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First draft of coming winter stoppages revealed

British Waterways have announced the initial draft of their planned maintenance works for the coming winter season, 2012-13. 

This year’s works programme will be the first in its new guise as the Canal & River Trust, although it is not expected to contain any surprises. Winter cruising enthusiasts should find their needs mostly catered for over Christmas and the New Year, with few long stoppages or ‘double stoppages trapping boaters on short stretches for long periods. 

Long stoppages – in some cases for the entire winter season from early November through to mid-March – are proposed for the Lancaster Canal’s northern Capenwray embankment; on the Huddersfield Narrow in Huddersfield itself; on the Leeds & Liverpool canal near Bingley and near Liverpool; and on the western Trent & Mersey near Middlewich (putting the kibosh on a Christmas Four Counties Ring cruise – sorry!) 

Also mooted for winter-long stoppage is the BCN’s Netherton Tunnel, where they will investigate long-running concerns with the stability of the tunnel – and on the Kennet & Avon, where the entire Caen Hill flight at Devizes will be closed. The Llangattock stretch of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal will also be closed all winter, to investigate continuing problems on that stretch. 

No stoppages are shown for the newly restored East London waterways around the Olympic Park, which should by then be free of national security concerns. Whether this is because of the massive amounts of money and maintenance already invested in this area, or because the waterways will be open to public navigation is not mentioned at this stage. 

But these are only proposals. Boaters are invited to comment on them via the Waterscape website – which is likely to be the Canal & River Trust website by the time the stoppages list is confirmed in September. Visit http://www.waterscape.com/things-to-do/boating/proposed-stoppage 

The list is available as a 'CSV' for viewing in spreadsheets, or as a 'pick-off list' for selecting the waterways you are interested in. Perhaps more handily, it is also available as regional PDF maps, where the stoppages are shown colour-coded. Yellow stoppages mean before the New Year, blue are for spring stoppages, while the glaring red shows stoppages that will stretch both sides of the new year and will impede navigation for several months.  

BW's draft stoppages for 2012-13 winter season -
available as handy colour-coded maps, or filtered by waterway.

Tuesday 22 May  | Andrew Denny  | 1.21pm, Tuesday 22 May 2012

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