Works pro­gramme tar­gets reser­voirs

Canal Boat - - News -

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.

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