Lancaster Canal reopens after emergency repairs

The repaired section of the Lancaster Canal as it refills with water.
The repaired section of the Lancaster Canal as it refills with water.

A 730-metre section of the Lancaster Canal, which has been closed for emergency repairs since the end of June, has now re-opened.

The Canal & River Trust was forced to close this stretch of canal on the Lune embankment just north of Lancaster after it developed a leak.

Since then trust engineers and contractors have been working long days and weekends to repair three substantial holes in the canal bed in order to re-open the waterway as quickly as possible.

The canal was re-filled with a small amount of water and inspected to ensure there were no air pockets or further leaks and then water levels were gradually restored to navigation standard in time to re-open the canal to boaters.

Graham Ramsden, project manager with the Canal & River Trust, said: “Our staff and contractors, Kier, have been working flat out to make sure we re-opened the canal as soon as we possibly could.

“Maintaining a 200-year-old canal network is a constant challenge and unfortunately we do occasionally have to deal with emergency leaks like this one.”

Chantelle Seaborn, local waterway manager with the Canal & River Trust, said: “We’d like to thank the boaters and local businesses who were affected by the emergency closure for their understanding and forbearance during the work.”

In total 480 tonnes of clay were required to fill in the three holes along a 20-metre section of the canal, bringing the bed of the canal up to its original height.