Leeds & Liverpool Canal


The Leeds & Liverpool Canal runs from the Aire & Calder Navigation in Leeds to the river Mersey in Liverpool via Stanley Dock and the Liverpool Link.  The Canal is 127 miles (204km) long and has 91 locks on the main line.

There are five branches:
Rufford Branch - 7.25 miles (11.7 km) and 8 locks - runs to the River Douglas Navigation.
Leigh Branch - 7.5 miles (12.1 km) and 2 locks - runs to the Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal.
Springs Branch - 0.5 miles (0.8 km) - in Skipton
Stanley Docks Branch - 0.3 miles (0.5 km) and 4 locks - runs to the river Mersey via the Liverpool Link.
Walton Summit Branch - now closed and filled in - near Wheelton.

The maximum boat size that can use the Canal is:
length - 62' 0" (18.9 metres) - Lock 4 (Leeds)
beam - 14' 3" (4.34 metres) - Lock 1 (Leeds)
height - 7' 9" (2.38 metres) - Foulridge Tunnel
draught - 3' 9" (1.14 metres) - cill of Lock 73 (Wigan Flight)

Numerous locks and swing bridges require a handcuff-key.
Passages into the Liverpool Link and Ribble Link should be booked with Canal & River Trust.
A Sanitary Station key is required for padlocks at either end of the Rufford Branch.
Bridge 7 (Plank Lane) is operated by a bridge-keeper (restricted hours).
A Sanitary Station key is required for Bridge 43 (Finch Mill Swing Bridge, near Appley Bridge).
A Sanitary Station key is required for bridges 177, 182A and 187 (between Skipton and Silsden).
A Sanitary Station key is required for bridges 197, 197A and 198A (near Riddlesden).
Bingley 3-rise and 5-rise locks are operated by a lockkeeper (restricted hours - to be booked in winter).
Bridge 200 is operated by the Bingley Locks lockkeeper only (restricted hours).
A Sanitary Station key is required for bridges 209 (Shipley) and 214 (Apperley Bridge)
Passage of locks 2 to 13 requires a Sanitary Station key and a handcuff key, and are usually assisted by Canal & River Trust staff.  Hours of operation are restricted and need to be booked with Canal & River Trust in the winter.
A Sanitary Station key is required to operate lock 1 (River Lock in Leeds)

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IWA Branches

Chester and Merseyside - Liverpool to Bridge 17 (Lydiate)
Manchester - Leigh Arm, from the main line in Wigan to the Bridgewater Canal
Lancashire and Cumbria - Bridge 17 (Lydiate) to Greenberfield; Rufford Arm
West Riding - Leeds to Greenberfield

Navigation Authority

Canal & River Trust
Head Office
First Floor North
Station House
500 Elder Gate
Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB

T: 0303 040 4040
Canal & River Trust website

See also:

Waterways A-Z
Map of UK Waterways

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