No more BCN overnight closures

Published: Wednesday, 20 April 2011

THE repair of Chasewater Reservoir caused overnight closures to the Birmingham Canal Navigations last year, but British Waterways has confirmed these will not be necessary this year.

It has announced that it hopes to avoid overnight lock closures during the forthcoming main boating season as part of its plans to manage water levels over the course of the Chasewater Reservoir works.

Manage resources

Overnight closures were implemented during the 2010 season as part of a package of measures to help manage water resources on the Birmingham Canal Navigations while the reservoir, one of the main water supplies, was drained for essential repair works.

Though the water shortage caused the cancellation of some events, the network remained open with the exception of overnight closures.

This year it is anticipated that overnight closures will not be necessary as  other measures have been implemented to increase water feeds from elsewhere, such as Bradley and Earlswood.

In addition the water stored in Chasewater itself is greater than previously anticipated, potentially giving a partial feed into the canal system.

Vandalism

One of the main threats to maintaining sufficient water levels on the BCN is vandalism in which locks are tampered with and sections of canal drained. British Waterways is warning that if these incidents continue this summer it will have to resort to the overnight closures to avoid any unnecessary loss of water.

Lichfield District Council, which owns and maintains the reservoir, is carrying out essential dam repair works which have reduced water resources available for the area's canal network. The works are planned to be completed by early summer when the water levels in the reservoir will be allowed to rise.