Waterways on the rise after flood

Canal and River Trust Flood damage, Yorkshire.  13 January 2016. Rochdale Canal, Between Locks 16 and 17.
Canal and River Trust Flood damage, Yorkshire. 13 January 2016. Rochdale Canal, Between Locks 16 and 17.

Boaters from around the region are coming back to Calderdale to give a welcome boost to tourism as the waterways return to normal after the Boxing Day floods.

The Canal and River Trust reopened 12 miles of waterways to boats in time for Easter along The Rochdale Canal between Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge and The Calder and Hebble Navigation between Brighouse and Cooper Bridge.

Getting to this position has involved significant dredging works and repairs to lock gates, wash walls and weirs.

Jon Horsfall, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust said; “It’s great to see flood-hit sections of canal reopening and life gradually starting to get back to normal on our waterways.

“Some of these challenges remain, and we’re working hard to overcome them as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime we’d like to thank all the volunteers and partners that have helped us get to this stage and also the boaters and local businesses for their understanding and patience as we’ve worked through exactly what needs doing.”

The next stage of the programme is focussed around early summer and by the end of May when the trust hopes to be able to reopen a further section of the Rochdale Canal heading west from Hebden Bridge towards Lock 15.

Shortly afterwards they are aiming to open up the Calder & Hebble Navigation between Salterhebble and Brighouse.

Andrew Pitts, Calderdale Council’s Head of Neighbourhoods, said: “It’s great that sections of the local waterways are starting to reopen. It’s another sign that Calderdale is open for business, and yet another reason for people to visit. Three months on from the Boxing Day floods we want to make it loud and clear that Calderdale is a vibrant place with lots to offer – including fantastic scenery, businesses and events – to help boost tourism and trade.”