The Canal & River Trust has published its winter works programme 2021-22, providing details of the major repairs and improvement jobs the charity will be carrying out between 1 November and 31 March.

 Putting stop planks in at Wheelton top lock.
Putting stop planks in at Wheelton top lock. 21.2.2021

48 waterways will benefit from 168 large-scale works to repair masonry and brickwork, fix leaks, update and install hydraulics and electrics at mechanised structures, as well as replacing seals, stop plank grooves, lock ladders and lock gates. The Trust’s specialist workshops are handcrafting 123 lock leaves for the works, to be installed at 67 locks across the network.

As usual, the Trust is carrying out the works in winter to minimise disruption to boaters and will be aiming to avoid the Christmas period when more boats like to take to the water. 71 stoppages are due to take place before Christmas, with 94 scheduled for the new year. Just three are scheduled to span the festive season.

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Larger boating-related schemes include carrying out essential winter maintenance at Anderton Boat Lift, new lock gates at Bingley Five Rise locks, replacing gates and grouting lock chambers on the Wigan Flight, and repairing locks and a bridge at Stoke Bruerne. This is on top of the Trust’s ongoing investment to future-proof its reservoirs, which are vital to the network’s boating demands, which will continue over the winter.

Richard Parry, chief executive at Canal & River Trust, said: “The work we carry out over the winter is at the heart of our maintenance programme. While there are some familiar names on this year’s list of work locations, the majority of the winter works are the basic ongoing repairs we need to undertake every year to keep the waterways navigable and safe: replacing time-expired lock gates, repairing structures, and rectifying defects.

“We’re also starting the large-scale expansion of works needed to strengthen the resilience of our 200-year-old infrastructure, with climate change presenting significant new challenges to assets built when civil engineering was first being developed.

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“We hope to offer our users, neighbours and supporters the chance to see some of our works to care for this historic network first-hand if circumstances permit.”

The full winter stoppage programme can be viewed on the Notices & Stoppages page of the Trust’s website: canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices

The Trust is hoping to run a series of physical and virtual open days as part of the winter works programme. A further announcement will follow in light of circumstances nearer the time.

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