Pennine Waterways News

Monday 27 April 2020

Leeds and Liverpool Lock Flights Closure

Lock flights between Wigan and Bingley on the Leeds and Liverpool will be closed from lunchtime on Tuesday 28th April 2020 until further notice.

Essential maintenance works at Barrowford and Whitemoor reservoirs, which supply the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, means that water levels have been kept at a lower level than normal.

Along with the continued low rainfall this means there is less water available to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal for unrestricted movement through the coming months. With forecasts for further dry weather and Coronavirus related restrictions to movement already in place, the Canal and River Trust has taken the decision to protect water resources further by closing the lock flights from lunchtime on Tuesday 28th April.

The following locks will be affected:
 • Wigan Flight (Locks 65 to 85)
 • Johnsons Hillocks (58 to 64)
 • Blackburn Locks (52 to 55) - please note that Locks 56 and 57 at the bottom of the flight will remain open to allow access / winding for the services.
 • Barrowford Locks (45 to 51)
 • Greenberfield Locks (42 to 44)
 • Bank Newton Locks (36 to 41)
 • Gargrave (Holme Bridge Lock 30)
 • Bingley Five Rise Locks (25 to 29)

Lock flights will be padlocked and gates ashed up to reduce leakage. To prevent unauthorised use, locks will be made temporarily inoperable. These closures mean that CRT can reduce the feed to the canals to conserve water so that navigation can remain open for as long as possible for the rest of the year, with a few restrictions.

CRT says it is not clear how long the closures will last for but it is likely to be throughout May and perhaps longer if there is no significant, sustained rainfall.

While the closure will prevent use of the lock flights, cruising between the locks for essential purposes will remain available and the towpaths will be open for the local community to use in line with Government guidance.

CRT requests people to follow all guidance relating to Coronavirus when using the canals and towpaths until further notice. More about Coronavirus restrictions on canals here.

Bingley 5-Rise Locks on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal


  1. What really? I understand that Covid has totally messed things up, and that it's the ideal opportunity get some maintenance done whilst everybody is holed up; but water shortages? After the winter we've just had, and no movement of boats whilst it's been dry? Sounds more like mismanagement of water yet again, and the result of selling off assets and reservoirs that are vital to the network!

    1. That thought occurred to me too.


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