Lock 31, Eshton Road Lock - Leeds & Liverpool Canal


From Date: 28/09/2021 11:30

To Date: 25/05/2022 09:00 inclusive

Type: Navigation Closure

Reason: Structure failure

Is the towpath closed? Yes


Closest waterway: Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Starts at: Lock 32, Higherland Lock

Ends at: Lock 30, Holme Bridge Lock


20/05/2022 09:46

The lower dam has been removed, canal dredged and the lock partially re-watered. We are carrying out maintenance and refurbishment of the gates and paddles to ensure these are operational.

Over the weekend the upper dam will be removed and the lock fully rewatered and checked. Work is also taking places to reinstate the lock sides including masonry setts and grass turf to ensure these are safe for use.

Please note the lock and towpath will re-open at 9.00am on Wednesday 25th May 2022.

13/05/2022 12:00

Work on rebuilding the lock wall, reinstalling the stone copings and backfilling with concrete has now been completed. Work is underway to dismantle the scaffolding and clear the lock chamber.

Over the weekend, equipment will be brought in to dredge the canal downstream of the lock to remove the considerable quantity of material which was deposited after the flooding of the site in March. Work will also start on removing the temporary stone dams upstream and downstream of the lock early next week. 

Our contractor has been working extremely hard, however unfortunately we are not going to achieve an opening on 17 May. We remain committed to open no later than 25 May as suggested in our last update but remain hopeful that an earlier date can be achieved. We will continue to monitor progress and update by the close of business 20 May if re-opening can be brought forward.

27/04/2022 09:43

We are sorry to advise that there will be a further delay to the re-opening of Eshton Lock. Whilst our contractor has worked every weekend where it has been practical to do so, to try to hit the published opening date of 9 May, this has not always been possible due to supply chain limitations and other factors. The wall dismantling itself has also taken longer than expected as we have found additional voids behind it which has required further areas of the wall to be taken down.

Our contractor is committed to working as intensively as possible to achieve a revised target opening date of 17 May – given there still remains some risk to this programme we will commit to open no later than 25th May and will review and update our notices every few days so that we can keep everyone concerned informed. Please check for further updates.

04/03/2022 12:02

Further to the update below, please note that the towpath between Bridge 170 Higherland Bridge and Bridge 171 Eshton Road Bridge will remain closed until work is completed.

Due to the issues described below, installation of the concrete piles due to start on 21 February 2022 had to be delayed. Work on rebuilding the collapsed platform is under way and the specialist piling contractors have been re-booked for 14 March 2022. 

Dismantling of the lock wall is due to commence on 23 March 2022 with all stone masonry being marked up and stored for re-use where possible. Rebuilding of the stone masonry with cast concrete to the rear is due to commence on 12 April 2022.

The Contractor will continue to work weekends as they have been already been doing to complete work and get the canal open as quickly as possible. The revised canal re-opening date is still currently planned for 09 May 22.

Installation of the concrete piles due to start on 21/02/22 had to be delayed  Work on rebuilding the collapsed platform  is under way and the specialist piling contractors re-booked for 14/03/22.  Dismantling of the lock wall is due to commence on 23/03/22 with all stone masonry being marked up and stored for reuse where possible.  Rebuilding of the stone masonry  with cast concrete to the rear  is due to commence on 12/04/22.

Due to the delays caused by Storm Eunice, the revised canal opening date is currently  09/05/22.  The Contractor will continue to work weekends as they have been already been doing to complete work and get the canal open as quickly as possible.

03/03/2022 11:11

Following unprecedented rain levels in North Yorkshire during Storm Eunice over the weekend of 19/20 February 2022, floodwater came over the upper dam and flowed through the working area partially washing away the newly completed temporary working platform located in the lock. This has unfortunately had an impact on the work programme and caused delays due to the work platform requiring rebuilding. The provisional revised date for the canal to reopen is 09 May 2022. Contractors are doing an excellent job and working extremely hard to re-open the canal as soon as possible.

23/12/2021 09:50

Please note that to ensure safety of the public and our contractors during the repair works, the towpath will be closed between Bridge 170, Higherland Bridge and Bridge 171, Eshton Road Bridge from the 4th January 2022 for approximately 16 weeks.

A diversion route will be in place and signs placed on site at the points of closure. 

15/12/2021 08:14

Engineers carried out a laser survey of the lock in November to determine the extent of damage to the towpath side wall and have commenced design for rebuilding the wall. In December the lock will be dewatered to allow detailed intrusive investigation to take place and ground investigation boreholes drilled to inform the final design. Temporary propping will be installed in the lock to stabilise the wall and prevent its collapse until repair work starts. Work will start in January to carefully take down the wall and lower the ground. As the lock is Grade II Listed, we are working closely with Craven District Council regarding this work. Rebuilding the wall will take several months to complete and our current estimate is that the lock will reopen for Easter 2022. 

08/10/2021 11:58

Following feedback from boaters and a check by our engineers there will be a final opportunity for assisted passage on Monday 11th October 2021 between 09:30 and 16:00. After this date dams are due to be installed to allow the team to drain the lock and assess the full extent of the damage before repairs works can be designed and implemented.

Boaters requiring passage down the lock are advised to wait above Higherland Lock and those requiring passage up the lock to wait below Holme Bridge Lock.

It is anticipated that the lock will be closed for several months to accommodate repairs, our current estimate for the lock re-opening is Easter 2022, though we can update this notice once the lock is drained and the picture is clearer.

Boats moored at Gargrave & Bank Newton may be asked to move whilst we take the opportunity to conduct further repairs in the area. Boaters will be given notice if action is required.

Our engineers will carry out a final check of the lock on Monday morning before passage commence.

29/09/2021 16:02

Following the engineers assessments yesterday, we are  offering assisted passage for 3 days only (Thursday 30th September 2021 - Saturday 2nd October 2021) between 09:30 and 16:00 daily.

This will allow boaters to pass before the lock is closed until repairs can be completed. At this stage we do not have timescales for such repairs, however updates will be provided once further information becomes available.

Staff will be constantly monitoring and assessing the lock during assisted passage, action may need to be taken to close the lock earlier than anticipated if passage becomes unsafe due to further deterioration.


There is a large depression in the towpath side quadrant and some deterioration to the masonry on the lock wall.

The lock will be closed for safety reasons and engineers are currently on site assessing the situation.

Any boats wishing to enquire about passage, please contact Customer Services on 03030 404040 and we will look into a plan to see if we can accommodate limited passage.   

We will update this notice when we have further information.