Pennine Waterways News

Monday 30 September 2013

Leeds and Liverpool Update

Here is an update on the Leeds and Liverpool stoppage at Rishton in Lancashire.

( For 10th October update, see below. )

On September 11th residents reported that a section of towpath had collapsed between Rishton and the M65 Aqueduct. The Canal and River Trust investigated and found that there was a significant leakage though the culvert running below the canal at this point. Had the leaks been allowed to continue the result could have been a major breach of the canal into the River Hyndburn.

The canal was immediately closed and dams constructed so that the affected area could be de-watered.

The Canal and River Trust's further investigation found that unseen leakage through the canal bed has resulted in internal erosion of the embankment. This erosion has caused deep sink holes on the bed of the canal and had led to the embankment collapse.

The repair work will include stabilisation of the embankment, relining the canal bed and reconstruction of the towpath and wash wall. The work will cost around £300,000 and should be complete by the end of November.

A temporary access road has been created and a site compound and cabins installed.

This week the silt is being excavated and bog mats laid in the canal bed. The excavator will then be used to investigate and infill the sinks holes within the canal bed. Further updates will be issued in due course.

Boaters forced to overstay by the stoppage should notify the Canal and River Trust so that no enforcement action is taken.

Update Wednesday 23rd October:
It is expected that the canal will be re-opened for navigation on 21st November.

The original towpath collapse. Photo: Canal & River Trust

Dewatered site showing collapsed towpath opposite. Photo: Canal & River Trust

Dewatered site showing temporary dam. Photo: Canal & River Trust

Update Thursday 10th October:
The Canal and River Trust reports that its team has continued with works to excavate a large depth of silt from a 40m length of the canal bed, with the silt being taken off site.

Pumps are being installed to pump water past the site to feed the canal downstream of the affected area.

The sink holes in the canal bed have been excavated, revealing the leakage paths which are shown by bands and pockets of silt. The sink holes have been backfilled with clay and levelled. The full canal profile is now being got ready for re-lining. The culvert lining is being made in Germany and will be shipped towards the end of the construction works.

The Canal and River Trust anticipates that the area will be re-opened for mid-November.

Update Monday 25th November:
The canal has now re-opened to navigation at this location. The towpath remains closed, probably until Friday 29th November.

Saturday 21 September 2013

Rochdale stoppage near Littleborough

Boaters traversing the Rochdale Canal face a hold up after a boat lifted a lock gate on the Littleborough flight.

One of the head gates at Bent House Lock (No 46) has been lifted out of its pot and cannot be operated.
The Canal and River Trust plans to lift the gate back into position on Monday 23rd September. The canal will be closed at this location until this has been done.

Boats coming from Manchester should moor below Lock 48 at Littleborough.

If access is required for the Durn services and water point (Schofield Street), please contact Canal and River Trust on 07879 421 503.

Enquiries about this stoppage can be made on 07879 421 503.

Update Monday 23rd September, 5 pm:
The lock gate has now been fixed and navigation is open.

Bent House Lock on the Littleborough flight

Thursday 19 September 2013

Tree blocks Macclesfield Canal

The Macclesfield Canal is currently closed near Royal Oak Swing Bridge (Fool's Nook) after a large tree has fallen across the navigation.

The section of canal closed is between Lyme Green and Bosley Locks.

Contractors will be on site tomorrow (Friday 20th September) to remove the tree.

Macclesfield Canal between Lyme Green and Bosley

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Two Day Closure on Aire and Calder

Whitley Lock on the Aire and Calder Navigation will be closed for two days next week - Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th September.

Contractors will be on site to carry out mechanical repairs to the hydraulics systems from 08.00am until 4.00pm daily. Passage through the lock will not be possible for the first 2 days of these works. After these two days there will be restrictions on the use of the lock.

Enquiries about this stoppage can be made to 0303 0404040.

Whitley Lock

One Day Huddersfield Narrow Stoppage

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal will be closed through Milnsbridge tomorrow (Thursday 19th September) as emergency repair work is carried out.

A leak has caused a large void to open up on the towpath/lock side area at the head of lock 8e at Spring Mill, Milnsbridge. As part of the repair works, the local Canal and River Trust team needs to lower the water level of the pound above the lock. This is to allow pointing works and stone work repairs to take place to the wash wall.

The stoppage will be for a full day, Thursday 19th September, and until 7.30am on Friday 20th September.

Mooring and winding are possible above lock 16e or below lock 1e.

Enquiries about this stoppage can be made on 03030 404040.

Lock 8e, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Milnsbridge

One Day Rochdale Nine Stoppage

Boaters intending to use the "Rochdale Nine" flight of locks through Manchester should be aware that the locks will be closed tomorrow, Thursday 19th September, in order to remove debris at Lock 87 at the lower end of Canal Street.

Rubbish has built up behind both tail gates at lock 87 so that they will not open fully into the recesses. This is causing navigation problems for wider boats. The water level in the lock and the pound below will be significantly lowered to clear behind the gates.

The towpath will also be closed between lock 87 (Princess Street) and lock 88 (Oxford Street), please follow alternative route along Whitworth Street.

Boaters waiting to use the locks should moor below lock 92 at Castlefield Basin or above lock 84 at Piccadilly Basin.

This stoppage will affect boaters navigating the Cheshire Ring.

Lock 87, Rochdale Canal

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Tree blocks Bridgewater near Runcorn

A tree is blocking the Bridgewater Canal between Preston Brook and Runcorn.

A large tree has fallen across the canal at Norton Priory. The Bridgewater Canal Company is taking steps to have the tree removed as quickly as possible. Navigation at this point closed until further notice.

This stoppage does not affect boats travelling between Manchester and Preston Brook Tunnel.

Update Thursday 19th September:
The tree has now been moved from the navigation and the canal has been reopened.

Green Bridge, close to Norton Priory, Bridgewater Canal.

Monday 16 September 2013

Aire and Calder Locks Stoppage

Birkwood Lock and Kings Road Lock on the Aire and Calder Navigation will be closed to navigation on Tuesday 17th September between 8.00 am and 5.30 pm.

Northern Powergrid will be switching off the power to these locks in order to carry out maintenance of the equipment at the local substation. Passage through the two locks will not be possible during this time as they are controlled from powered consoles.

Birkwood Lock and Kings Road Lock are on the branch of the Aire and Calder Navigation between Castleford and Wakefield.

Kings Road Lock, Aire and Calder Navigation
Kings Road Lock, Aire and Calder Navigation

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Leak closes Leeds and Liverpool at Rishton

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal has been closed at Rishton, between Blackburn and Burnley.

The Canal and River Trust were alerted to a towpath collapse on the edge of Rishton, not far from the aqueduct across the M65 motorway. Investigation found that there is significant leakage though the culvert running below the canal at this point, which has resulted in the towpath collapse.

Canal and River Trust staff remain on site and are investigating the matter further. The towpath has been closed with fencing and the navigation is also closed so that the affected section can be de-watered and the situation reviewed.

An update will be issued tomorrow (12th September).

Winding is possible next to the M65 Aqueduct (108aa) or to the west of Side Beet Bridge (106).

Update Thursday 12th September:
The Canal and River Trust are warning that this stoppage may last for quite a long time.

C&RT staff worked overnight constructing dams and are now de-watering the area. The towpath has been fenced off and a lengthy diversion signposted.

C&RT engineers are on site investigating the issues and they expect that an in-depth investigation and programme of repair will be required over the next few weeks.

A further update will be issued on 10th October 2013.

Go to this page to see updates.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal near the location of the collapse in Rishton

Monday 9 September 2013

Delays as leaks fixed on Huddersfield Narrow

Boaters on the eastern side of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal may face delays this week while work is carried out to stop leaks.

Lock 27e, between Slaithwaite and Marsden is to be closed on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th September, as the water levels around it are lowered to allow grouting and pointing to take place.

As part of on-going leak prevention work in this area, Canal and River Trust staff have discovered a series of interlinked leakage paths around the head gate area to lock 27e. The complexity of these leakage paths was unexpected needs water levels to be lowered to carry out essential pointing and grouting work and to install linings to the stone stop plank grooves.

Any enquiries about this stoppage should be made to Canal and River Trust on 03030 404040.

Lock 27e, Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Thursday 5 September 2013

Wigan and Johnsons Hillock Lock Restrictions

Wigan and Johnsons Hillock lock flights on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal will be subject to restricted opening times for the next three days.

Because of the current stoppage at Blackburn to repair a lock cill, not enough water is continuing down the canal, resulting in low eater levels. The lock flights at Wigan and Johnsons Hillock will be open only between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm until Sunday.

The top and bottom locks on these flights will be kept locked outside these hours. This is to protect and replenish water supply in these areas.

These restrictions will be in place until Sunday 8th September, when the Blackburn Flight will be re-opened to navigation.

The Canal and River Trust will have additional staff on hand on Sunday to ensure water is fed efficiently to the rest of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Any enquiries about these restrictions should be made to 03030 404040.

Update Friday 6th September:
Important: The Canal and River Trust has now clarified the information about these restrictions. They ask that boaters wanting to travel on one these flights aim to enter the flight at 10.00am. Following the entry of all waiting craft, C&RT staff will ensure that no more boats enter the flights. This means that it will not be possible to do both flights in the same day. C&RT staff are aiming to clear and lock the flights by 2.00 pm.

Johnsons Hillock Locks

Rochdale Bridge Hit Again

Shaw Wood Bridge (number 25) on the Rochdale Canal has been struck by a vehicle leaving it in an unsafe condition. The navigation is currently closed through the bridge and adjacent Lock 15.

Scaffolding will be erected tomorrow (6th September) and the canal will re-open when the bridge has been made safe which is expected to be around 4.00 pm.

Lock 15 and Shaw Wood Bridge are between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge.

The same bridge was struck by a vehicle in a similar incident just six weeks ago.

Shaw Wood Bridge over the Rochdale Canal

Sunday 1 September 2013

Rochdale Nine stoppage

The "Rochdale Nine" locks in Manchester have been closed after one of the locks was damaged by a boat.

A boat has struck the tail gates of Lock 89 of the Rochdale Canal (Tib Lock) so hard that the gates are out of alignment with the result that the lock is not navigable.

The Canal and River Trust will be inspecting the damage and will issue an update when it is known how long the stoppage will last.

This stoppage will affect boaters navigating the Cheshire Ring.

Enquiries about this stoppage should be made by phoning 0303 0404040.

Update Wednesday 4th September:
The gate has been repaired and the navigation has now re-opened.

Lock 89 of the Rochdale Canal