Em­bank­ment col­lapse shuts Mid­dlewich Branch

Canal Boat - - News -

A breach just out­side Mid­dlewich has closed the Mid­dlewich Branch of the Shrop­shire Union Canal.

The col­lapse oc­curred where the canal runs on an em­bank­ment just west of the small aqueduct over the River Whee­lock. It washed out a large hole in the canal bed and tow­path bank as the one-mile pound be­tween War­dle Lock and Stan­thorne Lock emp­tied it­self into the river. A num­ber of craft were left high and dry, one very close to the breach.

The clo­sure cuts the Four Coun­ties Ring, will af­fect some hol­i­day­mak­ers aim­ing for the Llan­gollen, and looks likely to im­pact the pop­u­lar Mid­dlewich Folk and Boat Fes­ti­val.

As we went to press the Canal & River Trust’s en­gi­neers were on site “try­ing to un­der­stand the cause of the breach” and due to make an “ini­tial as­sess­ment re­gard­ing how to progress re­pairs, likely timescales and costs”. By com­par­i­son, the Septem­ber 2012 breach at Dut­ton shut the Trent & Mersey for eight months and cost £2.1m to re­pair.

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