Boaters left stranded in Burnley as Leeds and Liverpool Canal to be closed for two months (From Chorley Citizen)
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Boaters left stranded in Burnley as Leeds and Liverpool Canal to be closed for two months
WORK to repair a collapsed towpath on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal has revealed four large sink holes in the base of the waterway.
The canal is now set to be closed for more than two months, causing massive disruption for boaters, after the problem was revealed.
The repairs will cost £300,000, which will have to come from an emergency fund held by the Canal and River Trust (CRT), with the canal closed between New Barn bridge and Rishton bridge, until the end of November at least.
The move has left boaters stranded on either side of the drained canal.
Terry Nickson, manager at Reedley Marina in Burnley, said: “There was one couple here who were trying to get back to Liverpool and they’ve had to leave the boat and drive.
“And this will affect us because boats which are booked up for a winter mooring can’t get to us. We have about 10 boats booked in so we’re just hoping the work will finish earlier. It seems a long time and I feel sorry for people who are now stuck.
“The whole stretch of the canal across East Lancashire has been quite neglected. There’s part of the Burnley embankment where it looks like there could be a major collapse too.”
Temporary dams were installed on either side of the towpath after the collapse earlier this month, but now major work has begun to stabilise the embankment, re-line the canal bed and reconstruct the path and wash wall.
A spokeswoman for the trust said: “The affected area is not just a hole in the towpath. There is leakage from the canal and four large sink holes in the canal bed which only became apparent once the water was drained.
“It is not possible to repair the canal when it is still in water as the cause of the problem is in the bed with the sink holes so we need to address this first.
“We will fix this by building up the canal bed with clay fill material and then waterproof the canal with a special liner. The towpath will then be re-built.
“The water is being managed utilising water reservoir feeds from above and below the dammed section.
“We are fortunate that Rishton Reservoir feeds the downstream section of the canal and the flow has been increased from here to compensate.
“The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is over 200 years old so it needs a lot of care and attention and this is something that we do on a regular basis by carrying out regular inspections which will pick up on any leakage or movement.”
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