Canal & River Trust slammed on BBC Television

Published: Thursday, 11 August 2022

HOLIDAY makers on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal have slammed Canal & River Trust on the state of the waterway.

This was on Look North, part of the BBC News at 6pm earlier this week, when boaters stuck behind stoppages on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal complained that they were unable to get anywhere as they came to a stoppage but with nowhere to turn their boats, the holiday being ruined.

More protective effort

One boater put it firmly in perspective when he told the BBC reporter:

"The canal needs more protective and less inattentive effort."

Paraphrasing our own often used—'Wait until; it breaks then mend it' policy that has now been proved time and time again too often leaves too many canals unnavigable. With 30 navigations closed last month and not including those through lack of water—another 15!

Businesses too are suffering with the BBC interviewing shopkeepers and publicans all of whom tell of the drop in income as boaters are no longer passing, and this normally the busiest time of year for such income.  One told of the poor condition of the navigation being told by boaters it is falling apart and one remarking that 'nothing is holding water'.

A trip boat was told to be on the bottom as there was so little water.

Full of silt

Blaming the lack of rainfall clearly points to undredged canals and reservoirs so full of silt, holding so little water,  they cannot cope, helped of course by so many hundreds of leaking gates allowing water over the run-offs.

The Leeds & Liverpool today? Keith Gudgin gives the list of problems all the way from Wigan to Gargrave.

Today it's news that both Bingley Three Rise and Bingley Five Rise are severely restricted, and just released, even more so.

They are lucky, for much worse are the following flights that are completely closed:

All closed

Wigan Lock Flight (86 to 65)
Johnson's Hillock Lock Flight (64 to 58)
Blackburn Lock Flight (57 to 52)
Barrowford Lock Flight (51 to 45)
Greenberfield Lock Flight (44 to 42) Bank Newton Locks (41 to 36)
Gargrave (Holme Bridge Lock 30)

Whilst these closures will prevent use of the lock flights, cruising between the locks will remain available Canal & River Trust tell those unfortunate boaters stuck at either the top or bottom but unable to go anywhere.