Victor: So the Leeds & Liverpool is likely to be closed until Easter

Published: Sunday, 17 October 2021

LAST MONDAY our Keith reported that the Leeds & Liverpool is estimated to be closed until Easter!

CaRT's actual words—'our current estimate for the lock re-opening is Easter 2022'.  This refers to Eshton Road Lock (31) at Garstang where a 'depression' occurred together with deterioration to the masonry on the lock wall in September.

So it will take many months to repair, even though we are also informed that the lock will be drained so it can be ascertained of the full extent of the damage. 

So my friends, even though the extent of the damage—and the required repairsare not known, the lock is to be closed for many months and most likely until Easter!

Seems most strange to me and very much like an excuse for closing the waterway for the winter.  Mind you, contractors are involved...

Oh dear, Oh dear...

But since then a breach on the Leeds & Liverpool, at Rishton, which we can expect will be another long job as contractors will be involved and straight away closed 44 miles of waterway including four major flights, but as water is being let down things have improved, though no certainty about the breach.

And to top it all a swing bridge has given up the ghost.  Mind you, that's expected as it's some weeks now since one failed!

Don't know how lucky you are

Which brings me to Andy Soper's many complaints about the management of the Thames by the Environmental Agency, who though certainly has a case of very sloppy working practices at least the river doesn't have the multitude of stoppages that we have to suffer, week after week, and even sometimes day after day!

One thing that stumped our Thomas in Andy's article were the initials DBA.  All he could discover was Database Association that had some kind of link, but surely that can't be right.

Waterways all-electric by 2030

That is what the government will have us believe, that our waterways will be all-electric by 2030—in just nine years!

But I reckon the government need not worry for the way the waterways are going there will not be any left in nine years!

Just looking back at the stoppages published in narrowboatworld during last month—and we do not publish every oneI counted 15. That obviously works out at a stoppage every two days.

I had the idea of going back to June, to see just how many stoppages there were over four months but gave it up as a bad job, as during that period there was the headline '13 stoppages in one week' so perhaps someone else will make the effort!

In an attempt to be fair, I have to relate that some stoppages were quickly dealt with by that CaRT team, though alas many were not, especially on the Rochdale and Leeds & Liverpool that were left to contractors, who always seem to need at least a week to complete a repair.

The Erewash

Though the Erewash Canal is only a mile from where we moor, it is not one we often use.  But ready for a little break, tomorrow and Tuesday we are having a cruise to see how it has fared over the years since we last ventured.

I'll let you know.

Victor Swift