March reopening for Marple?
PEAK FOREST CANAL
The Cheshire Ring looks set to remain closed to through navigation until March, as a result of a lock chamber wall problem which shut Marple Locks in September.
Following subsidence of the lockside by Lock 15 of the 16 lock flight on the Peak Forest Canal, initial examination revealed that the lock chamber wall had moved, and the flight was closed. The Canal & River Trust told Canal Boat that further ground investigations (including digging large boreholes around the lock to provide detailed information of ground makeup) were continuing as we went to press, with a view to establishing the extent of “complex emergency repairs” needed. These will involve taking down the old lock wall, installing a concrete retaining wall behind it, and then reinstating the lock wall. To make matters more difficult: • The lock is in a conservation area • The work will involve an archaeological dig • The work is taking place in a confined site The Trust hopes to start work before Christmas, and told Canal Boat that “we want the repairs completed by mid-March”, with the opportunity taken to carry out other work on the flight while it is closed.