What's going on in the North West?

There is always something interesting going on in the North West. You can find up to date information about what’s happening on the Leeds & Liverpool and Lancaster Canals as well as Liverpool Docks, Liverpool Canal Link and Ribble Link right here.

Liverpool Canal Link Liverpool Canal Link

Getting to Liverpool your way

As of Monday 16 April 2018, we will be launching a suite of improvements to deliver a full self-service experience for customers travelling towards Liverpool on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and for those using the Liverpool Canal Link. Improvements to how the swing bridges and Stanley Locks are operated and changes to our web booking system make it easier than ever before to access Liverpool and the historic Liverpool South Docks.   

Leeds & Liverpool Canal improvements include:

  • Installation of road barriers and a new user pedestal will allow self-user operation at Bridge 9 (Handcock’s Swing Bridge). Please note that use of the bridge will be restricted during peak traffic times and will be open for user operation from 9:30am to 2:00pm and 6pm to 7:30am daily (no assistance required).
  • Installation of new landing stages at Bridge 6 (Netherton Swing Bridge) will enable user operation. We have also completed extensive site works to clear vegetation, install new fencing, pathways and signage across the site. Please follow this link to view the accompanying leaflet.

Liverpool Canal Link improvements include:

  • Improvements to the Stanley Locks and paddles will facilitate user operation (roving lock keepers will be available for guidance)  
  • Changes to the passage times will allow unlimited boat movements during allocated windows (8:00am to 9:30am travelling out of Liverpool and 1pm to 4pm travelling into Liverpool daily except Tuesdays). Please note a web booking is still required for the Liverpool Canal Link and this can be made on the boat licensing pages on this link
  • Changes to the web booking system mean that you can now book your own pontoon mooring in Salthouse Dock
  • Installation of a pontoon landing stage in Princes Dock allows customers to safely access the lock for operation
  • Installation of a pontoon at the bottom of Stanley Lock Flight allows customers to safely access the locks for operation

Please let us know about your experience of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and Liverpool Canal Link. This can be done by email to enquiries.northwest@canalrivertrust.org.uk

North West Spring Local Waterway Forums

You are invited to attend the spring local waterway forums, which will take place as follows: 

  • 11 April 2018 at 6:30pm – in the Canal & River Trust Office, Trencherfield Mill, Heritage Way, Wigan, WN3 4BN – Leeds & Liverpool Canal
  • 25 April 2018 at 6:30pm - Tommy Hatton’s Meeting Room, Guy's Thatched Hamlet, Canalside, Bilsborrow, PR3 0RS - Lancaster Canal

Please can you let us know which forum you would like to attend and forward any pre-meeting questions you have to us by no later than Friday 30 March 2018, allowing time for us to source the answer in full for the meeting.  

To confirm your attendance please email enquiries.northwest@canalrivertrust.org.uk. Your views and feedback are valuable to us and I hope you can join us at one of the meetings. 

Wigan Flight Summer opening times – have your say

To manage water in the Wigan area and in response to customer feedback, we are trailing opening times on the Wigan Flight from 19 March to 31 May 2018. 

For a ten week period, Lock 65 (Top of Wigan Flight) and Lock 85 (Bottom of Wigan Flight) will be opened to customers as follows:

  • 8am until 9am daily – for entry onto the Wigan Flight
  • 12pm until 1pm daily – for entry and exit on the Wigan Flight
  • 5pm until 6pm daily – for exit off the Wigan Flight

The above locks will be padlocked closed outside of these times.  Overnight mooring on the flight will be permitted only at Rose Bridge (between Locks 77 & 78). Roving lock keepers will be on the Wigan Flight daily to oversee the passages and ensure the water levels are maintained. This is not an assisted passage but our staff will be around to help customers when needed.  

Full help is available for single handed boaters on Thursday mornings at 8:30am and you can find out more on this link. You can contact our Wigan Lock keepers on 01942 405774 if you have any questions or want to report an issue on the flight. Our Wigan Flight customer operations team will try to help with any issues as quickly as possible. Please bear with us as we may already be dealing with other priority jobs.

Overnight restrictions will remain in place at Poolstock Locks, along with Lock 88 (Pagefield Lock) to Lock 89 (Ell Meadow Lock). These locks will be closed from 8pm to 8am. 

During the trial, we are inviting your feedback and a review will be completed in May 2018. Our lock keepers will be able to pass you a comment card for this. Alternatively, you can let us know your comments by email to enquiries.northwest@canalrivertrust.org.uk.  

Leeds & Liverpool East summer opening times

Please follow the links below to view the summer opening hours:

These opening times will be in place from 19 March to 31 October 2018. 

Parking Management at Liverpool South Docks

In response to feedback from residents, Canal & River Trust has recently instructed a parking management company to manage parking on all Trust property at Liverpool South Docks. SiP Parking Management Service will enforce all parking on Canal & River Trust property for the foreseeable future. Please follow this link to find out more information about this.

North West Mowing regime – proposed changes 2018

Towpath mowing is one of many aspects of waterway management where the Canal & River Trust endeavours to balance various, and sometimes conflicting, requirements for safety, conservation of the natural and built environment, and recreational activity, in a cost-effective manner. The way in which mowing is managed depends on the waterway character and the type of towpath, its location, its surface, its width, the type of edging and level of use. There are also statutory influences upon how towpaths are managed stemming from safety, wildlife and other legislation.

Ultimately, the decision on how a towpath is managed is a local one, based on a knowledge of the towpath type and use, safety issues and any areas of biodiversity value. 

In the following locations, we plan to alter the current mowing regime to a more relaxed one to benefit wildlife in general and provide nectar sources in line with the government’s National Pollinator Strategy (which aims to help a variety of pollinating insects thrive and survive). This will involve leaving a narrow fringe of bankside and hedge-side vegetation uncut during the growing season, followed by a full width ‘edge to hedge’ cut in autumn to prevent any woody growth from becoming established.

The mowing regime from bridge 163 to 164 in East Marton was relaxed in 2015 producing a spectacular display of diverse vegetation including orchids which benefits wildlife and is enjoyed by the general public (see photo).

Proposed changes:

Leeds & Liverpool Canal: from Daubers Bridge 147 to Langber Bridge 163 (Foulridge to East Marton)

Lancaster Canal: from Hammerton Hall Bridge 111 to Rakes Head Bridge 116 (north of Lancaster)

The current mowing regime around bridges, locks and moorings will be unaffected by the proposed changes.

If you have any feedback regarding the proposed changes please contact us at enquiries.northwest@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Help us save water

We're reminding boaters on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to help conserve water.

We’re doing this because rainfall has been lower than usual this year and our reservoir holdings on the canal are less than we would like to see. 

Our water team has been monitoring the situation closely and feels that now is the time to remind boaters to conserve water to help us ensure we have enough to supply the Leeds & Liverpool Canal throughout the main boating season. The recent rainfall has helped top the reservoirs up a little but not to normal levels.

We are continuing our works on leakage reduction and repairs to lock paddles and gates as part of our ongoing maintenance programme of the 200 year-old canal system. Also, on the Wigan Flight, to prevent unnecessary loss of water through vandalism we’re locking the flight between 8.00pm and 8.00am.

As a boater there are some simple steps you can take to help us conserve water: 

  • two in a lock? – share locks where possible
  • help keep it in – make sure gates and paddles are shut
  • if you see inexperienced boaters who need help closing paddles or gates please provide assistance or let our lock keepers know
  • if you see any leaks – please tell us about them
  • invite oncoming boats through – don’t empty or fill locks if someone else can make use of the water

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you updated. With these simple actions our water reserves will last longer. Our reservoirs can refill quickly if we get a good downpour but every little helps!

Bridgewater Canal - access to festivals

It has been agreed that our customers who need access across the Bridgewater Canal to attend festivals will not be charged for a return passage falling within 28 days of the outbound journey. If you plan to attend an event and make both passages across the Bridgewater Canal within 28 days, please provide your boat name, index number, proposed dates of passage and which festival/s you will be attending and we will pass the details over to the Bridgewater Canal Company accordingly.  Please contact us at enquiries.manchesterpennine@canalrivertrust.org.uk; or enquiries.northwest@canalrivertrust.org.uk to do this.

For more information about the Bridgewater Canal licences, please go to their website.

Improving gateway to historic Glasson Branch

We've worked in partnership with Thurnham Parish Council to completed a £25,000 project that has transformed the gateway into Lancaster’s 230-year old Glasson Dock. Find out more by clicking here. 

Changes to waste facilities at Kepple Lane (bridge 62) on the Lancaster Canal

Concerns have been raised by local towpath users about the bins at Kepple Lane on the Lancaster Canal. To alleviate problems with rubbish, rats and escalating servicing costs, we have removed the dustbins from Kepple Lane and will be replacing this facility with a multi-purpose bin at the entrance to the canal at bridge 62.

We would ask that bulk items, such as waste in bin bags be disposed of at the nearest boater facility, you can also find these waste facilities at Moss Lane (bridge 63). The changes will result in a saving of approximately £8,000 a year! 

Online booking systems

As of Monday 14 November 2016, the Liverpool Canal Link, Ribble Link and Wigan Dry Dock are be bookable online. To make a booking, please log in to the online licensing section and click on the bookings section.

Please contact us if you need any help.

Vegetation works – have your say!

As we plan our vegetation works for the next financial year, we want to know what you think. Please let us know about the vegetation that is impacting on your customer experience. You can do this by passing your feedback by email with the subject line ‘veg feedback’. We want to know the following information:

  • type of vegetation causing the problem for example, reeds encroaching channel, offside overhanging branches, overgrown hedges along the towpath, trees growing out of wash-walls etc
  • specific location
  • approximate length / area affected
  • a photo would be great if you can get one

Stainton Aqueduct

Click here to view the latest information on Stainton Aqueduct.

Last date edited: 11 April 2018