Rochdale Canal - Lock 15 to Lock 17

Notice Details
From Date:
27th December 2015
To Date:
7th October 2016 at 17:13 inclusive
Navigation Closure
Is Towpath Closed?
Notice updates:
07/10/2016 @ 17:13
We’re delighted to confirm that the Rochdale Canal has reopened after many months of hard work by volunteers, Trust staff and our contractors finishing off some really complex repairs. Fantastic! There is still work to do before we can say that the job is fully finished, but for now we’re looking forward to seeing boats using the canal again, enjoying a great part of the country. It’s likely that people will come across things that they may feel they want to let us know about, for example we know that some of lock gate timbers are slightly perished and appear leaky, this will recover and is nothing to worry about – but if you feel that you come across something that we should be aware of please contact our office at Red Bull or if you are having problems out of hours, the call us on 0800 47 999 47. We acknowledge that it’s been very challenging at times for everyone involved, and not least for many of our customers who have been directly impacted by the works and to whom we owe a great debt of thanks for their patience while the work has been done.
20/07/2016 @ 10:44

Find out from Richard Spencer, our senior project manager what's been happening in the aftermath of the flooding in the Manchester & Pennine region.

26/05/2016 @ 13:45

Rochdale Canal Update, 26th May 2016

With further work now being completed on the towpaths, walls, lock structures, repairs to the Hebden Bridge services and dredging we are pleased that from tomorrow night (Friday 27th May) we will be able to extend the navigable section of the Rochdale Canal towards Lock 15, to the winding at Bridge 24 just above Lock 14.  Further work will carry on in the area and we would ask people to use the section with that in mind.

Our next big milestone will be the reopening of navigation through Elland Bridge and Crowther Bridge expected at the end of June which will allow people to navigate out of the Rochdale Canal onto the rest of the network for the first time since the floods.

Investigation work is under way at the Landslide and repairs have commenced at the breach location, progress is being made although we cannot give a completion date at this point.

We appreciate that it has been frustrating for people trapped by the flood damage and thank everyone for their patience so far. We will keep people informed as works progress.

02/04/2016 @ 12:03

Rochdale Canal Update, 2nd April 2016

Works have progressed well in the section between Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge, and that section of the canal was able to reopen over Easter as planned. 

  • - The wash wall works at Locks 8 and 10 have been completed.
  • - Dredging of the section continues but it is navigable and being used.

We said in our last update that the volumes of material needing to be dredged have been far more than expected and that trend has continued.  As we progress working down the canal we’ve nearly reached lock 7.  When we have finished the dredging in this area we’ll be continuing towards Locks 12 and 13.

The volunteering effort continues with works completed to improve paths around Locks 15 and 17.  The only path restrictions now are around the breach and landslide, and above Lock 12.

Manufacture of the replacement toilet/ pump-out at Hebden Bridge is in hand, we’re expecting that to be installed mid April, but don’t have a confirmed date for that yet and will update when we do. The Elsan and water point continue to be operational here.

The operation of Lock 2 continues to be supervised linked to passage at Tuel Lane.

For people coming onto the canal or leaving, there are alternative water points at Tuel Lane and Sowerby Bridge, and Elsan at Sowerby Bridge.  Please speak with the lock keeper at Tuel Lane for specific directions.

With overall progress hitting targets our expectation of being able to enlarge the open section beyond Hebden Bridge to the winding above Lock 14 by the end of May remains on track.

We want to take the opportunity to assure everyone that we are doing everything that we can to open the canal as soon as possible this year.  It’s been technically very challenging to develop the plan for the investigation that’s needed for the landslide repairs owing to the unstable nature of the ground there.  However, we have established an approach now and are in the final throwes of making the arrangements to carry out the investigation work.  As soon as that’s done we should be in a better position to give more information about dates for an overall reopening, so please bear with us and thank you for your patience so far.


21/03/2016 @ 16:58

Rochdale Canal Update

In the last few weeks we’ve been able to publish our outline programme for the reopening of sections of the waterways affected by flooding.

On the Rochdale Canal our ambitions have been to open the canal from Sowerby Bridge to Hebden Bridge by Easter, and as far as the landslide that is blocking the canal by the end of May.

We’re on programme to achieve this, with most of the focus at the moment being on the repairs between Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge.

By Thursday night (24th March) we expect to have finished the wash wall repairs currently underway and other repairs necessary to make the canal operational in this section.  The canal will reopen to Lock 11 – please note that the turning point is below Lock 9.

Dredging will carry on in the area after Easter but the channel is navigable.  We are having to remove even more material than the surveys suggested and this is taking longer than planned to complete.  We would ask people to be cautious while the dredging is being finished.

After Easter our focus will turn to the section above Lock 11.  There is more dredging to do here and some substantial towpath repairs/ embankment works in the area around Lock 12.  We are hopeful that this work can be done in such a way that navigation will be possible before the path works are all finished but will not be certain about this until work is under way.

Unfortunately, above Lock 15, the repairs needed where a landslide has blocked the canal and work to repair the breached embankment remain uncertain.  We’re doing all we can to establish the repair timetable for this and will provide an update as soon as this is available.

Above Lock 17 we still have problems with a culvert at Lock 37 that has been damaged and the canal has had to be drained here.  This was only identified after works to repair a culvert at Lock 32 were finished.  The canal is locked at Lock 45.

The operation of Tuel Lane Lock will be as normal with a lock keeper on site Fridays to Mondays, and by arrangement on Tuesdays to Thursdays.

There are problems with flood damage at Lock 2 which mean that its use needs to be supervised and for which we are planning repairs which may require a short term interruption of navigation to complete. We also have a paddle to repair at each of Locks 7 and 8, which will not take long, and which we will plan a date for to take place in April.

Repairs to fully reinstate the services in Hebden Bridge will not be finished until the end of April.  In the meantime only the Elsan and water points are working.  For people coming onto the canal or leaving, there is are alternative water points at Tuel Lane and Sowerby Bridge, and Elsan at Sowerby Bridge.  Please speak with the lock keeper at Tuel Lane for specific directions.

We want to take the opportunity of thanking people for their patience and cooperation while we’ve been carrying out the work so far.  There is still a lot to do for the waterways to be fully reopened and we look forward to opening the next length towards Todmorden in May. 

Our next planned progress update for the Rochdale Canal will be on 1st April.


Due to flooding and related problems the canal is currently closed between Summit and Sowerby Bridge.

We will provide a further update when available.

Rochdale Canal
Starts At:
Ends At:
Lock 17
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