TROU­BLES CON­TINUE AT MARPLE…

Canal Boat - - News -

No sooner had Marple Locks fi­nally re­opened af­ter an eight month clo­sure for the com­plete re­build­ing of one side of Lock 15, than prob­lems were dis­cov­ered with an­other lock cham­ber wall – re­sult­ing in a fur­ther short clo­sure and width re­stric­tions on boats us­ing the 16-lock flight on the Peak For­est Canal.

The op­por­tu­nity had been taken to carry out work through­out the flight dur­ing the en­forced clo­sure (see Canal Boat May) in­clud­ing grout­ing the walls of ten more locks. But de­spite this (or pos­si­bly as a re­sult of it), at Lock 11 it was found that “there ap­pears to have been some move­ment in the lock wall that could re­strict pas­sage for boats over 6ft 10in wide.” Af­ter ini­tial limited op­er­a­tion with a width re­stric­tion and keep­ers on duty, a short clo­sure en­abled the cop­ing stones to be straight­ened, but prob­lems deeper down meant more work would be needed – and pos­si­bly an­other full re­build.

As we went to press, the lock had re­opened with su­per­vised op­er­a­tion and limited hours, but boats over 45ft long were re­stricted to un­der 6ft 10 beam pend­ing a per­ma­nent re­pair.

…AND IN THE WEST MID­LANDS TOO

A breached cul­vert has shut a sec­tion of the north­ern Birm­ing­ham Canal Nav­i­ga­tions sys­tem, while prob­lems have also hit the north­ern Strat­ford Canal fol­low­ing the very heavy rain in late May.

A loss of wa­ter on the Wyr­ley & Ess­ing­ton was ini­tially blamed on is­sues with the sup­ply from Chase­wa­ter Reser­voir, but on in­ves­ti­ga­tion it was found that wa­ter was dis­ap­pear­ing into a stormwa­ter drain pass­ing un­der the canal (pos­si­bly as a re­sult of the drain burst­ing fol­low­ing a rain­wa­ter surge) at Teeces Bridge. The Canal & River Trust told Canal Boat that it would be “a sig­nif­i­cant job to re­pair”, but that in the mean­time it would be pos­si­ble to pump wa­ter past the clo­sure to main­tain the sup­ply from Chase­wa­ter to other canals.

The canal re­mains open on ei­ther side of the stop­page, which is be­tween Pel­sall ( junc­tion with the Can­nock Ex­ten­sion) and Birchills Junc­tion (where the Wal­sall joins), and Sev­ern Trent Wa­ter has now ac­cepted own­er­ship of the cul­vert and re­spon­si­bil­ity for re­pairs.

Mean­while on the north­ern Strat­ford, the very heavy rain led to bank slips both on a canal em­bank­ment at Lady Lane Wharf and on the banks of Earlswood Reser­voir. In both cases the dam­age is largely su­per­fi­cial and hasn’t closed the canal, but re­pair costs could to­tal £¼m to £½m.

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