Bank Newton, Greenberfield and Barrowford are currently being closed overnight between 8.00 pm and 10.00 am to help conserve water. A sixty mile stretch of the canal between Gargrave and Wigan was closed in 2010 after reservoirs started running dry and the Canal and River Trust are anxious to prevent a repetition of this.

Update Tuesday 6th August:
The water levels through the Gargrave locks have now been replenished and the area has re-opened to navigation.

Anchor Lock, Gargrave

Barrowford Locks closed on Leeds and Liverpool

Barrowford Locks on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal are currently closed after a problem has emerged with the tail gate cill at Lock 48.

Canal and River Trust staff are de-watering the affected section to carry out investigations. An update will be issed when it is known how quickly the lock can be re-opened.

Update Tuesday 6th August:
Investigations have confirmed that the cill is significantly damaged. The concrete requires re-setting before the cill can be fully repaired.

Canal and River Trust will issue a further update on Friday 9th August.

Update Friday 9th August:
Scaffolding is being installed at the lock today in order to enable access. Pumps are also being installed. The Canal and River Trust team will be working through the weekend to help speed up the job. The work is expected to take approximately one week.

Update Wednesday 14th August:
The Canal and River Trust reports that the damaged concrete has been fully removed along with the timber flooring. The new timber flooring has been prepared and installed. The cills have been installed and will be locked into position today. When this has been done new concrete will be laid. This should take around three days to cure before scaffolding can be removed and the area re-watered. During this period, staff will be completing two sections of wash wall repairs and debris removal at the site.

The Canal and River Trust expects the canal to be open by Monday 19th August. A further update will be issued on Friday 16th August.

Update Friday 16th August:
The Canal and River Trust reports that the cill has been successfully installed and concreted. They are now waiting for the concrete to set before removing the scaffold and pumps. The Trust has taken the opportunity to repair two sections of wash wall, carried out some debris removal and have also repaired some lock gearing.

The area is scheduled to re-open to navigation at around 4pm on Saturday 17th August 2013.

Lock 48 at Barrowford

Sunken boat closes Huddersfield Narrow

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal is currently closed between Stalybridge and Mossley after a boat sunk in Lock 9w near Millbrook.

The lock is expected to be out of action today and tomorrow until the the boat can be re-floated. Boaters navigating the canal should moor above Lock 6w or below Lock 15w until the canal has re-opened.

Lock 9w was the scene of a dramatic boat sinking two years ago.

Update Monday 5th August:
Work to re-float the vessel was under way late this afternoon. The Canal and River Trust will check the lock and expect to re-open it tomorrow morning (Tuesday).

A photo of the boat upended in the lock can be seen here.

Lock 9w, Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Friday 2 August 2013

Guillotine failure at Todmorden

The Rochdale Canal has been cut in half by the Guillotine Lock in Todmorden. The guillotine gate mechanism at Lock 19 has suffered a mechanical fault and the lock is currently inoperable.

Contractors will be at the lock tomorrow to assess the fault. The Canal and River Trust will then issue an update. Boaters wishing to pass through this lock may moor on the pounds above or below the lock.

Update Monday 5th August:
The Canal and River Trust expects the repair work to be carried out tomorrow (Tuesday). After final checks the lock should re-open at 9.00 am on Wednesday 7th August.

Update Wednesday 7th August:
The repairs have been completed and the lock has re-opened to navigation.

Lock 19, Rochdale Canal at Todmorden

Short stoppages on Huddersfield Narrow

There are a series of short stoppages taking place on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal as the Canal and River Trust deal with a number of issues where repairs are required.

On Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd August the canal will be closed between Locks 5e at Paddock Foot and Lock 6e at Mark Bottoms. The pound will be lowered to enable pointing work to take place to help stop leaks from the pound. Boaters waiting for the work to be completed can moor below Lock 4e or above Lock 8e. It is hoped the pound will be re-opened around 10.00 am on Friday.

Also on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd August work will be taking place to repair a ground paddle at Lock 28w on the Diggle flight. A new paddle is being made and will be installed on Friday morning. The Canal and River Trust hope the lock will reopen at lunchtime on Friday.

On Friday 2nd August work will take place to repair a damaged head gate cill at Lock 13w. Due to difficulties accessing the cill, the CRT team will need to put a stoppage on at this pound between Lock 13w and 14w in order to undertake a full inspection and repair of the damage. Mooring is possible below Lock 13w and below Lock 15w.

Lock 28w at Diggle