The Shropshire Union Canal runs from Autherley Junction, near Wolverhampton, on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, to the Manchester Ship Canal at Ellesmere Port. There are two branches, the Middlewich Branch (which runs from Barbridge Junction to the Trent & Mersey Canal at Middlewich) and the River Dee Branch (which runs from the main line at Chester to the tidal river Dee). The main line of the canal is 66.5 miles (107km) long and 47 locks, the Middlewich Branch is 10 miles (16.1km) long and has 4 locks, and the River Dee Branch is 0.25 miles (0.4km) long and has 3 locks. There is also a Newport Branch (derelict, but under restoration as part of the Shewsbury and Newport Canal), joining at Norbury Junction.
IWA has proposed improved links between the Shropshire Union Canal and the river Dee - download the report (2MB pdf file).
The maximum boat size that can navigate the Canal's main line (from Autherley to Nantwich) is
length: 70' 11" (21.62 metres) - Autherley Stop Lock
beam: 7' 7"" (2.21 metres) - Autherley Stop Lock
height: 7' 11" (2.41 metres) - Bridge Lock
draught: 4' 1" (1.24 metres) - cill of Autherley Junction Stop Lock
The maximum boat size that can navigate the old Chester Canal (from Nantwich to Ellesmere Port) is
length: 75' 2" (22.91 metres) - Ellesmere Port Locks
beam: 11' 1" (3.37 metres) - M53 Bridge
height: 7' 11" (2.41 metres) - Sellar Street Bridge (Bridge 123C), Chester
draught: 4' 1" (1.24 metres) - Sellar Street Bridge
The maximum boat size that can navigate the Middlewich Branch is
length: 75' 4" (22.95 metres) - Church Minsull Lock
beam: 7' 1" (2.16 metres) - Church Minsull Lock
height: 8' 0" (2.44 metres) - rail bridge at Cholmondeston
draught: 4' 10" (1.47 metres) - Church Minsull Lock
Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire - Autherley Junction to Droveway Bridge, Pendeford.
Chester and Merseyside - Ellesmere Port to Barbridge Junction.
Shrewsbury, District & North Wales - Droveway Bridge, Pendeford to Barbridge Junction; Middlewich Branch
Canal & River Trust
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500 Elder Gate
Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB
T: 0303 040 4040
Canal & River Trust website