Dowley Gap open to public

Published: Wednesday, 09 January 2013

THE 240 years old Dowley Gap Aqueduct on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal near Bingley is to host its first ever public open day on Sunday 27th January.

Canal & River Trust is allowing members of the public to walk along a 55 yards drained section of the aqueduct and see for themselves what it takes to keep this waterway landmark in working order.

Stop leakage

The aqueduct, which spans the Aire, is having works to stop its leakage, that involves installing temporary dams and over-pumping the water so the aqueduct can be fully drained.

The neighbouring two-rise Dowley Gap Lock Staircase will also be open for the public to visit. Two new sets of 3.5 tonne lock gates are being installed having been made at Stanley Ferry Workshop in Wakefield.

With the lock drained, the team will also be using their  skills to carry out other repointing and grouting to the lock chamber walls, repairing leaks and installing new cills and balance beams.

Another chance

Iain Weston, Acting Waterway Manager for the Canal & River Trust's North West region explained:

"Over 7,000 attended our Bingley Five Rise event last year and for those who weren't able to make that special event, we're giving them another chance to see some of our other remarkable structures. For those that did come, we're offering them something different and unique by being able to open up the aqueduct to the public for the very first time. We hope the local community really get behind this event and take the time out to understand what it takes to keep our waterways running."

The Dowley Gap Open Day will run from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 27th January (last entry 3:15pm). Event parking has been kindly provided by Emerald Group Publishing Ltd, Waggon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA (off Bradford Road near to the Fisherman's Pub). Due to the nature of the works, visitors are asked to wear sturdy footwear or wellingtons.