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Thursday 24 January

Today's news from the web

  • Canalside Development May Improve Transport burnleycitizen.co.uk

    A NEW canalside development in Brierfield could provide a windfall of more than £100,000 for transport initiatives across the town. Blueprints for 85 new homes, on the banks of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, off Clitheroe Road, are set to be debated by the Brierfield and Reedley Committee on Monday. ...

  • Diggers Move In At Marina burnleycitizen.co.uk

    Work has got under way on a new £1m marina in Burnley. The 102 berth marina is expected to be completed by August this year. ...

  • British Waterways teams fighting floods in Yorkshire waterscape.com

    The persistent rain which overwhelmed much of Yorkshire earlier this week has also taken its toll on the region’s canals and waterways with British Waterways employees at full stretch to cope with the ongoing devastation. ...

  • Town Politicians Back Canal Idea thisiswiltshire.co.uk

    Plans for a canal in central Swindon have cleared a major hurdle. Swindon Council is backing a scheme to create a £52m waterway through the centre of the town. ...

  • Canal improvements for Tring hemeltoday.co.uk

    More than £40,000 has been given to Tring and Berkhamsted to help improve and promote the towns. The money will help pay for projects including improving the canal and boosting tourism. ...

  • Danger of killer weed eadt.co.uk

    Floating pennywort could become a “nightmare” on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, according to the Broads Authority, the body which manages the area. ...

Wednesday 23 January

The world's deepest lock

In December 2005's Waterways World, we looked for the world's deepest lock - and found it at Oskemen, in Kazakhstan. Here's how we described it:

Oskemen is on a resurgent river route from northern China to Russia. Its rise of 40m-42m (around 138ft) is seven times the deepest on the British canal system.

Information on Kazakhstan's three river Ertis locks is hard to come by. Their tourist office doesn't answer e-mails, and the country's few websites are geared more towards Russian-speaking investors in heavy industry. But it is clear that, after a period of neglect in the 1990s, the country is now investing heavily to restore through passage on the river Ertis (or Irtysh) and replace its national cargo fleet.

Closed for several years, Oskemen or Ust-Kamenogorsk (its Russian name) was reopened to navigation in 2004. It provides passage around a vast hydro-electric dam. A new lock was opened at Shulbinsk earlier this year, narrowly missing out on a place in our list with a 24m rise (79ft). Bakhtarminsk completes the three.

Cargoes reflect the local industry: lead and zinc smelting, titanium and magnesium. We have not yet found any cruise operators - but we'd be delighted to hear from any readers who have.

We scoured the world to find a picture, but now, thanks to the wonders of Google's aerial photography, you can see it from the air. Click here for the close-up.

What are the chances of Terry (Narrow Dog) Darlington or Chris Coburn taking a narrowboat through, do you think?

Richard Fairhurst  | 12.17pm | 1 comment

Today's news from the web

  • Pay back £62,000 or stay in jail longer dailypost.co.uk

    A former British Waterways official who bought himself luxury goods with his employers’ cash, was yesterday ordered to pay back £62,000. ...

  • Lancaster canalside development rethought thisislancashire.co.uk

    Centros Miller is revising its multi-million pound planning application for the canal corridor development - and says there will be significant' changes. ...

  • Canal plan divides Korea news.bbc.co.uk

    South Korea's incoming President Lee Myung-bak intends to build a canal stretching the length of the country - he believes it will be an engineering marvel, others say it is lunacy. ...

  • IWA appoints new vice president waterscape.com

    The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has announced the appointment of Harry Arnold as a vice president of the Association for a term of five years. ...

  • Challenger Syndicateships update boatingbusiness.com

    The British Marine Federation (BMF) has made arrangements to identify a solicitor people can talk to if they have complaints regarding Challenger Syndicateships. ...

  • Canal Dream Does Hold Water thisiswiltshire.co.uk

    Experts have backed a project to create a new canal through central Swindon - and it will cost at least £52m. ...

  • Floods recede in Elland halifaxcourier.co.uk

    Peter and Angela Spencer were left to call out a river and canal rescue team to remove their 50ft narrow boat which was blocking the canal. ...

  • Homes plan to improve Rochdale towpath rochdaleobserver.co.uk

    Woodford Land will also contribute £35,000 to improvements at Littleborough train station, £49,000 for improvements to the canal towpath and £164,000 to improve surrounding roads. ...

Tuesday 22 January

Droitwich restoration gets go-ahead

The Droitwich Canals have finally received the green light for restoration works to start, with planning permission for the works finally being granted.

In the next few months, work will take place on the area of the Junction Canal around the M5, including a new lock into the River Salwarpe from the old line of the canal alongside Hanbury Road.

Restoration of the locks along the Barge Canal between Droitwich and the River Severn and the creation of a navigable tunnel under the A449 will take place during 2008. Making a section of the River Salwarpe navigable to replace the former Junction Canal between Vines Park and Swan Drive is planned towards the end of the programme in 2009.

British Waterways' James Thompson called it "a brilliant step forward", while Margaret Rowley, chairman of the Droitwich Canals Trust, said she was "delighted". The Waterways Trust is spearheading the remaining fundraising, with £1m to be found.

We'll have more details in March's WW.

Richard Fairhurst  | 6.13pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Midlands firms in trial to move freight by water roadtransport.com

    Businesses in the West Midlands are to be asked if they want to transfer freight from road to canal....

  • Panic stations as floods return yorkshirepost.co.uk

    About 60 children were evacuated from the Water's Edge nursery in Elland, near Huddersfield, after the Calder and Hebble Navigation began to flood the building. ...

  • District Still On High Alert thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

    Cellars at homes in Bold Venture Street, Skipton, were flooded up to four feet deep when the nearby Leeds & Liverpool canal spilled over. ...

  • New Tewkesbury lock-keeper thisisgloucestershire.co.uk

    Bob Scarrott is a man with a very important job.The 61-year-old has taken over from Nigel Preece as Tewkesbury's lock-keeper. ...

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