Anderton Boat Lift closure causing distress

Published: Saturday, 20 August 2022

THE closure of Anderton Boat Lift for the rest of the year is causing boaters distress.

Many boaters are stuck with their craft on the Weaver and unable to escape as Canal & River Trust decided to close the lift for the remainder of the year, Keith Gudgin reports.

Manchester Ship Canal

The only way off the river is by the commercial Manchester Ship Canal to Ellesmere Port then the Shropshire Union back onto the system.

This is proving to be most involved needing three 'workshops' at Anderton Boat Lift which included an in-depth presentation from an independent marine surveyor who provided key information and advice and to gain the necessary paperwork in order to cross and navigate the Manchester Ship Canal.

Two of these 'workshops' have now been completed, with a further one planned after which the first seven boats to leave will start their passages from Marsh Lock on Monday 22nd August where boats will be escorted in small groups.

WestonMarshThere are those who are not looking forward to the waters to get onto and then along the Manchester Ship Canal with Elaine Foster telling that she and her friend are very worried about such a journey having only been boating this year, telling narrowboatworld:

"We now regret spending on a narrowboat as from the holiday we expected it has been one problem after another with our carefully planned two months holiday of a lifetime being a disaster of a lifetime with not being able to get onto some canals and being stopped on those we could and now being stuck on this river and not looking forward to the forthcoming trip on the ship canal and being let back on at the other end from where we want to be.

"It is definitely the first and the last for us, and no recommendation to others."

The above image shows Weston Marsh on the Manchester Ship Canal that boaters will have to navigate after leaving the Weaver.

Another boater, Jeff Bates told:

"This is a disaster for us, and from what others say it is for others with my being advised to write to you.

"All three of us are working but are stuck here waiting for someone to do something to get us out of this mess, but told that 'wheels turn slowly', and it will be a waiting game, that it most certainly is, as we are stranded up north, unable to leave and no one helping with provisions or anything.

"A lot of us have climbed up to the offices but no one seems to know anything, but one man being rather forthcoming when he told us that the whole thing is a disaster and it should never have been reopened [Anderton Boat Lift] as it is breaking down with ever increasing regularity and boaters would be better to keep away.  Words to that effect.

"We shall not be coming back and have the Manchester Ship Canal and the long trip back down the Shropshire Union NOT to look forward to, as we have no time."

Those wanting to get back onto the Weaver who are requiring passage from Ellesmere Port will be able to do so later next week when the 'workshops' and required paperwork is available for navigation.