Canal reopened following wettest April on record
A STRETCH of canal near Harborough has been reopened following the recent heavy rainfall.
British Waterways (BW) announced yesterday that, from today (Friday), the Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal is to be reopened, while some lock opening hours in areas affected by drought are to be lengthened.
BW announced the closure of the line and restrictions on the use of locks earlier this year, following an extended dry spell.
But the wettest April on record has boosted levels at reservoirs serving the canal system, says BW.
The closure of the Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal, between locks 18 and 38, has been lifted today, with boats able to navigate between 9am and 4pm.
In addition opening hours at Foxton, Watford, Buckby, Braunston, Calcutt and Stoke Bruerne are to be extended by around two hours.
The measures are due to be in place until further notice and will be reviewed after the Diamond Jubilee bank holiday in June.
Visit the Waterscape website for a full run-down of the updated opening times.
Vince Moran, operations director for British Waterways said, “We’re delighted that reservoir levels have improved to such an extent that boaters can enjoy the full length of the mainline Grand Union Canal once more.
“We invested a considerable amount of money over the winter to improve water efficiency and this work has enabled the canal network to really benefit from the heavy rainfall that we’ve experienced throughout April.”
BW is now encouraging boaters to play their part in making the improved reservoir holdings last throughout the summer by taking a few simple steps such as sharing locks, ensuring paddles are closed after use and opening both gates when entering or leaving locks to avoid damaging their watertight seal.
“Whilst the situation looks a lot brighter than it did a few months ago it’s important that we, and the boating community, aren’t complacent,” said Mr Moran.
“Reservoir holdings traditionally fall over the course of the summer due to drier weather and an increase in boat traffic so it’s important that everyone uses water efficiently to keep things running smoothly right through to the end of the main boating season.”
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Weather for Market Harborough
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North west