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TheBiscuits

Still shut on the L&L

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Notice Alert

Leeds & Liverpool Canal
Starts At: Lock 85, Lock 21
Ends At: Lock 30, Holme Bridge Lock

Monday 30 July 2018 until further notice

Type: Navigation Closure 
Reason: Water resources

Update on 13/09/2018:

Although some rainfall has occurred over recent weeks, low levels of rainfall have persisted throughout August and are forecasted to continue through the latter part of September, this has impacted on the reservoir holdings which are still extremely low. At least 5 weeks of prolonged rainfall would be required before holdings were to reach a sustainable water level to consider reopening of the Leeds  & Liverpool. Therefore, it is anticipated that it is unlikely that the canal will reopen between Wigan Flight (from below lock 85) and Gargrave (from below lock 30) until at least the end of October, possibly later if we don’t experience any significant and prolonged rainfall over the coming weeks. We have opened up discussions with the Environment Agency regarding temporary abstractions to protecting the canal environment, these abstractions will not be for the purpose of supporting navigation.

The lock flights at Wigan (locks 65 to 85), Johnsons Hillocks (58 to 64), Blackburn Flight (locks 52 to 57), Barrowford Locks (45 to 51), Greenberfield Locks (42 to 44), Bank Newton Locks (36 to 41) and Gargrave (locks 35 to 30) are padlocked closed and the gates have been ashed up to reduce leakage.  To prevent unauthorised use, measures have been taken to make the locks inoperable. While the closure will prevent use of that stretch of canal by boats the towpath will remain open for visitors and the local community alike to enjoy.

While we have had the canal closed our teams have been taking advantage of the lock closures to deliver a large programme of works to remedy some of the usability issues on the locks.   Works have included paddle repairs, vegetation clearance, pointing works, and leakage repairs on the gates.  We have also completed painting, greasing and debris removal works.  Taking the current situation in to consideration we have chosen to bring forward our winter works programme for the following locks, Lock 43  Greenberfield, Lock 73, Lock 81 and Lock 85, we will now deliver these works during September and October while the lock flights remains closed.

This does mean that customers wishing to access or leave between Wigan Flight (from below lock 85) and Gargrave (from below lock 30) won’t be able to do so until the stoppage works have been concluded and the reservoir holdings have improved.

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Thankfully we were going the other way! The locks between Bingley and Leeds re-opened within days of us moving on board in Shipley in late August, otherwise we'd have been stuck with no access even to water or an Elsan point. As it is we've managed to escape, to Selby at present, as per our original plans. We were expecting to encounter a backlog of boats waiting to get through Newlay locks when they re-opened, but no - everyone else must have cleared out before the stoppage took effect.

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Unexpectedly the L&L is reopening from tomorrow between Gargrave & Wigan Top Lock, albeit with some time restrictions. The Wigan flight won't reopen until 22nd October and the repair works brought forward whilst the locks were closed are still ongoing.

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