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At the recent Annual Members meeting of the IWA, a vision for the future was put forward, detailing the Association’s five year objectives along with the release of a new logo. Read more here.
There will be a community clean-up of the Old Stockport Canal path, on Sat 21st Oct, Sun 22nd Oct, Mon 23rd Oct 2017. Those interested to get involved should see more details and sign-up via this site.
On May the 17th it was reported that the huge lifting bridge under construction next to the M60 Barton Bridge had suddenly collapsed. The 500 tonne platform fell ~60ft to the ground, damaging the huge concrete lifting pillars in the process. Luckily nobody was injured when the platform collapsed shortly before 8.30am on a Monday morning.
Work has completely halted on the giant lifting bridge while an investigation into why it collapse continues. As reported elsewhere the construction was part way through to completion to create a new dual carriageway over the Manchester Ship Canal to relieve congestion.
See MEN article.
Recent changes to BCC policy which involve the imposition of a 28 day non-return restriction for visiting craft have been introduced without consultation with Canal and River Trust. See this for more info.
The upshot is that Members wishing to support the IWA proposals are encouraged to write or email Bridgewater Canal Co ( at Peel Dome, INTU Trafford Centre, Manchester M17 8PL, Bridgewatercanal@peel.co.uk).
Barton Aqueduct is open to navigation on the Bridgewater Canal between the following times but subject to shipping on the Manchester Ship Canal and the annual maintenance closure: Monday 7th March to 21st March.
Winter Opening Hours (up to 31st March): 9.15am-4.30pm
Summer Opening Hours (1st April to 30th September): 9.15am-9.00pm
Winter Opening Hours (1st October to 31st December): 9.15am-4.30pm
A post from Manchester Evening News suggests a target opening date of summer 2016. The development discussed, Port Salford, will be the ONLY tri-modal waterway port in the country. Read the newspaper article.
IWA has recently updated its policy on vegetation management and has produced a briefing note to provide an overview of the subject.
IWA has been actively campaigning about vegetation management, and particularly excessive offside vegetation, at both a local branch level and nationally for many years. It is, therefore, pleasing to note the increase in offside tree and vegetation management that has taken place this winter on Canal & River Trust waterways.
We know that IWA branches around the country have campaigned locally about vegetation issues for many years. With this increase in vegetation work, now is a good time for IWA branch committees to raise issues with CRT if they spot problems, such as vegetation that has been missed out during recent contract cutting work, or places that have yet to be tackled.
One unexpected issue that has arisen in some areas is that where large trees and well established overhanging offside vegetation have been removed, the canal is badly silted. As site lines have been improved and boaters make use of the apparent increased width of the channel, they are finding that they are going aground. If you become aware of any areas where this is a problem, please make representations to your local waterway office about the need for dredging, even if, initially, it is only spot dredging to alleviate the situation before the warmer weather brings more boating activity.
We also wish to encourage branches to consider talking to navigation authorities about how volunteers can get involved in vegetation management projects next winter, such as overhanging vegetation on blind bends, and on offside lock landings. In some areas, volunteers have already been involved in this work. This includes IWA Warwickshire Branch that has successfully cleared vegetation from the offside lock landings along the Hatton lock flight of the Grand Union Canal; and IWA and WRG volunteers that have supported recent work led by the Macclesfield Canal Society on the Macclesfield and Upper Peak Forest canals. This is enabling work that would not otherwise be carried out..
A campaign has been launched in Leigh aimed at using the canal system as a catalyst for regeneration. As part of the project the Canal & River Trust will provide new signage to encourage visitors onto the towpath and to tell the story of the two canals. There will be an improved entrance to the towpath from King Street Bridge, with work being carried out by volunteers this year. New mooring rings will also encourage boaters to stop and visit the town. More details