Our maintenance team detected movement as part of the canal's regular inspections and immediately carried out a detailed inspection of the embankment. Engineers are designing a solution to stabilise the embankment as quickly as possible whilst minimising disruption and disturbance to users and wildlife. Works are expected to take several weeks to complete, closing the canal for boats until the beginning of April. There will be towpath closures during periods of the work.
Wendy Capelle, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust, explains: “We have been keeping a close eye on the embankment after signs of bank settlement and leakage were detected during our regular inspections. Our engineers have been developing a programme of works to stabilise the embankment by installing piling along a 200-metre section to prevent further slippage. We appreciate that this is a disruption for people who enjoy the towpath and for any boaters planning on visiting the canal, but by carrying out the emergency works now we will ensure the embankment is stable for the main boating season along this very popular canal.
“The Llangollen Canal is undoubtedly one of Britain's most popular canals attracting thousands of visitors to the world famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. It's too early to predict the cost of the repairs at this stage, but it is another reminder of the work and investment that needs to go into keeping this important piece of heritage in top condition.”