UK Canals

Canals across the United Kingdom have started to be reopened after all were closed as part of foot-and-mouth disease containment measures in 2001, which UK canals are closed that you would like to see open? British Waterways (BW) released a list of the first canals approved to come back into service but how many canals are still closed not because of foot and mouth but due to maintenance? The list was announced following risk assessments undertaken during the outbreak of 2001.

The canals reopened only after the procedures identified by the risk assessment are put in place. The measures included putting up signs, disinfectant measures and notification of boaters about the rules governing the re-opening. BW said it may take three to seven days to put the measures in place. The canals re-opened in the first phase included: North West: Macclesfield Canal; Peak Forest; Trent & Mersey (south); Trent & Mersey (north) — part to be re-assessed; Caldon — part needs re-dredging. Scotland: Crinian; Caledonian; Forth & Clyde; Union.

North East: Market Harborough to Trent junction, including River Soar; Fossdyke and Witham Navigation — Torksey to Barton; Yorkshire Ouse — Ripon to Goole; River Trent. London: Slough Arm; River Lee. Midlands: Shropshire Union — Audlem Bottom Lock to Autherly Junction; Trent & Mersey — Colwick Lock to Trentham Lock; Staffs & Worcs — Stourton Junction to Great Haywood Junction; Sturbridge Canal — Stourton Junction to Wordsley; Worcester Birmingham Canal; North Stratford Canal; South Stratford Canal; Grand Union — Camp Hill to Napton Junction. “The closure of canals at this time of year has had a very severe impact on those small businesses and individuals who depend upon the canals for their livelihood,” said John Clarke, chief executive of the British Marine Industries Federation (BMIF). “This crisis has highlighted how important the country’s inland waterways system is to rural tourism.” Do you recall the outbreak and how it affected you and your canal boat?

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