Both the Lancaster Canal and the Montgomery Canal have been cut in two by serious leaks, isolating boats and businesses at the start of the busy cruising season.

lune_aqueduct2Boaters on the popular Lancaster Canal will not be able to cruise the full length of the canal again until the end of July because of a breach in the embankment leading to the Lune Aqueduct near Lancaster.

Update 28 July; the Lancaster canal has now been reopened after works involving 420 tonnes of clay to fill the holes!

Serious leaks have been found adjacent to the canal’s major engineering feature, and a 730-metre length over the aqueduct has had to be dewatered. There are two large holes in the bed, by the towpath and in the centre channel and a third smaller hole on the offside. (Image right courtesy CRT.) Repairs will involve laying a liner and quantity of clay over the failed section and tying it in to the existing clay bed.  Water will be pumped around the work area to ensure the sections on either side remain navigable. The aqueduct is also regularly used by walkers and cyclists to cross the Lune and CRT expect that the towpath will remain open throughout the works although there may be temporary restrictions at key points in the work.

This is a popular canal closed during its busiest period and CRT say their contractors will be working evenings and weekends to decrease the length of time that it is closed. South of the Lune Aqueduct the canal remains accessible via the Ribble Link Navigation and from the sea via the Glasson Branch but the section north of the River Lune is currently isolated. Most boats and hirers are on the southern section below Lancaster but much of the appeal of the canal is that the full length can normally be cruised in a week’s holiday.

Aston No1 lockThe Montgomery Canal has also been split by leakage, this one behind the piling between the Aston Locks 1 and 2 near Oswestry.

Update 17th August; the canal has now been reopened.

Repairs are made complicated by the site being a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Before work on site can even begin approval must be given for the methods and materials used. Not only are the repair materials and methods used restricted by the SSSI status, simply getting the necessary plant and materials onto the site without potential damage to the sensitive environment poses additional problems. CRT say that their specialist contractors have now finalised their intended designs for the repair works and confirmed that the plant required to complete the works is available.  They are now in the process of determining the availability of the materials for the work and gaining the required environmental approvals. No date has been set for the reopening. (Above, lowered water levels below Aston Number 1 Lock.)

Visiting boats must wind at Queen’s Head but a number of canal businesses are still operating on the isolated section, CRT suggests visiting their websites or ringing them for up to date information;  telephone 01691 672958, telephone 01691 652168. Bywater Cruises who operate a horse drawn trip boat from Maesbury are putting on extra trips on the isolated section during the closure. telephone 01691 777738.

Update 10/7/2015. Work is expected to start on July 20th and take approximately 6 weeks.

This isolation of part of the ‘connected’ section of the Montgomery Canal comes ironically at a time when ‘Making Waves’, a series of events are being held to bring the ‘isolated’ section of the canal around Welshpool alive! See our ‘Making Waves on the Monty this Summer’ report.

Thanks to Waterway Images and CRT for information and use of images.

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

Facebook | Twitter

About | Terms | Privacy| Refunds & Returns| Sitemap | Contact Us

With over 800 pages, this website uses cookies to record visitor behaviour using Google Analytics. More information on Privacy Page. Page last updated: 29/06/2015.