Middlewich Branch re-opens today

Published: Friday, 21 December 2018

THIS afternoon, the Middlewich Branch will at last be open to navigation.

Middlewich 400It was way back in March that the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal breached, and we are informed by Canal & River Trust 'the whole project team and contractors have worked hard to achieve this', Keith Gudgin tells us.

Subject to restriction

But the navigation will still be subject to a restriction until mid January as some works need to be completed in the New Year. Navigation users are asked to proceed with caution and follow any instruction given from the site team.

Boaters are also asked not to moor in the area of the new embankment as the topsoil is still fresh and needs time to consolidate.

MiddlewichBreachWork400Towpath open

The towpath will also be open this afternoon, but users are asked to not deviate from the towpath as the topsoil on the verges either side is fresh and needs time to settle. The towpath too may be subject to restrictions at times during January as some of the works still need to be completed.

It was nine months ago, in March, when the breach occurred, with Canal & River Trust first blaming it on boaters for leaving paddles open—that proved to be impossibleusing the excuse as a 'cover' for its own lack of inspection of the embankment that had been eroded by fast hire boats coming out of Middlewich, usually  speeding to the nearest pub before darkness, eroding the bank as they pass, that eventually gave way causing the breach.