Hopes dashed for Grantham Canal

Published: Thursday, 05 August 2010

THE Secretary of State has ruled that the raising of Mann's Bridge on the Grantham Canal was not relevant to the public inquiry and the A46 scheme.

This is a major blow to the restoration of the Grantham Canal, as this means Mann's Bridge will remain a culvert under the A46 dual carriageway scheme, and a blockage for boats..

The Grantham Canal Society has fought hard to have the matter of the raising of the bridge included in the enquiry, but it seems this is not to be.  The society  wanted the construction of the road to include a small bridge to allow the required height for boats to pass under.

Only to agree permissions

However, we have learnt the inquiry had only taken place to agree permissions, known as supplementary orders—for the purchase of land and construction of side roads to link to the building of the dual carriageway of the A46, and  were told that these draft supplementary orders, neither physically nor directly, affect the Grantham Canal or its restoration.

Meaning that any alteration concerning Mann's bridge cannot be considered part of the decision-making process.


Once the road is built on the level shown on the plans, it would scupper any plans to raise the bridge to allow navigation, which could then only be achieved by locking down, constructing a tunnel under the road, then locking back up again, but then requiring a further water supply to the non-feed end,  all which would be of astronomical cost, and so virtually end the restoration of the waterway.

The great problem is that Mann's Bridge is only a few miles into the Grantham Canal from its connection with the Trent, which means all the money already spent on restoring locks and the 'track' is at the 'dead end' of the waterway, with no boats able to reach the restored section.

The irony however, is that the society missed the intended plans  concerning Mann's Bridge when they were first published, and the opportunity to have the road raised to allow navigation.