Pennine Waterways News

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Width Restriction at Marple Locks

CRT has imposed a new width restriction at Marple Locks on the Peak Forest Canal after a boat jammed in a lock. Boats over 6ft 10 in will not be allowed to pass through the lock flight.

The day after Marple Locks re-opened after an eight month stoppage to re-build Lock 15, a boat became stuck in Lock 11. There are fears that there has been some movement of the lock structure causing the lock chamber to narrow, as had happened at Lock 15.

At the moment passage for boats not exceeding 6ft 10in is safe but passage through the lock is being supervised by CRT staff. Therefore the locks are only open for passage between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm.

It would appear that the coping Stones on Lock 11 are moving inwards, creating a pinch point. Engineers will be assessing the lock to check for any ongoing movement and whether it is possible to carry out minor repairs, such as jacking the coping stones out, or whether major work is required as at Lock 15. Vehicle access to Lock 11 would be much more difficult than at Lock 15.

Most narrowboats will be unaffected by the width restriction but it will mean that many heritage boats will not be able to use this route.

Update 30th May:
Because of continuing difficulties with Lock 11, CRT will be carrying out emergency work on the lock tomorrow (Thursday 31st May). Passage through Lock 11 will only be possible between 11.00 am and 1.30 pm on this day. The previous hours of operation (10.00am to 4.00pm) will resume on Friday 1st June.

Update 4th June:
In view of continuing problems with Lock 11, Marple Locks have been closed again. Follow this link for more information.

Lock 11 at Marple

Friday 25 May 2018

Marple Locks Re-opened

The Marple flight of locks on the Peak Forest Canal has re-opened this evening after an eight month stoppage.

Subsidence had caused the lock sides to start to come in, making the lock potentially dangerous, and which would have eventually led to a collapse. The rebuilding work has been plagued by several unexpected problems with the planned re-opening date having been put back several times.

In order to re-open the locks to navigation at the first opportunity there is still some work ongoing around the lock so boaters should take care, observing warning notices and staying within the areas publicly accessible.

During working hours there may be machinery operating near the lock and boats may be asked to wait for short periods.

This will be welcome news for many boaters as the stoppage has disrupted many people's journey plans and has especially affected people wishing to navigate the Cheshire Ring.

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Marple to re-open while work continues

The Canal and River Trust has announced its intention of re-opening Marple Locks on the Peak Forest Canal even before the work on Lock 15 is complete.

The lock flight has been closed for 8 months and has caused difficulties for hire companies and local boaters, so CRT is keen to re-open the locks to navigation as quickly as possible.

All masonry work should be completed this week and next week the lock gates will be installed and scaffolding and temporary dams removed so that boats can pass through from 5.00 pm on Friday 25th May.

However there will remain work to be completed, such as re-laying the gate quadrants and landscaping work, so boaters are asked to follow instructions from the site team while work is taking place.

A recent view of the work at Lock 15.