Works programme targets reservoirs
CANAL RESERVOIRS, dredging and vegetation all feature heavily in the Canal & River Trust’s planned maintenance work programme for 2017-18.
Even as the final handful of winter stoppages from the 2016-17 programme were nearing completion, the Trust was already planning next winter’s work
Reservoir maintenance, a generally unseen but important part of CRT’s safety critical work, is hitting a peak this year with £4.3m being spent at 11 sites including Upper Bittell on the Worcester & Birmingham, Upper Foulridge (pictured) and Rishton on the Leeds & Liverpool, Stanley on the Caldon and Killington on the Lancaster, as well as other waterrelated work at the Grand Union’s Tringford Pumping Station and the L& L’s Black Brook Feeder.
The main Priority Projects programme will also see £4m spent on embankments and culverts, plus £3.3m on bridges.
Waterways that will have dredging work this year include the Chesterfield, Macclesfield, Lancaster, southern Grand Union, Coventry and North Stratford canals, with spending rising from £5.45m last year to £8.2m as part of the Trust’s ten-year dredging plan. Following feedback from boaters, offside trees are to be to be tackled at the same time as dredging, with 75km of offside vegetation scheduled for clearance, and plans for up to 2000 windblown trees to be removed.
Lock gate replacements will rise slightly from 166 individual gates to 180, with a higher proportion on the West Midlands, South-East and Manchester & Pennine areas – the last of these recognising the number of gates installed during the transPennine restorations which are now needing replacement.
Finally, the way that CRT plans its work programme is up for discussion, including the timescales for consultation and planning, the rationale behind how the work is programmed, the stoppage notice system, and managing ‘third party’ stoppages involving non-CRT bodies such as utility companies.