River Clyde drops to low­est level for years as weir fails

● Boaters or­dered off wa­ter­way amid bank col­lapse fears

The Scotsman - - Around Scotland - By RUS­SELL JACK­SON

years of work­ing on one of Scot­land’s most well-known rivers.

Glas­gow City Council have said that the re­duced wa­ter pres­sure on the banks of the river risked them be­com­ing un­sta­ble.

A num­ber of boats were left ly­ing on their sides in shal­low wa­ter, ca­noeists were or­dered out of the river and peo­ple were asked to keep off the river­side walk­way.

Cracks were seen in the river­bank in a num­ber of lo­ca­tions and the walk­way at Adel­phi Street in Glas­gow was closed as a pre­cau­tion.

The tidal weir is used to en­sure the up­per Clyde, east of the Al­bert Bridge, is kept at a con­stant depth.

With­out the weir, the up­per chan­nel would rise and fall with the tide from a depth of more than four me­tres to only 1.5 me­tres.

Out­ward pres­sure from the higher depth of wa­ter is one of the fac­tors which en­sures the river banks are sta­ble.

The fall­ing wa­ter level cre­ates a risk the banks will be­come un­sta­ble or even start to move. The city council set up a multi-agency group in­clud­ing the po­lice, fire bri­gade and the Scot­tish En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, to man­age the sit­u­a­tion.

A council spokesman said: “Wa­ter lev­els east of the weir are un­usu­ally low which could po­ten­tially af­fect the sta­bil­ity of some stretches of the river- bank. We are ad­vis­ing peo­ple to stay off the river­bank east of the weir, not be­cause there is ev­i­dence of any dan­ger but be­cause there is a po­ten­tial for dan­ger.”

Ge­orge Par­son­age, chief of­fi­cer of the Glas­gow Hu­mane So­ci­ety, or­dered row­ers off the river and was on site as at­tempts were be­ing made to get the gate back in place.

He said: “There are def­i­nitely cracks in the river­wall at Adel­phi Street and Waterside Street and there has been move­ment fur­ther up the river.”

It is hoped wa­ter lev­els re­turn­ing to nor­mal will sta­bilise the sec­tions of river wall which have been af­fected by the fail­ure of the weir gate.

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