Following the period of persistent rain over the festive period a 60-metre section of embankment on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal near Llanfoist has ‘slipped’ away from the canal lining. As a result the canal has been closed between Govilon and Llanfoist while repairs are being carried out.
Glandŵr Cymru, the Canal & River Trust in Wales, detected the movement as part of regular inspections and immediately drained water from the section to reduce the pressure on the affected area. The slippage has since stabilised, allowing teams to begin work to repair it. Works are expected to take approximately six weeks to complete, closing the canal for boats until mid-March. There will be towpath closures during periods of the work, with local diversions.
Nick Worthington, waterway manager at Glandŵr Cymru, said: “We have been monitoring the slippage since it was detected just after Christmas, and immediately took action to reduce the pressure on the embankment. It’s almost certainly a product of the intense wet weather we had, which saturated the ground. It essentially looks like a long crack along the edge of the canal. Now the slippage has now stabilised, we can get on with the job of repairing it.
“The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is undoubtedly one of Britain’s most popular, beautiful and well-used waterways, attracting thousands of visitors and supporting local jobs. It was a major feat of engineering when it was built over 200-years ago, as it follows the side of a mountain, something that means it continues to pose challenges to this day. That is why we inspect it so regularly for exactly these kind of problems. 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 Welsh heritage in top condition.”