Canal and River Trust boating update

Yesterday, The Canal and River Trust (CRT) released its latest boating update. It clearly sets out what you need to know as restrictions ease further on 1  June.

Things to know before commencing a longer journey on your boat after 1 June:

  • All Government guidelines should be followed – this includes; regular handwashing, especially before and after using any facility or structure, social distancing and only members of your household being on your boat.
  • Unless your boat is your primary residence (i.e. you permanently live on it) overnight stays on your boat are not currently permitted.
  • Mooring exemptions ended on 23 May. This means that visitor moorings have reverted to locally signed stay times, unsigned stretches are 14-day-stay and guidance for continuous cruisers comes back into force. This effectively means that if your boat is moored on a 14-day mooring and hasn’t moved since lockdown began then you need to move your boat by 6 June.
  • It will take time to get the entire network fully operational. Booking for some passages and services will be required. Some sections and structures may be closed for a further period. 
  • Much of the network’s infrastructure has not been used for a good couple of months. Safety checks have been made but with more active use it’s expected there will be some issues as boats begin to cruise further afield. If you come across any, do let the CRT know.
  • It may be preferable to use the facilities you have on your boat rather than CRT facilities, which are being maintained, or those of a third party.

Boating in the North West

Due to the recent exceptionally dry weather in the North West, which has received just 30% of average rainfall in April, and just 14% of average rainfall to May 19th, some canals, or parts of them, will remain closed after 1 June:

  • Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals, operating without Toddbrook Reservoir, at Marple and Bosley respectively. The CRT has installed a temporary pumping station on the Peak Forest Canal and is reviewing the available options to allow severely restricted navigation.
  • Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the  CRT is working closely with our water management and operations teams to review options for arranging a small window of opportunity for customers to move their boats. Locks at the following locations will remain closed:
    • Wigan Flight (Locks 65 to 85)
    • Johnsons Hillocks (58 to 64)
    • Blackburn Locks (52 to 55) – please note that Locks 56 and 57 at the bottom of the flight will remain open to allow access and winding for the services.
    • Barrowford Locks (45 to 51)
    • Greenberfield Locks (42 to 44)
    • Bank Newton Locks (36 to 41)
    • Gargrave (Holme Bridge Lock 30)
    • Bingley Five Rise Locks (25 to 29)

Using waterside services (showers, pump outs, bins etc.)

Signage is being placed at essential boaters’ services.

At customer service facilities you are reminded:

  • One person or household at a time – check services are free before entering
  • Maintain social distancing at all times
  • These facilities are cleaned regularly however not after every use – it’s recommend you wash your hands before and after touching any surfaces
  • Please do not use these facilities if you are displaying any of the symptoms of the Covid-19 virus

At bin stores and Elsan disposal points:

  • Maintain social distancing at all times
  • It’s recommend you wash your hands before and after touching any surfaces
  • Please do not use these facilities if you are displaying any of the symptoms of the Covid-19 virus

For further guidance and updates visit the Canal River Trust website.

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