An extra £2 million will be spent on key waterway maintenance projects by the Canal & River Trust (CRT) during this winter.  This additional money has been accrued by CRT because of careful management of costs and success in earning income.

In response to feedback from this autumn’s local user group meetings CRT is also planning to spend up to an additional £2 million on control of offside vegetation this winter; bringing the year’s spend on major works and general maintenance and repairs to over £80 million in total.

The £2 million additional maintenance spend will be on a number of major projects, including over half a million pounds more on further spot-dredging; tackling specific locations where feedback has indicated that dredging is most urgently needed to improve navigation for boaters.

Woodseaves cutting

The remainder of the additional spending will be spread across England and Wales, on bridges, weirs, culverts and cuttings such as a number of repairs to Woodseaves Cutting on the Shropshire Union Canal (above), including targeted rock de-scaling and tree removal, repairs to rock buttresses and supports, and works to the towpath, costing £250,000

Further input from boaters and boating organisations will be sought by CRT as the maintenance vegetation clearance projects progress.

CRT operations director Vince Moran said –  “These types of projects are our bread and butter.  They may not sound like the most exciting jobs but they are absolutely vital to keep our canals open and to keep boaters safe”

Vince added – “We are fighting a constant battle against the effects of time, nature and daily use on our ageing waterway network and we can make this extra money go a long way to make a difference where it will matter the most.

Thanks to Harry Arnold and Waterway Images for this report and image.

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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