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Philip

Worth booking passage for Anderton lift?

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I'm thinking of taking a trip onto the Weaver next weekend, down Saturday and back up the lift on Sunday. I've looked at the passage arrangements and booking ahead looks a little pricey when you can turn up and go through for free on the day on the next available spot.

Is it worth paying the fee considering the time of year of a weekend? Is it fairly common for freebies to have to wait until the next day or longer before a free spot is available?

Also is the whole thing from Weston Point to Winsford doable by going down on the Saturday morning and coming off the river on late Sunday afternoon? My preference is to Weston Point if it's one way or the other.

 

Any info would be appreciated, thanks. :-)

Edited by Philip

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I only book if I need to do it on that day, like if I am meeting someone. I have so far been lucky and got both up and down when I have wanted to.

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Have they sorted out the maintenance issue?  I know back in June booking ahead was the only sure way to get on the lift as it was operating on restricted days/hours whilst they were waiting for replacement parts.  

On a weekend in July I'd cough up the £10 for a return trip.

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2 hours ago, Neil2 said:

Have they sorted out the maintenance issue?  I know back in June booking ahead was the only sure way to get on the lift as it was operating on restricted days/hours whilst they were waiting for replacement parts.  

I would also be interested to know.

Daniel

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It's only a 5 quid booking fee.  We did it at the August bank holiday and I thought coming back on a bank holiday weekend it would be worth having a booked passage, but wasn't necessary. Guess it depends on how much of a hurry your in whether the the fiver is worth it or not. 

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We usually  turn up on spec to go down, but book our return as you could be waiting for a day or two if a boat club has organised a club cruise or there is an event on.

 

ETA:   It's worth noting that you can only get the next available passage on the day.  If there aren't any slots, you have to go back the next day and try again, i.e. you won't get the next available slot the next day.

Edited by dor

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"Pricey" ? Have you seen the amount of kit  and tlc needed to get you up and down? Despite the moans and groans about unreliability, it represents great value for money, especially when "free" of charge. 

  • Greenie 3

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We booked both times and don't regret paying towards the upkeep. 

As for how long it takes to do end to end remember that the locks are manned and are not open late. Also there are restricted mooring so for example there are no moorings between hunts lock and Vale royal lock so you have to time it carefully to get through to Moor above Vale royal.

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8 hours ago, Hartlebury lad said:

"Pricey" ? Have you seen the amount of kit  and tlc needed to get you up and down? Despite the moans and groans about unreliability, it represents great value for money, especially when "free" of charge. 

I must have misinterpreted it then, I read the cost of booking being £10 return but below it read the cost of passage as being £30. If it's £10 then certainly seems worthwhile to guarantee passage. I'd like to go to the northern end (Weston Point), so I'd be prepared to leave the southern bit for another time if it's going to be tight.

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9 minutes ago, Philip said:

I must have misinterpreted it then, I read the cost of booking being £10 return but below it read the cost of passage as being £30. If it's £10 then certainly seems worthwhile to guarantee passage. I'd like to go to the northern end (Weston Point), so I'd be prepared to leave the southern bit for another time if it's going to be tight.

We went down lunch time the first day, on the first available passage of the day, an booked to come back on the last passage the next day.  We went down stream to Weston Point and back.

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29 minutes ago, Philip said:

I must have misinterpreted it then, I read the cost of booking being £10 return but below it read the cost of passage as being £30. If it's £10 then certainly seems worthwhile to guarantee passage. I'd like to go to the northern end (Weston Point), so I'd be prepared to leave the southern bit for another time if it's going to be tight.

The usage charge is if you don't have a Canal and River Trust Licence, for example if you only have a licence for the Bridgewater.  For CRT licenced boats it is just the Advanced booking charge of £5 single or £10 return.

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Only you can decide if your on a tight enough schedule to 'need' to book. I thinknit also depends if you're scheduled to arrive at Anderton first thing in the morning or late afternoon. 

It's £5 each way if you prebook, i don't. 

When the lift is working to full capacity, which it is at the moment, I've never had to wait longer than a few hours for an 'on spec' (free) passage.

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Even when they only had one caisson working in April, I only had to wait a few hours to go down and none at all to come up again.  Mind you, it wasn't at a weekend.

ETA if you're on a tight schedule, a tenner to book each way isn't going to break the bank though and it might be worth it for the peace of mind.

Edited by Arthur Marshall

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12 minutes ago, Philip said:

So assuming no hold ups at the locks, how long does it take to get from Anderton to Weston Point?

I think we would have done it in 4 or 5 hours.  The only hold up at the locks would when they close for lunch for an hour, which I found strange.

Edited by john6767

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When I went down last month I booked both ways as there was only one caisson in action which meant it was fully booked, sometimes for a couple of days ahead. Of course, you could be lucky and get on when turning up on spec.

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Thanks for your replies and help!

I'm just going to do the northern half I think, booked to go down Saturday morning then back up Sunday lunchtime. It sounds as though 2 full days may be needed to do the whole thing there and back. Shame you can't work the locks by yourself!

 

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You can phone the  lockkeepers when you're on your way and they will usually have the lock ready for you so there's no waiting. There are  so few boats on the river that they welcome the exercise. 

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52 minutes ago, Philip said:

Thanks for your replies and help!

I'm just going to do the northern half I think, booked to go down Saturday morning then back up Sunday lunchtime. It sounds as though 2 full days may be needed to do the whole thing there and back. Shame you can't work the locks by yourself!

 

If time permits, try and stay another day or two to explore the whole river and you won't regret it. Moor at Vale Royal Cut and Devil's Garden for wonderfully remote settings.

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2 hours ago, rgreg said:

If time permits, try and stay another day or two to explore the whole river and you won't regret it. Moor at Vale Royal Cut and Devil's Garden for wonderfully remote settings.

I'd add to try an overnight on the pontoon at Weston point....it's got a lovely end of the world feel to it....even though you are right next to chemical works ive never seen a soul working there and it's just s fascinating place. With any luck you may get a shipping movement on the ship canal too. 

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4 minutes ago, frangar said:

I'd add to try an overnight on the pontoon at Weston point....it's got a lovely end of the world feel to it....even though you are right next to chemical works ive never seen a soul working there and it's just s fascinating place. With any luck you may get a shipping movement on the ship canal too. 

Yes, that's another interesting spot; I always like to spend at least an hour or two here, enjoying the solitude and gazing out at the Ship Canal.

  • Happy 1

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3 hours ago, frangar said:

I'd add to try an overnight on the pontoon at Weston point....it's got a lovely end of the world feel to it....even though you are right next to chemical works ive never seen a soul working there and it's just s fascinating place. With any luck you may get a shipping movement on the ship canal too. 

I agree with the end of the world feel, we stopped and had a walk round the lock.

6 hours ago, Philip said:

Thanks for your replies and help!

I'm just going to do the northern half I think, booked to go down Saturday morning then back up Sunday lunchtime. It sounds as though 2 full days may be needed to do the whole thing there and back. Shame you can't work the locks by yourself!

 

We went down at lunch time, and then back up on the last lift of the day the following day (we booked the return), so a similar amount of time.

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From all of the published advice, just 4 days ago I turned up at the Anderton lift without having previously booked and went into the administration/visitor centre to see if there might be a slot available for me to go down. The staff member to whom I spoke said that they had recently decided to only allow pre-booked boats to use the lift. I asked why, since all the information indicates that one can just turn up and if a slot is available one can use it without booking or incurring the booking fee. I was told that so many people turn up without insurance certificates, licences etc that it caused too many problems for them. 

I didn't seek a second opinion from another member of staff, but he was operating the lift so I assumed that he would know. He might have given me inaccurate information and I hope that he was, but it might be worth a telephone call to confirm.

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19 hours ago, frangar said:

I'd add to try an overnight on the pontoon at Weston point....it's got a lovely end of the world feel to it....even though you are right next to chemical works ive never seen a soul working there and it's just s fascinating place. With any luck you may get a shipping movement on the ship canal too. 

I was told by one of the lock keepers that the chemical works is only staffed by 12 people.

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45 minutes ago, Bargebuilder said:

From all of the published advice, just 4 days ago I turned up at the Anderton lift without having previously booked and went into the administration/visitor centre to see if there might be a slot available for me to go down. The staff member to whom I spoke said that they had recently decided to only allow pre-booked boats to use the lift. I asked why, since all the information indicates that one can just turn up and if a slot is available one can use it without booking or incurring the booking fee. I was told that so many people turn up without insurance certificates, licences etc that it caused too many problems for them. 

I didn't seek a second opinion from another member of staff, but he was operating the lift so I assumed that he would know. He might have given me inaccurate information and I hope that he was, but it might be worth a telephone call to confirm.

I've just phoned the Anderton  vistor centre to get  clarification and they said nothing has changed. If you have a valid  CaRT licence and turn up 'on spec', passage is free on the next available slot. Booked slots are £5 and obviously take priority.

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