Peak Forest Canal - Marple Flight

Notice Details
From Date:
11th September 2017 at 09:00
To Date:
25th May 2018 at 19:21 inclusive
Navigation Closure
Structure failure
Notice updates:
25/05/2018 @ 19:21
The navigation is now open on the Marple Lock flight and boats are able to pass through Lock 15. Please be aware there are still some landscaping works to complete over the coming weeks so please adhere to all safety signage and stay within the designated areas open for public access. Contractors will be completing the landscaping works over the coming weeks, this works should not affect the navigation, but please be aware there will be construction plant machinery working along side the lock and boats may need to be instructed to wait if necessary.
16/05/2018 @ 10:06
Since the last update, the stone masons have made good progress in rebuilding the chamber wall, and are on track to finish all of the masonry work this week.  During the course of next week, the site team will re-install the lock gates and remove the scaffold and temporary dams in time to open by 5pm on 25th May.  There will be finishing works continuing over the following week, including the re-laying of the gate quadrants and landscaping works, so please following the direction of the site teams during that period.
18/04/2018 @ 16:23

Work to re-build the lock chamber wall at Marple Lock 15 have suffered a set-back this week after the brickwork exposed at the base of the lock wall was found to be in very poor condition.  It had been expected that the reconstructed masonry wall would be founded on top of the brickwork section of the wall, however this has not been possible and the wall has now been dismantled down to the invert of the lock. This marks a significant milestone in the project as we have now reached a stable foundation and the brickwork is being rebuilt currently.  Unfortunately this delay has meant that our planned opening date for 4 May is no longer achievable.  A revised schedule has now been developed and we anticipate navigation reopening on 25 May.

27/02/2018 @ 16:04

We wanted to update you on the latest progress on site at Marple and to advise you that unfortunately, the Marple Lock Flight will not be open in time for Easter.   We know this will be disappointing to hear but wanted to let you know as soon as we were clear about the delay. We are now aiming reopen the Marple Lock Flight in time for the May Day Bank Holiday (4th May). 

At Lock 15 we’ve suffered issues while removing the stone from the towpath side lock chamber wall during the dismantling phase. Some of the stonework has started splitting and crumbling in parts and unfortunately, we will not be able to reuse it as we had expected.  Working with our heritage advisor we’ve managed to source new replacement stone from a local quarry, but the need to have new stones cut and delivered has introduced the delay to reopening the navigation.

The rest of the works are progressing to plan.  We’re currently excavating down to a depth of 7 metres behind the Lock wall and in the next few weeks we will be installing the reinforcement steel cages and concreting behind the Lock wall ready for the rebuild.  The other maintenance works on the flight are progressing well too with new lock gates being fitted at Locks 1 and 13, a total of 10 locks have been grouted, large wash wall repairs between Lock 8 & Lock 9, Lock quadrant walls rebuilt and Lock slope towpaths upgraded. Our volunteers are also doing a great job removing vegetation, installing new paddle gearing to the locks and fixing some of the towpath where it is in bad condition.

The new railings to Marple Aqueduct is on schedule. We are currently carrying out the ground works on site for the new railings to be installed w/c 27th February.

We will provide a further update in the then next few weeks, but in the meantime wanted to assure you that we were doing all we can to reopen the flight as quickly as possible.

29/01/2018 @ 14:25


Great progress is being made on site and works are moving forward in all the areas that we have planned.  Between the repair to Lock 15 and the other works that we are now undertaking along the flight we will be spending around £2.5m in the area this winter which will see some significant improvements to the locks and towpaths and at the aqueduct, as well as delivering the key works to repair Lock 15. 


The work at Lock 15 is critical though and very complex owing to the confined site, close to houses.  We have reviewed our programme based on what we are finding at site and have set a reopening date of 29th March.  We appreciate that this is slightly later than first anticipated but is in time for the Easter weekend and wanted to assure you that we are doing all that we can to reopen the flight as quickly as possible.”


27/10/2017 @ 10:25

We wanted to update you regarding the closure of the Peak Forest Canal at Marple.

Since the closure there’s been lots of work on going behind the scenes to reach a solution to repair the lock chamber wall.  We’ve continued to monitor it and can see that it has continued to move.

Next week we will be carrying out further ground investigations, digging large boreholes around the Lock which will give us detailed information about the make up of the ground around the lock so that we can design properly and establish the extent of the works we need to do.  The lock is Grade II listed, in a conservation area and in a confined location making access difficult.  We need to make sure that the designs to repair the wall are viable in the limited space, and sympathetic to the area and heritage. 

This is a complex project.  We are hoping that work will be able to start before Christmas and are clear that we want the repairs completed by mid March.  When we have the detail for the design we’ll be able to give a better overview of the repair programme. 

In the meantime we are reviewing what other works that we can do in the flight over the winter to make the most of the extended closure.

If anybody needs any advice about moorings or help to navigate around the stoppage please get in touch with our customers services team in Redbull who will be happy to help you.

26/09/2017 @ 17:04

Following the detailed survey that was completed last week we can see that the lock has become too narrow to be operated safely.   

This is very disappointing news.  We are looking into the design of the repair and how this can be fitted into our works programme.  It’s going to be a significant and complex project, and we need to work with our contracting partners to make sure that we can get the repair done quickly but at a reasonable cost too.  It’s unlikely that we will be able to give any definitive information about reopening for a couple of weeks but we can see that the lock will be closed here for some time. 

We are sorry that we cannot be certain about a reopening timetable but will give an update as soon as we can.

22/09/2017 @ 15:54

Following investigation and getting detailed surveys of the lock subsidence, it is not possible to re-open the lock today as we originally anticipated. Further works are still ongoing and we hope to be able to provide an update early next week.


14/09/2017 @ 10:14

Following initial surveys and investigations at the lock we have confirmed that alongside the subsidence evident on the lock side the towpath side wall has moved and the lock is narrowed.  We have further work to do to confirm precisely the scale of the problem which will take place over the next week. 

We are hopeful that the lock can be reopened, albeit with a reduced width for the time being.  We expect that the restriction would mean that only boats up to 6’10” width will be able to pass through it.  We will be able to confirm this when the more detailed survey has been completed.  We also have work to do to repair the superficial damage to the lock side and install gauging at the top and bottom of the lock flight before we can reopen it.  We’re currently estimating that the lock will reopen with a restriction around 22nd September 2017.

Looking towards a more permanent repair, we have started the work of developing a repair solution so that we can decide how best this might be taken forward.

We’ll provide a further update when we’ll be able to confirm the restricted reopening date.

11/09/2017 @ 16:46

Over the weekend subsidence has become evident at Lock 15, Marple and we have had to close the canal here while this is investigated.  Following inspections on site today we are now concerned that there has been some movement to the towpath side lock wall as well.

 Our engineering team will be undertaking a thorough examination of the lock over the next few days so that we can be clear about the true extent of the problem and what repairs are now needed.   

Given the uncertainty about the full extent of the problem we cannot estimate a reopening date for the lock at the moment, when we know more we will be able to issue a further update. 

We’re sorry if this problem has caused you delays but want to assure you that we are giving this highest priority.


We have had to close the lock flight at Marple until further notice due to subsidence at lock 15 . Our engineers will be carrying out inspections later today.

We understand that this closure may disrupt your schedule. We are taking every step to look into this problem as soon as possible and we will keep you updated of our progress.


Peak Forest Canal
Starts At:
Lock 16
Ends At:
Lock 1
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