Pennine Waterways News

Saturday 4 November 2017

Long term closure of Marple Locks

As was reported in September, a problem involving subsidence at Lock 15 at Marple is going to result in the whole of the Marple lock flight being shut for an extended period.

Towards the end of September the Canal and River Trust said that following a detailed survey it was clear that the lock had become too narrow to be operated safely. Dealing with the subsidence at the lock was going to be "a significant and complex project". CRT needs to work with their contracting partners to make sure that they can get the repair done quickly but at a reasonable cost too.

They were unable to give a timescale for the completion of the work other than to say that the lock will be closed here for some time.

At the end of October, CRT issued an update to say that there has been lots of work going on behind the scenes looking for the best way to repair the lock chamber wall. Further monitoring of the wall has shown that it has continued to move.

In early November CRT will be carrying out further ground investigations, digging large boreholes around the lock to give detailed information about the ground around the lock so that the extent of the works needed can be established. The lock is Grade II listed, in a conservation area and in a confined location making access difficult. CRT needs to make sure that the designs to repair the wall can work in the limited space, are sympathetic to the area and meet the heritage criteria dictated by the lock's Listed status.

CRT are hoping that work will be able to start before Christmas and will be aiming for the repairs to be completed by mid March.

CRT are reviewing what other works that they can do in the flight over the winter to make the most of the extended closure.

It would therefore appear that the 'window' when the locks were due to be open for navigation on 27th and 28th Jan 2018 will not now be possible.