The additional money will be spent on a number of major projects this winter. Over half a million pounds more will be spent on additional spot-dredging, tackling those specific locations where feedback has indicated that dredging is most urgently needed to improve navigation for boaters.
The remainder of the additional spending will be spread across England and Wales, on bridges, weirs, culverts and cuttings. The full details are set out below.
Vince Moran, operations director at Canal & River Trust, said: “These types of projects are our bread and butter. They may not sound like the most exciting jobs but they are absolutely vital to keep our canals open and to keep boaters safe. I'm pleased to say that the additional money that the charity has generated will be spent directly on the waterways.
“We are fighting a constant battle against the effects of time, nature and daily use on our ageing waterway network and we can make this extra money go a long way to make a difference where it will matter the most. These works help maintain our 200-year old waterways and will directly benefit the boaters who use them.”
We're also planning to spend up to an additional £2 million on control of offside vegetation this winter in response to feedback from this autumn's local user group meetings. Now that the overall plan has been assembled, further input will be sought from boaters and boating organisations.
Vince added: “Whilst off-side vegetation often has to take a lower priority than core structural works, we know it is important that we keep our canals from being restricted by overhanging trees. I'm delighted that we are hoping to allocate up to £2m on a blitz this winter to cut our greatest problem areas down to size.”
The major projects being carried out with the extra £2 million are:
- Painting six bridges in London and the south east to extend their lifespan as part of the national bridge painting project. The project is costing £650k and started in October.
- Investing £250k in continuing to dredge spots on the priority list as part of the national spot dredging project.
- Another £300k to spot dredge between Rushall and Daw End in the West Midlands, taking place between December and February.
- Carrying out works to mitigate water loss and repair culvert outlet at Arley Weir on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, costing £250k and starting in January.
- In January spending £250k on stabilising a bridge wing wall and replacing 8.5m of canal wash wall at Dicconson's Bridge on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal
- A number of repairs to Woodseaves Cutting on the Shropshire Union Canal, including targeted rock de-scaling and tree removal, repairs to rock buttresses and supports, and works to the towpath. The project starts in January and will cost £250k.
- Removing tree roots and re-lining Culvert 88 on the Llangollen Canal. This project, which stats in March and is an investment of £100k, will stabilise the culvert under the canal.