Ben - 9's Waterways

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Building Bridges?

Just when boaters on the Leeds and Liverpool thought it was safe to go back to their boats, there came news this week that Moss Swing Bridge on the edge of Leeds was being closed for a week for repairs. [details here]

Before we start firing vitriol towards BW, it should be pointed out that the bridge does not belong to them. In the stoppage notice announcing the closure, BW told us:
"This is a 3rd Party bridge owned by United Utilities. British Waterways are working closely with United Utilities to ensure this stoppage is kept to a minimum."

Then, the following day, another stoppage notice was sent out, in which "United Utilities" had been replaced with "Yorkshire Water". Oh, dear. Being an old cynic I couldn't help wondering just how closely BW had been working with them if they couldn't remember which utility company actually owned the bridge!

Mind you, the whole of the Leeds and Liverpool right down into Leeds is now managed, not from the nearby Leeds office, but from the Wigan office some 55 miles away (or 92 miles by canal). The Wigan office is used to dealing with United Utilities and has only started dealing with Yorkshire Water over this stretch of the L&L this year, so I suppose this is a forgiveable error.

BW must be praised for getting the lock and gate repairs (scheduled for this winter) carried out while 60 miles of the canal was closed recently due to the lack of water. That means there won't now be any stoppages over the winter the, doesn't it? Well, not quite. There is still going to be a stoppage at Thorlby Aqueduct between Skipton and Gargrave between November 8th and December 10th. It is a shame that job couldn't have been re-scheduled to have been done during the closure, as it is only a couple of miles from Holme Bridge, the eastern end of the section that was closed.

Now I am left wondering why the work on Moss Swing Bridge couldn't have waited until November, when the stoppage at Thorlby would be in operation and there would be fewer boats about?

Moss Swing Bridge, Rodley



  1. I think someone at BW must have been worried about BEN-9's blog as the bridge has been fixed already...

    more power to bens elbow i say :-)

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