In November we restricted opening times at certain locks on the canal to one day each week after unseasonably dry weather slowed reservoir refill. The openings were intended to allow boats that wanted to move to do so whilst also protecting the canal from unnecessary water loss through paddles being left open.
However, rainfall over recent weeks has significantly improved reservoir holdings enabling the restrictions between Holme Bridge Lock (lock 30) and Wigan (lock 85) to be lifted from 21 December. Whilst levels in many reservoirs have recovered, the overall holding across the group feeding the Leeds & Liverpool Canal remains below the long term average and so we will carefully monitor reservoir refill over the winter. We are asking boaters planning to cruise over the festive period to make sure that paddles are securely closed to help conserve water.
Jon Horsfall, head of customer service support at the Canal & River Trust said: “After unseasonably dry weather in November the recent rainfall has significantly improved the picture and enabled us to ease restrictions. Importantly it gives boaters the opportunity for some festive cruising ahead of the winter stoppages taking place in January and we hope they enjoy the opportunity to do so.”