Stanthorne Lock 2 to Wardle Lock 1, Middlewich Branch (Shropshire Union Canal)


From Date: 16/03/2018 08:00

To Date: 21/12/2018 16:00 inclusive

Type: Navigation Closure

Reason: Structure failure

Is the towpath closed? Yes


Closest waterway: Middlewich Branch (Shrop Union)

Starts at: Lock 2, Stanthorne Lock

Ends at: Lock 1, Wardle Lock

Upstream winding hole: Between Hollingshead Bridge B16 and Weaver's Bank Bridge B18

Downstream winding hole: Middlewich Junction


20/12/2018 16:51

The Middlewich Branch will be open to navigation from Friday afternoon 21st December.  The whole project team and contractors have worked hard to achieve this. 

Boaters are asked not to moor in the area of the new embankment as the topsoil on the crest and verges is still fresh and needs time to consolidate.  The navigation will still be subject to a restriction until mid January as some works need to be completed in the New Year. Navigation users are asked to proceed with caution and follow any instruction given from the site team.

The towpath will also be open from Friday afternoon 21st December.  Towpath users are kindly asked to not deviate from the towpath as the topsoil on the verges either side is fresh and needs time to consolidate.  Grass seeding will be carried out later in the year.  The towpath may be subject to restrictions at times during January as some of the works still need to be completed.  At these times, the towpath may be closed for short durations or assistance will be given by the site team past the work areas.

11/10/2018 12:16

Since our last update, and with the dry weather over the summer, good progress has been made in the breach area.  

We've rebuilt the collapsed embankment up to a level roughly equal to the level of the bed of the new section of canal.   We're currently constructing the new canal walls either side of the canal.  We will follow that by completing the embankment to bring it up to towpath level.  We'll then reline the canal to make it waterproof.

Some of the future works need reasonable weather to be completed, but we are currently still on for opening the canal again for Christmas.

22/08/2018 14:02

Following our last update, we can confirm our current programme allows for the navigation to be open again by Christmas, although works will be continuing on site beyond this date. 

We are monitoring progress against the programme closely and we will provide further updates as the project progresses.

30/07/2018 16:08

Since the last update, the haul road to the breach area, access across the embankment and access down to the bottom of the embankment has been completed.  The access has allowed us to complete essential reinstatement work resulting from the breach, including clearance of the River Wheelock and repairs to the wingwalls of the aqueduct.  A stone dam has been installed to the east of the breach which has allowed us to remove the temporary fabric dam.  

With the design work for the repairs issued to our contractors we are now starting the works to repair the embankment itself. 

We remains focussed on re-opening the navigation by Christmas and we will provide further updates as the project progresses.

21/06/2018 12:12

Since the breach on 15th March, work has been progressing to provide access the breach area.  This includes construction of a ramp and a 150m stone haul road along the bed of the canal. 

This phase is nearing completion and will be followed by constructing an access across the breach area and then down into the bottom of the breach.  Repairs to rebuild the embankment itself will then follow.  The design for the embankment repair is complex but this is progressing and nearing completion.

The canal is expected to be re-opened at Christmas; this notice will be updated as the extent of the repair work is confirmed and timescales become clearer.

21/03/2018 16:26

21/03/18 - Update

Please see the amendment to the closest upstream winding hole - apologies for the original error in information

Check out our twitter feed @CRTNWalesBorder and dedicated webpage for more information


As a consequence of an embankment failure the navigation and towpath is closed until further notice.

Further updates and information to follow once our engineers have had the opportunity to fully assess the situation.

19/03/18 - Update

Engineers and Customer Operations Teams have spent the last few days assessing the breach and prioritising works to be carried out including undertaking a fish rescue and tree assessment

The next steps include putting a portadam in place this week, downstream of the breach which will then enable water to be pumped from the Trent & Mersey Canal into the Middlewich Branch allowing boats in the affected section to be in water

The navigation will still be closed to other boats as passage cannot be gained through Stanthorne Lock

Check out our twitter page @CRTNWalesBorder for more regular updates

Thank you for your patience whilst we work hard to fix this