Over £85m to be invested in the waterways this year
We've outlined our plans for investment in the waterways over the next three years. Expenditure will rise to £85.4m this year and continue to rise to £93m in 2016/17.
We've set out a detailed plan for our major engineering projects, waterway maintenance and customer service over the course of the 2014/15 financial year. The bulk of this investment is all targeted around improving and protecting the waterways for boating.
Our planned major works expenditure for the year includes:
- £6m on repairing or reconstructing deteriorating embankments and culverts
- £6m on dredging and wash wall repairs
- £2m repairing locks
- £4.5m on protecting and improving water supply to parts of the network
- £4.5m repairing and strengthening bridges, aqueducts, tunnels and cuttings
Much of the expenditure will be on the canals in the north of England where the percentage of assets in poor condition is highest. This includes major works to fix the leaking Horbury Culvert on the Calder & Hebble Navigation, repairs to the Bosley and Elton reservoirs in the Manchester & Pennines region and works to the Barlow Wood and Calverly embankments on the Peak Forest and Leeds & Liverpool canals respectively.
Across the rest of the country, works include a programme of grouting on various lock walls, stabilising and repairing bridges on the Oxford and Grand Union Canals, works to Dog Head Stakes Weir on the Kennet & Avon Canal and gate repairs at the West India dock in London.
The dredging works are the next stage in the our enhanced programme of £80m over ten years and will include work at 15 locations including the Slough Arm, the Grand Union Canal and the Birmingham Mainline.
In addition, the general waterway expenditure budget will include:
- £4m investment in lock gate replacements
- £6.5m on planned preventative works to minimise breakdowns
- £8.5m on fixing high priority faults
- £9m on vegetation and waste management
Vince Moran, operations director for the Canal & River Trust said: “We’re very pleased to be able to increase our investment in caring for the waterways, making them safer, more resilient and more enjoyable for everyone that visits. As well as protecting the fabric of the waterways, the vast majority of this investment - which equates to £230,000 each day - is focussed on improving the waterways for navigation so that boaters in particular will benefit from these works.
“Boaters will also be able to see dredgers carrying out important and very welcome dredging works at sites across the network and of course we’ll be investing further in our programme of winter lock repairs.
“The next few years are certainly going to be busy as we increase our investment and expand our work but this can only be good for the waterways and the people that enjoy them.”