Danger at Caldon breach

Published: Friday, 20 November 2009

THE breach on the Leek Branch of the Caldon Canal is proving too much of an attraction to some people, who are risking injury climbing safety barriers.

The barriers were installed to keep people away from the area, as it is deemed dangerous, but people are ignoring the safety notices and scaling the  barriers to get a better view and take photographs, Richard Hall relates. (The photograph shows another view of the breach, by Julie Arnold Waterway Images.)

British Waterways have warned that the remaining bank is not secure, and could give way at any time, and there is the risk of falling when climbing a barrier, warning:

Further landslides

"We're asking people to respect the barriers as we try to assess why the breach happened as there could be further landslides.

"People are just wanting to get a little bit closer to the void and they are going to great lengths to do that, by physically climbing over five or six feet high metal fencing.

"But there is still a risk. It's a working site and although we've had no reports of injury yet, there's still the potential that people could be hit by material falling down on them from the embankment."

British Waterways is putting up safety posters on the barriers with a picture of the breach to save people from climbing down to see it for themselves.

Repair in January

British Waterways have stated that it is committed to reopening the canal as quickly as possible, and the repair, which is anticipated to cost between £250,000 and £500,000, will commence in January.

Spokesman Stephen Hardy tells us:

"The exact timescale of the repairs will not be known until surveys have been completed but it is hoped that the canal can be fully reopened in time for the main boating season which starts at Easter."