What C&RT wants you to know

January 2017 - By Peter Underwood

Here is a round up of the most recent Canal & River Trust press releases, they form a snapshot of what the charity wants the outside world to focus upon. Peter Underwood sees the waterways through C&RT lenses.

Bridge repair

The Trust is repairing the Acton swing bridge, near Northwich, from January 23. It carries the busy A49 road over the River Weaver Navigation and, as a result the Trust isn't paying for the work and the £1.5m cost will be paid by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

It will take until July to complete the job which is mainly aimed at keeping the road in a useable state, with a complete refurbishment of the bridge deck, strengthening works to the underside of the bridge as well as improvements to the bridge appearance.

A height restriction up to 2.5m for boats will also be in place underneath the bridge between 23 January 2017 and 31 March 2017 so the bridge will not be able to swing during these times.

Great and good sought for partnership

The Trust’s North Wales & Borders Waterway is looking to recruit five new members to join its partnership caring for waterways in Cheshire, Shropshire, Powys, Denbighshire and Staffordshire.

The charity describes the aim of the partnership as giving local people a voice in the development of their local waterways so they can help 'shape plans, guide the Trust’s spending decisions, develop local engagement and external funding, and champion the interests of the waterways'.

Elsewhere the partnerships have been criticised for not bringing in any extra funding but being too willing to stick their noses into boating matters.

Wall repair costs £400,000

Engineers are draining a 200m stretch of the Tame Valley Canal between Gorse Farm Bridge and Spouthouse Aqueduct so that a team can restore the brickwork canal walls and fix a leak.

The £400,000 project is being carried out as part of the Trust’s annual winter maintenance programme and will see engineers repairing the walls, replacing lost or damaged brickwork and sealing a leak.

The project is expected to last until March.

Pocklington Canal dredging to protect conditions for rare aquatic plants

A dredging project aimed at improving water quality and encouraging rare aquatic plants to thrive on the Pocklington Canal will see more than 3,000 tonnes of silt removed to 'protect important habitats and maintain a wide diversity of aquatic plants'.

Most of the canal is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because it offers ideal conditions for a variety of important aquatic plants to thrive, but reeds are beginning to dominate. Work will start at the end of January and last for around 3 weeks. It is being paid for with part of a £496,600 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Photo: Acton Swing Bridge

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