Pennine Waterways News

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Problems with locks on Huddersfield Narrow

Boaters navigating the Huddersfield Narrow Canal are facing delays with stoppages arising at two locks on the west side of the canal.

At Lock 26w on the Diggle flight a wooden head gate cill has been damaged by a boat passing over it when the water levels were too low. This is the wooden block on the floor of the canal that abuts the head gate to form a watertight seal. The damage is 'substantial' and the cill cannot be simply fixed. Scaffold access into the lock will be required and, once in place, the repair may take a few days to complete. CRT will issue an update on Tuesday with a timetable for the repair.

Meanwhile at Lock 10w near Millbrook a quoin has failed. This forms a watertight seal at the side of the gate. An attempted repair this morning was unsuccessful. CRT will issue an update on Tuesday with a timetable for the repair.

These problems have arisen just after a safety problem in Standedge Tunnel has been resolved.

Update Wednesday 2nd September:
In addition to the problems above, a cill has failed at Lock 8w near Millbrook. A repair was attempted yesterday but was unsuccessful. It is hoped that the repair can be completed today (2nd September).

This has delayed repairs to the quoin at Lock 10w. It is hoped that repairs to Lock 10w will be completed tomorrow (3rd September).

The repair team will move on to Lock 26w on Friday, when scaffolding is installed. It is hoped to complete the repairs at Lock 26w by Saturday afternoon.

Update Wednesday 2nd September, 3.30 pm:
The repair to Lock 8w is complete and the lock is now open to navigation. Boaters should note that they cannot proceed beyond Grove Road Services (above Lock 8w) as there is still a stoppage at Lock 10w.

Update Thursday 3rd September, 2.30 pm:
The repair to the quoin has now been completed,and the navigation through Lock 10w is now open.

Update Saturday 5th September, 10.00 am:
The repair to Lock 26w is complete and the lock is now open to navigation.

(Please note the restricted times of passage at Lock 19w from 7th September. See details.)

Note concerning cills:
Boaters should be aware that, when closed, a lock gate butts up to a wooden cill (or threshold) that forms a water-tight seal against the gate. These wooden cills are usually slightly higher than the adjacent canal bed. Attempting to enter or leave a lock when water levels are too low can result in the boat's skeg catching the cill and damaging it, or even ripping it out of place.

This will mean a water-tight seal cannot be made, making it difficult (or impossible) to completely empty or fill the lock.

When levels are low, boaters should proceed slowly and be prepared to stop and back off it the boat makes contact with the wooden cill. Forcing the boat over a cill is selfish and could result in other boaters having their holidays spoilt by a stoppage. The best course of action is to send someone to open the next paddle above the cill in question and wait until water levels are high enough to cross a cill without making contact. (Only enough water should be released to increase the water level sufficiently. The paddle should then be closed again to prevent the pound above also becoming too low.)

Lock 26w on the Diggle flight.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Bridgewater Canal Re-opens

The Bridgewater Canal has re-opened to navigation between Castlefield and Waters Meeting.

The canal closed on 31st July to enable the demolition of a dangerous building alongside the canal. Navigation of this stretch resumed from midday on Friday 28th August.

The Bridgewater Canal Company has asked boaters to pass the site slowly, keeping to the offside, and to be vigilant in following any signs or instructions.

The towpath remains closed.

The derelict Excelsior Works on the left of the Bridgewater Canal, near Hulme Hall Bridge.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Standedge Tunnel Safety Alert

Passage through Standedge Tunnel was temporarily suspended after a safety alert this week.

On Wednesday while one of the normal chaperone-assisted passages was taking place, it was noticed that one of Network Rail's timber overhead walkways that cross the tunnel had partially collapsed and that large timbers were suspended dangerously over the water. As a result the Canal and River Trust had to close the tunnel to navigation.

Network Rail sent a maintenance crew to begin removing the dangerous timbers. That work is underway and was expected to be complete by Thursday night.

If all has gone well tunnel passages should be resumed as normal on Friday (28th August).

The original railway tunnels were built alongside the south side of the canal tunnel. The later twin track rail tunnel was built on the north side of the canal, linked at intervals with the original tunnels by means of passages. Some of these cross the canal tunnel on wooden walkways and it is one of these that became unsafe.

It is understood that it was necessary to take the boat back out of the tunnel the way it had come. It was expected that the boat would be allowed through the tunnel as soon as Network Rail had made the walkway safe.

Update Friday 28th August:
The repair has been completed and the tunnel has re-opened to normal operation.

One of the overhead walkways crossing Standedge Tunnel.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Marple Locks restriction

Marple Locks are currently open at restricted times after a boat damaged a lock gate.

From today (8th Aug), passage through Marple locks will only be will be between 8.00 am and 10.00 am and between 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm each day until further notice. Canal and River Trust staff will be available to assist boats through Lock 14, where the tail gate has been damaged by boat impact.

The tail gates of Lock 14 were damaged when they were hit by a boat. The lock flight was closed while an inspection of the damage was carried out. Further assessment is needed and the lock will be operated by CRT staff until repairs can be made.

CRT will issue a further update when it is known how they will proceed.

Lock 14, Peak Forest Canal, Marple