29 stoppages in April as the system officially opens...

Published: Monday, 02 May 2022

THERE is little doubt that the system is in the worst condition it has ever been in since it was restored.

During the month of April—the official start of the season—when in the old days of British Waterways the system would be in tip-top condition after a winter of maintenance it is instead in a shocking state.

For during the month there have been exactly 29 stoppages listed by Canal & River Trust!  Yes, actual listed  as 'Navigation: Closed'.

And here they are in order of closure:

1 Leeds & Liverpool at Rishton a continued closure.

2 Kennet & Avon Cranwell's Swing Bridge out our action.

3 Lee Navigation Stonebridge Lock not working.

4 Calder & Hebble void discovered so closed for an 'undetermined time'.

5 Regents Mile End Lock closed.

6 Grand Union Beam snapped off Widewater Lock.

7 Leeds & Liverpool Eshton Road Lock damaged.

8 Calder & Hebble lock paddle failure.

9 Leeds & Liverpool Micklethwaite Swing Bridge fails.

10 Huddersfield Narrow leak in a culvert closes navigation.

11 Kennet & Avon Padworth Swing Bridge fails.

12 Leeds & Liverpool more problems at Johnson's Hillock Flight.

13  Trent fault with lock gate at Newark Nether Lock.

14  Leeds & Liverpool entrance lock to Canning river out of action.

15 Leicester Section fault with Ratcliffe Lock paddle failing.

16 Ripon still has problems with Oxclose Lock not repaired.

17 Middlewich Branch more paddles failing.

18 Coventry with an Atherstone Flight lock unable to be drained.

19 Lee Navigation closed with another paddle failing.

20 Sheffield & Tinsley with a wash wall collapsing.

21 Leeds & Liverpool with Johnson's Hill Flight closed again.

22 Kennet & Avon Hamstead Lock gate failure.

23 Leeds & Liverpool with Eshton Lock having another stoppage.

24 Leeds & Liverpool Coxhead Swing Bridge fails again.

25 Rochdale Lock 72 has a blown cill.

26 Liverpool Link has an 'issue' at Lock 1.

27 Daw End closed from May to October to reconstruct bridge.

28 Leeds & Liverpool Niffany Swing Bridge fails.

29 Grand Union Canal with Winkwell Swing Bridge 'inoperable' again.

These stoppages certainly prove the condition of our waterways, no matter what the canal & River Trust would have us believe—it is really shocking that there should be 29 failures in the month that boating officially opens.

And the stoppages prove that the Leeds & Liverpool is being sorely neglected. as boaters take to social media to show their disgust and with the above list showing it had a third of the stoppages on that waterway—ten in one month!