Marple Locks stay shut

Canal Boat - - News -

Marple Locks on the Peak For­est Canal, closed al­most con­tin­u­ously since Septem­ber 2017, will now re­main shut un­til fur­ther no­tice af­ter the Canal & River Trust de­cided not to con­tinue with at­tempts at a tem­po­rary re­pair fol­low­ing move­ment of the lock walls at Lock 11.

The Canal & River Trust had been hop­ing to re­open the 16-lock flight on the Cheshire Ring for lim­ited staffed op­er­a­tion fol­low­ing at­tempts to jack the walls apart. How­ever given that the work (if suc­cess­ful) would have taken ap­prox­i­mately a fort­night, by which time as a re­sult of wa­ter short­ages hit­ting the canals of the north west (see News Special, page 12) the canal was ex­pected to be due to close un­til reser­voirs re­cov­ered. It will now re­main shut pend­ing re­build­ing of the walls.

The prob­lem was only dis­cov­ered im­me­di­ately af­ter the com­ple­tion of a lengthy stop­page to re­build a wall of Lock 15, mean­ing that apart from a cou­ple of brief open­ings the flight has been un­us­able for al­most a year.

Mean­while there is bet­ter news on the west end of the Leeds & Liver­pool, where a clo­sure to re­place a col­lapsed cul­vert was ex­pected to end on 24 Au­gust. And re­pairs to the breach af­fect­ing the Mid­dlewich end of the Shrop­shire Union Mid­dlewich Branch are pro­ceed­ing well with the main work un­der way, but it is a ma­jor job which is ex­pected to take un­til Christ­mas.

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