Canal closure leaves boats high and dry
HUNDREDS of boats were left stranded after the emergency closure of two stretches of canal.
The Canal & River Trust, which manages the waterways, has shut Macclesfield Canal near Bollington after a leak flooded the recreation ground.
Meanwhile, a section of the Peak Forest Canal at Marple Locks, near to the junction with the Macclesfield Canal, is blocked because of a broken lock gate. The closures mean that around 200 boats have been isolated from the rest of the canal network since Friday.
Engineers are working to resolve the problems.
The problems on the Macclesfield Canal are outside Clarence Mill.
As a temporary emergency measure, stop planks have been inserted either side of the leak.
Between Saturday and Tuesday the Trust rescued around 1,000 pounds of fish before fully draining the canal and starting the inspection.
Engineers are expected to start repairs on Wednesday and will close the towpath between bridges 26 and 27 to allow access of machinery.
They cannot say with any certainly when the canal will be reopened.
The Peak Forest Canal reopened on Tuesday.
David Baldacchino, Canal and River Trust waterway manager, said: “At Bollington, our teams have been monitoring a leak to the canal outside Clarence Mill and water is now seeping into the recreation ground below.
“As a temporary emergency measure, stop planks have been inserted either side of the leak and a short section of the canal is being drained over the weekend so our engineers can assess the damage early next week.
“A section of the towpath next to the drained area may be closed while repair work is being carried out.
“The original canal structure here is clay laid on rock. The canal network is more than 200 years and inevitably leaks of this type do occur from time to time.
“Trust engineers will be working hard to repair the problem as quickly as possible so the canal can be re-opened to boaters.
“Further news will be available after the engineers’ inspection.
“Around 200 boats were isolated from the rest of the canal network due to these two issues.
“Canal & River Trust staff are liaising with boaters to keep them informed of developments.
“We will re-open both canals as speedily as we can.”
●● The drained canal in Bollington