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Boaters beware: Bridgewater Canal closed until May

PUBLISHED: 06:52 26 January 2017

Vicars Hall Lane Bridge on the Bridgewater | Dr Hilary Rhodes, Flickr CC2.0

Vicars Hall Lane Bridge on the Bridgewater | Dr Hilary Rhodes, Flickr CC2.0

Archant

Access to and from the Leeds & Liverpool, Liverpool Link, Ribble Link and Lancaster has been all but cut off by delayed repairs

The replacement of Vicar’s Hall Bridge, two miles west of Worsley and close to Boothstown Marina, has caused the Bridgewater to be “closed to all navigation” for three months, from Monday 13 February to Wednesday 24 May.

The notice originally said the work wouldn’t be completed until June, but backlash has caused the end date to be brought forward.

These works had been scheduled for the winter months to minimise disruption and coincide with other stoppages, but delays have meant they will now run at a time of increased boating activity.

Boothstown Marina | jrw080578, Flickr CC2.0 Boothstown Marina | jrw080578, Flickr CC2.0

The closure may still last longer, as the canal notice states: “Due to the nature of the work the Company cannot guarantee completion on the published date.”

Questions have been raised over why the repairs will take so long, why they were not postponed until next winter and why the waterway won’t be opened for small windows to allow passages.

The closure, by canal owners Peel Holdings, will cut off access from the Bridgewater to the Leeds & Liverpool and connecting waterways on the network, leaving boaters with the prospect of long detours.

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