Pennine Waterways News

Monday, 5 June 2017

Restricted times at Wigan

Boaters passing through Wigan on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal will be affected by new restrictions on lock opening times.

From Wednesday 7th June, in order to conserve water, the following locks will be restricted:
- Lock 65 (top of Wigan fligh)
- Lock 85 (bottom of Wigan flight)
- Lock 1 (Poolstock, Leigh Branch)

These locks will be padlocked and only open at these times:
- 8.00 - 9.00 am daily
- 2.00 - 3.00 pm daily

Boaters travelling down the Wigan flight should enter Lock 65 between 8.00 - 9.00 am and pass through Lock 85 (and Poolstock, if continuing towards Leigh) between 2.00 - 3.00 pm.

Boaters travelling up the Wigan flight should enter Poolstock locks (if coming from Leigh) and Lock 85 between 8.00 - 9.00 am and pass through Lock 65 between 2.00 - 3.00 pm.

Boaters travelling from the Leigh Branch towards Liverpool (or vice versa) should pass through Poolstock locks  between 8.00 - 9.00 am or 2.00 - 3.00 pm. Note that Lock 88 (Pagefield Lock) to Lock 89 (Ell Meadow Lock) are closed overnight from 8.00 pm to 8.00 am.

The Canal and River Trust says that these restrictions will be in place until further notice and will be lifted as soon as water levels have stabilised. 

Update Tuesday 13th June:Poolstock Lock has reverted to night-time closure only, being padlocked between 8.00 pm and 8.00 am (the same as Pagefield Lock and Ell Meadow Lock).
Locks 65 and 85 will continue to open only between 8.00 - 9.00 am and between 2.00 - 3.00 pm. Overnight mooring is permitted at Rose Bridge between Locks 77 & 78. 

Lock 85 at Wigan

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Leigh Branch Re-opened

The Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal has re-opened to navigation after being closed near Boothstown since mid-February.

The stoppage has been due to reconstruction work on Vicar's Hall Bridge, roughly half way between Astley Green and Bridgewater Marina at Boothstown. The concrete bridge abutments are now in place. A brief stoppage to crane the bridge deck in place is expected to take place around the end of June.

It is unusual for a stoppage of this kind to have taken place during the main boating 'season' and this has caused frustration for many boaters heading to or from Liverpool or the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Vicar's Hall Bridge. Photo: Colin and Carole's Creations

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Piccadilly Drained

The Ashton and Rochdale Canals have been drained in the Piccadilly area of Manchester as part of a police investigation. The water was drained from the Ashton Canal below Lock 1 and the adjoining Rochdale Canal between Locks 83 and 84.


The police are investigating the disappearance of a young man nine years ago and a search of this area of canal is part of the investigation. There was no sign of any police activity today so it may be presumed that they have concluded their search.

The canal is due to be re-opened tomorrow evening (21st April).

More photos on our Facebook page (no need to be a member of Facebook to view them).

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Manchester Stoppage will affect Ashton and Rochdale Canals

A planned stoppage in Manchester will close part of the Ashton and Rochdale Canals for four days.

The Rochdale Canal between Locks 83 and 84 together with the Ashton Canal between Piccadilly Basin and Lock 1 will be closed to navigation and for towpath use to assist a Police Investigation.

The closure will begin at 6.00 am on Tuesday 18th April and will end at 8.00 pm on Friday 21st April.

This will affect boaters navigating the Cheshire Ring and the South Pennine Ring.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Changes to Leeds flood scheme

The Canal and River Trust has announced that changes to the flood alleviation work in Leeds means changes to the planned stoppages affecting the Aire and Calder Navigation.

The navigation was due to be closed at Crown Point Bridge in central Leeds and at Knostrop Fall Lock, a mile downstream. These stoppages were planned to run from 15th February until 13th April.

These stoppages are no longer needed and are cancelled.

This is as a result of close working between the Canal and River Trust and Leeds City Transport to minimise disruption.

However, a two week closure will be needed from 17th to 30th July for the removal of the crane from Fearns Island at Crown Point and for testing of the weirs at Leeds and Knostrop.

This will have an impact on boaters travelling in the peak period leading up to the school holidays. Keep an eye out for further notifications nearer the time and to find out whether there will be access to Leeds (Clarence) Dock.

Knostrop FallLock, Aire and Calder

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Serious new delay to Bridgewater work

The planned stoppage on the Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal has been delayed yet again and will now seriously encroach upon the boating 'season'.

Vicars Hall Bridge, roughly half way between Astley Green and Bridgewater Marina at Boothstown, is to be replaced and this will involve closing the canal to navigation.

It has just been announced that the stoppage will now run from 8.00 am on Monday 13th February 2017 until Friday 16th June.

This work, originally intended to be between October and February, has already been delayed twice (see details). This further delay looks set to be a major inconvenience to boaters heading to Liverpool or to the Ribble Link. It will also affect boaters from the Leeds and Liverpool hoping to travel south.

The towpath will be open but with a short diversion.

Update Wednesday 18th January:
Following representations from boating organisations, the dates have been modified and the stoppage should now run until Wednesday 24th May, although that cannot be guaranteed..

Note: Barton Swing Aqueduct will be closed between 13th and 27th March for its annual maintenance.

Vicars Hall Bridge, Bridgewater Canal