After the whole of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal through Wigan has been closed for two days, through lack of water, British Waterways is to introduce very restricted assisted passages though the affected area.
On the Wigan lock flight, there will be ONE supervised passage on Saturday, Sunday and Monday starting at 10.00 am PROMPT between Locks 65 (Wigan Top Lock) & Lock 85 (above junction with Leigh Branch). Any boats arriving after this time will have to wait until 10.00 am the following day for the next available passage.
The locks between Henhurst Lock (86) and Ell Meadow Lock (89) will be open between 8.00 am and 1.00 pm only. Any boats arriving after this time will have to wait until 8.00 am the following day for the next available passage.
Poolstock Locks 1 & 2 on the Leigh Branch will be open between 8.00 am and 1.00 pm only. Any boats arriving after this time will have to wait until 8.00 am the following day for the next available passage.
Passage between Dean Lock (90) and Appley Lock (91) will be strictly monitored. Passages will only be permitted if water levels allow.
British Waterways will not guarantee passage if water levels are not sufficient to permit navigation.
BW has brought in a pump to extract more water from the River Douglas at Scholes, which is slowly helping the situation.
BW has asked boaters not contact Freefone Canals for updates relating to these restrictions as this number is for emergencies only.
BW will issue a further update on Monday 7th June at 2.00 pm.
Enquiries about this stoppage should be made to BW on 01942 405700.
These restrictions are in addition to those on the rest of the Canal which are 8.30am to 4.30pm each day.
The only unrestricted locks at the moment are on the Rufford Branch.
At the same time, the Environment Agency in the North West has indicated very low levels of flow in all Central Lancashire Rivers and the Region is in a potential drought status without new rainfall. Rain is forecast on Sunday and during next week.