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Thursday 21 February

Today's news from the web

  • Plans revealed for new water taxi stations on Manchester Ship Canal manchestereveningnews.co.uk

    Town hall chiefs are splashing out on five new stations for the water taxi set to run between Manchester city centre and Salford Quays. The five pontoons for the so-called ‘waxi’ will dot the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Irwell – part of £3.1m transport improvements by Salford council including new cycle routes to MediaCity and the reopening of a footbridge across the Irwell....

  • Harecastle tunnel offered for sale by the government bbc.co.uk

    A disused Victorian railway tunnel in Staffordshire has been offered for sale by the government. The Harecastle railway tunnel at Kidsgrove was built in 1848 and has been disused since the 1960s. Railway historian Basil Jeuda said the tunnel was "an important link in the development of a national rail system". The Department of Transport said a sale will only be made to "a public body" able to take on the maintenance of the mile-long tunnel....

  • Chesterfield Canal Trust demands discussions with HS2 officials itv.com

    Chesterfield Canal Trust says it 'welcomes' news that discussions have been taking place between HS2 Ltd. and local authorities over the route of the new line between London and Leeds, but has warned the proposals 'serve to blight' further regeneration of the waterway. It comes after concerns were raised over the impact the line would have on the 300-year-old canal and amid claims the route was drawn up using out of date maps. HS2 Ltd. said the route is 'the Government's initial preferred route' and it is now able to 'address concerns about specific sites'....

  • Canal work delay is harming business, says Apperley Bridge Marina owner thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

    A marina owner is taking a compensation battle to an industry watchdog following delays to renovation work on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal after a 64-tonne crane tumbled into the water two weeks ago. Steve Wright said Apperley Bridge Marina had been landlocked since November as work is undertaken at Dobson Locks at one end and Field Locks at the other. But because of the accident and poor weather some of the maintenance is behind schedule....

Wednesday 20 February

Today's news from the web

  • Pylon plans mean Montgomery Canal marina is put on hold shropshirestar.com

    Developers have put on hold plans to create a canalside marina near Oswestry after learning it is in the path of a proposed 40,000 volt line of electricity pylons. National Grid wants feed electricity generated from wind farms in Mid Wales through Shropshire and into the national power network. But the proposed route comes near the Montgomeryshire Canal at Queens Head, where Morris Leisure wants to create a marina and other attractions in the hope of attracting thousands of tourists every year. Its plans are now on hold....

Tuesday 19 February

Leominster canal aqueduct collapses

The Rea Aqueduct, on the disused Kington, Leominster and Stourport Canal, has suffered a major partial collapse. The towpath on the aqueduct constitutes a public right-of-way over the River Rea and the footpath has been officially closed. 

Designed by Thomas Dadford Junior and built in 1792-3, the Rea Aqueduct all-brick single arch span ( 13.7m) was the largest of its time. Despite John Rennie’s critical comments on its design in his 1795 survey, and showing increasing signs of weathering in recent years, it has survived for over 200 years.

The collapsed is centred on its brick-lined canal trough, which has now revealed long-hidden construction secrets. Since 2000, the Rea Aqueduct has been a Grade 2-listed structure and its fate will now be decided by English Heritage in conjunction with Worcestershire and Shropshire County Councils. Although Worcestershire have placed the closure notice the aqueduct sits on the border between the two counties and Shropshire is also therefore involved. This involvement of two councils is likely to delay decision on its future. 

David Slater

Andrew Denny  | 3.13pm | 1 comment

Monday 18 February

Today's news from the web

  • Recovering crane from L&L canal at Apperley Bridge 'will be a big challenge’ thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

    The “unusual challenge” of shifting a 64-ton crane which crashed into the Leeds-Liverpool Canal a week ago means no-one can say when it will be moved. The huge all-terrain machine, thought to be worth £500,000, was being used by the Canal & River Trust. It was doing preparation work to replace lock-gates at Dobson Locks at Apperley Bridge when the accident happened on Friday. The towpath collapsed under the weight of the Tadano Faun crane, which can lift 90 tons, in an accident the Trust said was “rare”....

  • How much longer to wait for the Diglis Basin bridge to open? worcesternews.co.uk

    A footbridge which is the missing link in a riverside revamp should be reopened as soon as possible, says a leading councillor. Derek Prodger, the city and county councillor for Worcester’s Bedwardine ward, says the bridge over Diglis Basin has been ready for use for more than a year after it was renovated by Taylor Wimpey as part of its development in the area. The walkway completes a circular riverside route which includes the new Diglis Bridge over the Severn, but Coun Prodger is concerned that it is not yet open to the public because of the delay caused by the Diglis Basin crossing. The bridge belongs to the Canal and River Trust, while the right of way over it is the responsibility of Worcestershire County Council. The council said it was working with the trust to overcome safety concerns, including putting up ‘cyclists dismount on dock bridge’ signs, to help the reopening process....

  • Scottish Canals get heritage strategy to repair canalside buildings scotsman.com

    They are part of the heritage of Scotland’s historic canals, yet for years have lain vacant or derelict. Now the public body responsible for safeguarding the nation’s inland waterways is to embark on an ambitious project to repair, maintain and re-use scores of important buildings. The plans are contained in the Heritage Strategy being drafted by Scottish Canals, which runs the country’s 137-mile canal network. Scottish Canals says 40 per cent of its buildings – around 100 properties – are ranked as nationally important scheduled monuments, but many have fallen into disuse....

  • Chesterfield Canal 1-mile £230k resurfaced towpath at Worksop worksopguardian.co.uk

    Walkers, cyclists, fishermen and anyone who visits the Chesterfield Canal at Worksop will soon benefit from an improved tow path. Work has already begun to resurface the busy stretch of path between the Lock Keeper pub on Sandy Lane and Worksop town centre, as part of a £231,000 project. The Canal & River Trust, which looks after the nations’s waterways, aims to provide everyone, including disabled visitors, a clean, green traffic-free route into Worksop. A grass verge will also be set aside along the length of the tow path for anglers. Almost 1.5km of the route will be modified. Work has started this week and will last around eight weeks....

  • ‘Spring clean’ to bring fish back to Manchester Ship Canal manchestereveningnews.co.uk

    The Manchester Ship Canal is to get a new lease of life thanks to a £90m clean-up that will bring back fish to the historic waterway. The 36-mile canal, which opened in 1894, established Manchester as the country’s third largest port and opened up key trade routes across the world. Sewer systems of the era in Manchester meant waste water and rain flowed through pipes into watercourses including the canal. Over time, the water has taken its toll on the canal’s quality. Now a mammoth ‘spring clean’ aims to produce cleaner canal water – and the return of fish including bream, roach, perch and carp....

  • 2,000+ turn out for Dowley Gap aqueduct walk on L&L Canal thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

    More than 2,000 people took a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk along the bed of an historic aqueduct yesterday. In a UK first, a section of the 240-year-old Dowley Gap Aqueduct on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal near Bingley, which has been drained for repairs, was opened to the public. The open day, hosted by the Canal and River Trust, was postponed from January 27, when it had to be called off because of bad weather....

  • Triumph for (Brentford tidal section) canal boat litigant on appeal ukhumanrightsblog.com

    A boat owner has won his appeal against the British Waterways Board preventing him from mooring his boats alongside his land on a tidal stretch of the Grand Canal. Although he had no common law right to permanently moor the boats, he had committed no actionable wrong in doing so, and they were therefore not moored “without lawful authority” within the meaning of the British Waterways Act 1983. This judgment is an interesting and important endorsement of the principle in English law that everything is permitted except what is expressly forbidden. ...

Thursday 14 February

Today's news from the web

  • Pendle MP calls for action over L&L canal towpath lancashiretelegraph.co.uk

    Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has called a meeting with the Canal and River Trust over the poor state of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Nelson. Mr Stephenson said: “Pendle residents are fed up of walking the canal and finding it strewn with litter and refuse from fly-tipping. “The canal should be an area that we are all able to enjoy. Responsibility for keeping the canal clean rests with the trust, who need to work with Pendle Borough Council on this....

Tuesday 12 February

Kingsground Narrowboats - a clarification

Kingsground Narrowboats has asked us to point out that contrary to a report in the March 2013 issue of Waterways World, it is still actively trading and building the high quality boats it is renowned for. 

We apologise for any negative impression our story may have conveyed and will be issuing a further clarification here shortly, and in the next issue. 

For more information Kingsground can be contacted by phone on 01869 351321, by email at richard@kingsground.co.uk or on Facebook as 'Kingsground Narrowboats'. 

Andrew Denny  | 2.07pm | 2 comments

Monday 11 February

Today's news from the web

  • CRT closes George's Pork & Poultry shop on Audlem locks canalrivertrust.org.uk

    The Canal & River Trust has issued a statement about serving notice to end the lease on George’s Pork & Poultry Shop on the Shropshire Union Canal. "Since then there has been an outpouring of strong feelings and anger towards the Canal & River Trust at this decision, due to the popularity of the shop. Because of this we would like to explain further the reasons behind our decision and why we have no other choice but to end the lease. The background to the current situation is that Mr George entered into an agreement with us in 2010 to lease a small 19th Century lock hut and land for storage and growing vegetables."

    [For another side to this story see http://peterunderwood.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-battle-of-audlem-locks.html]

Friday 8 February

Today's news from the web

  • Repairing the 'M6 of the waterways' bbc.co.uk

    More than 80m underneath Dudley town centre, a major engineering feat is taking place. In a long and partially dark tunnel, a team of 15 men is working around the clock to repair a 50m section of Netherton tunnel which arches over what has been described as "the M6 of canals". The two-way canal was built in 1858 to relieve the congestion on the adjacent Dudley tunnel where barges and boats had a wait of several days at times....

Monday 4 February

Today's news from the web

  • Driver escapes as crane plunges into Leeds-Liverpool canal yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk

    An investigation has been launched after a 64-tonne crane plunged into the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Apperley Bridge. The driver leapt to safety when the crane flipped onto its roof after the ground crumbled beneath it at Dobson Locks. An investigation has been launched to find out why the towpath gave way while The Canal and Rivers Trust was carrying out preparation work to replace the lock gates. Part of the towpath was fenced off until the crane, which is thought to weigh around 64 tonnes, is removed from site following the incident on Friday morning. (Feb 1)...

Friday 1 February

Today's news from the web

  • The Future Of Canal Transport--Take The Elevated nextbigfuture.com

    George Friedman of Stratfor, in writing about America’s “Inevitable Empire” (http://goo.gl/EacCB) touches on the vital capital saving aspects of waterborne transport over land transport. Large cargo carrier ships are often many times cheaper than small river barges. Small river barges are often many times cheaper than railroads, which are cheaper than trucks. In that article he estimates the capital saving factor of water over land transport to be from 10 to 30 times cheaper. Navigable rivers do not share storm surge problems or tidal variations like coastal seaports. The problem of course is that navigable rivers are where they are and not where they are not. ...

  • Woman gets into icy canal in Banbury to rescue puppy banburyguardian.co.uk

    A woman lowered herself into an icy canal to rescue a seven-week-old puppy who was just minutes from death. Arleta Vakane of Banbury was walking over the Oxford Canal in Bridge Street, Banbury, when she saw something in the water. As she got closer she realised it was a puppy and after unsuccessfully lying down in the snow to reach the ailing creature, she slid into the water and swam to the dog to pull her out....

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