Little hope for Marple Flight

Published: Thursday, 07 February 2019

IT WAS in July of last year that the Marple Flight on the Peak Forest Canal was closed, but there is little chance of it being re-opened as promised.

It was closed owing to the walls of Lock 11 moving inwards with its re-opening promised for the start of this year's boating season, but that is not to be, Keith Gudgin tells.

MarpleWelcomeNIne months to repair

The new re-opening date that is given by Canal & River Trust is now the end of May, meaning it will have taken all of nine months to repair.

It is widely accepted that the movement of the walls was caused when another lock, this time Lock 15 met with the same problem, with that time the flight closed for eight months, with leaking locks throughout the flight meaning that many were empty over the whole period, so without water the continued pressure from the banks caused the lock wall of Lock 11 to cave inwards, hence the stoppage to repair. The latest message from CaRT tells us:

Few weeks behind

Unfortunately, whilst the works at Marple Lock 11 have been progressing steadily throughout the winter so far, they are a few weeks behind our original intended schedule.

Delays have been encountered in the piling phase of the works, with the augering of the ground and reinforced concrete pile installation behind the existing lock walls proving slower than expected, as well as having to address some design changes due to site constraints. However, the piling is now complete, ensuring the ground is stable so that the failed lock walls can be carefully dismantled.

Not even started

So seven months have elapsed and not only have they not started building the lock walls but have not yet even dismantled the damaged ones!

That really begs the question—what on earth have they been doing for the past seven months? Little more, it seems, that it being a 'cash cow' at our expense...