Marple Locks stay shut
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.