Navigation Closure: Wigan Flight, Leeds & Liverpool Canal


From Date: 14/06/2023 09:00

To Date: 22/07/2023 08:00 inclusive

Type: Navigation Closure

Reason: Repair

Is the towpath closed? Yes


Closest waterway: Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Starts at: Lock 65, Top Lock

Ends at: Lock 85, Lock 21


21/07/2023 15:14

We are pleased to advise the repair works to Lock 68, and Lock 69 are now complete, and the Wigan Flight will re-open tomorrow, Saturday 22 July as per the usual operating times:

  • Open from 8am until 4pm, with last entry at 12pm, daily

19/07/2023 12:38

Our Wigan Flight volunteers joined our team on the Wigan Flight and painted the safety fence that was installed last week and cleaned up the general site which allowed our North West Reactive team to carry on with the repair works to Lock 69 and removal of the silt.

We removed 70 tonnes of silt from within the lock chamber this week and the head and tail gates were cleaned to check for any possible obstructions.

Final clay works to the sink hole are being finished today, followed by final works to the apron that protects the cill. We will then start to remove equipment from site and have arranged with our contractors to remove the scaffolding and dams from site over the next 2 days.

With the repairs progressing as they are, we are confident that we will be finished onsite by the end of Friday 21 July, with navigation resuming on Saturday 22 July.

A further update will be provided Friday 21 July.

14/07/2023 16:35

Our North West Reactive Team have made great progress at Lock 69 on the Wigan Flight. The repairs to the sink hole, and planned repairs to the head gate and cill are now complete. Whilst our teams have been onsite, we have also carried out repairs to the by-wash.

The remaining works to the tail gate will be completed early next week and we will also be removing a large quantity of silt from the lock chamber.  

Whilst completing these repairs, we have identified a void under the concrete apron that protects the cill. Our engineers have investigated this today and have instructed further repairs.  

We anticipate all the repairs will be complete, with all equipment removed from site by the end of Friday 21 July, with navigation resuming on Saturday 22 July, subject to any arising emergencies.

A further update will be provided by Wednesday 19 July.

07/07/2023 14:59

The further works to recast the tail gate concrete arrowhead on cill, fit the tail gate quoin pieces and replace the damaged safety fencing on the offside quadrant at Lock 68 on the Wigan Flight are now complete and our Reactive Team started on the repairs to Lock 69 this week.

Our engineer has been to site and assessed the sink hole which is 3 meters deep and the width of the lock entrance. This has resulted in further works, including resetting three walling stones from the towpath side lock wall entrance which had moved and dropped to the bottom.

20 ton of clay has been placed around the lock entrance walls to prevent any further movement, with machinery arriving onsite today to help speed up the process. Due to this, the towpath will be closed between Lock 68 and Lock 69 to ensure a safe working environment. Please follow any signage onsite.

Whilst members of the Reactive Team have been working on the above, our skilled joiners of the team have started repairs to the head and tail gates of Lock 69 and will continue over the weekend period.

Due to the appearance of the sink hole resulting in the delay to start works at Lock 69, and the further repairs to the hole itself, we anticipate the Wigan Flight will be closed for a further 2 weeks, however our team will endeavour to advance on this by working over the weekend periods.

A further update on progress made will be provided by Friday 14 July.

29/06/2023 16:26

Whilst investigations into the large sinkhole at Lock 69 continue, our North West Reactive Team have been progressing well with the work at Lock 68, of the Wigan Flight on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

We are pleased to advise this week our Reactive Team have been successful in casting new concrete cill at Lock 68. We are also carrying out minor repair work to the seals on the lock gates which will be completed by Friday this week.

Additional work is being undertaken next week to replace the damaged wooden safety fencing on the off side of Lock 68.

On Wednesday 5 July the dams and scaffolding at Lock 68 will be removed, and a new fabric dam will be installed across the canal at Lock 69. Our contractors will be onsite installing pumps which will create a safe working condition and allow our team to facilitate the repairs to the lock.

A further update on how our Reactive Team is progressing at Lock 69 will be provided on Friday 7 July.

27/06/2023 17:00

Works are well underway to repair the blown cill at Lock 68 on the Wigan Flight.

Unfortunately, a large sink hole has appeared in Lock 69, which has haltered the planned repairs to the head and tail gates. Our teams are now working together to create a safe working method to repair the sink hole, which will allow us to start the planned repairs.

We will know more on how this may affect the estimated timeframe for repairs later this week and an update will be provided Thursday 29 June.

15/06/2023 14:10

Our contractors will be onsite at Lock 68 along the Wigan Flight early next week to set up the fabric dams and scaffolding to repair the blown cill. Following this, our team will be onsite to start the repairs.

Whilst the Wigan Flight is closed to repair Lock 68, we have taken this opportunity to carry out the planned works to repair Lock 69 at the same time to minimise disruption to our customers.

We anticipate these repair works will take 3 weeks to complete.

An update on progress made will be provided by Tuesday 27 June.


Please be advised navigation is closed along the Wigan Flight, Lock 65 to Lock 85, on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal due to a blown cill at Lock 68.

Our teams are currently investigating and a further update will be provided tomorrow, Thursday 15 June.