Caen Hill Pumping Station
From Date: 09/01/2023 08:00
To Date: 15/01/2023 16:00 inclusive
Type: Navigation Closure
Is the towpath closed? No
Closest waterway: Kennet & Avon Canal
Starts at: Lock 22, Lower Foxhangers Lock
Ends at: Lock 50, Kennet Lock (Top Lock)
Upstream winding hole: Laywoods 72 Foot Winding Hole
Downstream winding hole: Whaddon 65 Foot Winding Hole
Further to the notice below and some feedback received from our customers today, we would like to issue a clarification on the works taking place during the period from 09/01/2023 – 15/01/2023
We will require the pumps at Caen Hill pumping station to be turned off for one week, this is planned for the period from 09/01/23 – 15/01/23, with an essential navigation closure in place from Lock 22 (Lower Foxhangers) to Lock 50 (Kennet Lock). The lock flight will remain locked and ashed up at Crofton whilst the works are in progress, therefore the long pound will have no through movement at any time between these dates. During this time, the water levels in the long pound will likely fluctuate and we cannot guarantee the canal will remain navigable. Although we expect water levels to drop, we will endeavour to maintain adequate levels to support moored boats. We would encourage any boaters who wish to continue to cruise to move from the affected section prior to 09/01/23.
We apologise for any concern caused with the previous update, alongside the short notice of this stoppage and subsequent disruption caused. However, we believe that fixing these pumps to provide a more resilient pumping chain will benefit our boating customers in the long term.
We are sorry to advise that we need to introduce this additional stoppage into the winter works programme. Following several failures of the Caen Hill pumping station this year, the Trust has allocated additional budget and resource to rebuild the pump plinths and much of the pipework. This will provide a permanent fix and a more resilient pumping chain, but we appreciate this will mean additional disruption for our boating customers during the winter works period.
With such a short time frame, we will need to deliver the repair project in phases by initially removing silt from the inlet chamber and modifying some pipework outside of the pumping station. This first phase will require the pumps to be turned off for one week and is planned for the period from 09/01/23 – 15/01/23, with an essential navigation closure in place from Lock 22 (Lower Foxhangers) to Lock 50 (Kennet Lock). To help us plan effectively for the second phase of works, we will use this initial closure to carry out a stilling test to evaluate water losses from the long pound. It is important for our boating customers to note that during this time we expect water levels to drop significantly on the long pound as we will be unable to replenish water lost due to the on-going repair project at Crofton pumping station. Any boats moored in the long pound are likely to ground and we strongly advise that vessels are not moored here during this time. The lock flight will remain locked and ashed up at Crofton whilst the work is in progress.
The second phase of the project will deliver the main programme of works and is still being developed. The works will take place in February 2023 and will need a longer period without pumps and a further corresponding closure. We apologise for not having more information on this second phase now, but as this project develops we will update this notice. Again, we are sorry for this change and we hope that this doesn’t cause any inconvenience to our boating customers.