Friday, November 18, 2011

Further 11 mile section of the K&A Canal closed

The Kennet & Avon Canal was granted 'Cruiseway' status in April this year — 55 years after the government tried to close the canal.  Ironically since then the canal has suffered a high number of closures.  

The navigation in Bath is closed indefinitely because of the unsafe condition Victoria Bridge, the historic listed structure on the River Avon that is the responsibility of Bath and North East Somerset Council. 

And now British Waterways have announced the indefinite closure of more than 11 miles of canal between locks 61 (by Crofton Crossing Bridge) to Copse Lock 80 near Hampstead Marshall because of what they describe as extremely low ground water levels.


Wilton Water — low water level: Picture by Bob Naylor©


British Waterways have issued the following notice:


NAVIGATION CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE LOCK 61 TO LOCK 80 
Thursday 17 November 2011 until further notice
The canal has been closed to navigation between Crofton Lock 61 and Copse Lock 80 due to lack of adequate water supplies to support boat movement. 
All of the locks within the closed section will be padlocked to prevent use. We are allowing levels in individual canal pounds to recover slowly. Several sections are very low and will take some time to come back to normal level. This is a long term problem brought about by ground water level being extremely low, in fact it is at the lowest level for 90 years. 
The reservoir level is also very low and currently has little or no feed to recharge the system. The current stoppage is necessary to recover levels and help protect aquatic life in the canal.
British Waterways is currently looking to support the closed section with additional water supply from other sources. 
The current closure is being reviewed weekly, and with little or no significant rain forecast the current closure may remain in force for some weeks.
Craft that are trapped within the closed section are requested to remain where they are, but to adjust mooring ropes to accommodate changes in water levels.
Any request for craft movement will be dealt with on an individual basis and will be subject to available water supplies, canal water levels and individual circumstances.
British Waterways apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Enquiries: Tel: 01380 722859 or  0800 4799947 (Option 2)Email: kennetavon@britishwaterways.co.uk

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