Leaking caused Aire & Calder breach

Published: Tuesday, 22 December 2020

THE breach on the Aire & Calder Navigation was caused by leakage with the bank eventually giving way, as can be clearly seen.


However Canal & River Trust in its stoppage notice gives the reason as 'structural failure', though there are no nearby structures of locks and the nearest bridge is some distance away with none having failed.

AireBreach400Water leaking from the waterway

Boaters tell us there has been water leaking from the waterway at the location of the breach for some time, with Tony Dunkley summing it up very well:

"The breach on the Aire & Calder, wasn't the result of heavy rain raising the water level in the canal.  It is simply another instance of long term leakage being ignored until the ground becomes sodden and unstable enough to slip and wash out.

The flooding in the area is the result of the water from the canal breach pouring into and further raising the level of the nearby Aire, which was already swollen by the heavy rain."

Lack of maintenance

Helicopters are at present bringing in bags of aggregate to stem the breach, as was the case at the failure of Whaley dam where hundreds of people had to be evacuated, but it is stated that this could go on into Wednesday.  Once again it points to lack of maintenance.

Our thanks to the boaters who have informed us about the leakage and to Kelvin Alexander-Duggan for the main photograph supplied by Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and the York Press for the flood photograph.