Carry on Cruising

Published: Friday, 28 August 2009

'Carry on Cruising' is the advice from British Waterways, stating that the Four Counties Ring is still largely open for business, with just a short section around Shebdon Embankment closed for repair.

Here's the picture by British Waterways of the actual hole that caused all the problem. Adding that the canal and local businesses remain open in all other areas. The canal itself is fully navigable through Audlem, Market Drayton and above Tyrley Locks in the North; and through Brewood, Wheaton Aston, Gnosall and Norbury in the South.

And that boaters can also visit picturesque Market Drayton, while the waterways of the Llangollen Canal to the north and the Staffs & Worcester to the South remain easily accessible from the Shropshire Union and Trent & Mersey canals.

British Waterways Customer Operations Manager David Baldacchino reminded boaters that the waterway network continued to offer a great cruising experience, stating:

"The Four Counties Ring forms part of an integrated waterway network, offering great alternative destinations along miles of picturesque waterway. We are now working hard to finalise our repair solution for the canal bed at Shebdon, which is being dealt with as a priority."

Water levels along the Shropshire Union Canal have been stabilised, pumping capacity through Shebdon to Tyrley is ample for keeping boats moving in the wake of last week's stoppage on the Shropshire Union Canal. Feed across the network is also being monitored to ensure water is maintained at navigable levels.

Meanwhile the cause of the leak, between Shebdon Bridge (bridge 44) and Park Heath Bridge (bridge 48) is still being investigated.

There has been a significant increase in traffic elsewhere on the network and operational arrangements at Harecastle Tunnel have been modified to manage this.

The canal was closed to boat traffic at 6.30pm on Thursday 13th August. Towpaths within the vicinity remain closed to allow movement of materials and plant.