IF YOU are planning a trip to the northern canals this year, or vice versa, via the Bridgewater Canal—forget it!
For Peel Holdings have decided to close the canal for four months from Monday 13th February at 08.00am until the middle of June, Friday 16th, with the possibility of longer if work is not completed, Doug Wildman tells us.
No access whatsoever
So there will be no access whatsoever to Plank Lane and on to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal or of course across the Ribble to the Lancaster Canal from the main system.
And of course those on the northern waterways coming South will suffer the same problem.
Yet this four months stoppage is simply about the replacement of Vicars Hall Bridge at Boothtown just over a mile West of Boothstown Marina on the waterway, meaning the boats there will only be allowed to cruise one way.
No regular passages
There will be no regular passages to allow boats to pass, with Peel stating: 'The canal will be closed to all navigation during the course of the works'.
And there is the possibility of the work taking longer with Peel stating: 'However, due to the nature of the work the Company cannot guarantee completion on the published date'. So perhaps it may be better to accept that the Bridgewater Canal will be closed until the end of June—four and a half months.
Perhaps Peel should take advice from Canal & River Trust, as it is able to replace bridges in far less than four months, and even allow passage at regular times whilst the work is in progress.
But Peel does regret and apologises for any inconvenience that these necessary works may cause—should that make those planning on using the canal any better!