Leeds & Liverpool opens today

Published: Wednesday, 15 September 2010

THE Leeds & Liverpool Canal was partly opened on Friday,17th September.

A 40 miles length is now open from Wigan to Barrowford Locks, as it is estimated that the reservoir levels will now again sustain boating on the waterway.

Following week

Then on Wednesday  next week, 22nd September, it is expected that the remainder of the closed section from Barrowford Locks to Gargrave will once more be open for boating.  Part of the Wigan Flight is shown above and Barrowford Locks below.

However, there is still the necessity to conserve water, so restrictions on passages will remain on all lock flights between 9am to 4pm with single passage on the Wigan Flight in each direction.

The closure has been in place since the 2nd August when the worst drought conditions for 100 years forced British Waterways to shut the canal between Wigan and Gargrave.

Increase in rainfall

Vince Moran, Operations Director for British Waterways, explains:

"The significant increase in rainfall over the last few weeks has made it possible for us to introduce a phased reopening to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Water is at a premium so we will continue to monitor the reservoirs on a daily basis, and work with our customers to conserve as much water as possible in the canal so we aren't forced to introduce further restrictions.

"We would like to express our sincere thanks to all of our customers, boating businesses and members of the public for their patience and understanding during this demanding time."

As reported, it was possible to bring forward a number of projects which would otherwise have been carried out during the Winter, including lock gate replacements and repairs and leak prevention works. By completing the stoppages within the water restriction, it is hoped to have shorter stoppage periods during the annual winter maintenance of the waterway.