Poor prospect for the northern canals

Published: Friday, 29 May 2020

 THE Canal & River Trust tells us that longer journeys can commence on your boat after 1st June.

At the same time its update tells that we are not allowed to stay on the boat overnight!  So those journeys won't be very long, in fact only exactly as now!  A boater named such updates as 'Comic Cuts', and that would seem a fairly accurate description!

Severely restricted

As to boating on the northern canals we are told some or parts of them will remain closed after 1st June and the parts open will be 'severely restricted'.

The Leeds & Liverpool will have a 'small window of opportunity' that certainly does not appear too inviting, especially as we are not told where or for how long.

Temporary pumping station

Boating on either the Macclesfield or Peak Forest is not to be recommended as, though a temporary pumping station has been installed, these are two more canals where boating will be 'severely restricted'.

The Huddersfield Narrow is impassible owing to the excess silt, with dredging expected to take at least a month, but with so many locks, so few winding holes and not being allowed to stay overnight, that would be virtually impossible anyway under the Trust's present restrictions. 

So much leakage

Last year most of the northern canals were closed, blamed as now, on lack of rainfall, yet all who have cruised these canals know only too well it is caused by so much leakage—well proven as they have had no use during the past months so should have held their water...

Pity the boaters on these canals, as it is clear under the present regime these canals will be closed every summer being so poorly maintained, so there will eventually be few boats, and certainly few risking a visit for fear of being stranded.

But at least they will have cracking upgraded towpaths...