Published on: 05 May 2023
Canal and River Trust, the national waterways and wellbeing charity, has re-opened the Caldon Canal to boats, while the £2 million project to rebuild the Grade II Listed Hazlehurst Bridge on the Caldon Canal near Endon in Staffordshire, continues. The 12-month project, which has been enabled by an award from the Postcode Earth Trust, thanks to funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, is expected to be completed in August 2023.
To facilitate the works, over the winter the canal had been closed to through-navigation from the junction with the Leek Branch (Hazlehurst Junction), running south east to Cheddleton Lock, but was re-opened on 6 April 2023.
Ian Bogges, project manager for the Canal and River Trust, explains: “We were able to re-open the Caldon Canal to through-navigation ahead of Easter and the May bank holiday, but until 19 May, some navigation restrictions are in place. On weekdays, passage beneath Hazlehurst Bridge is available twice a day from 9am to 10am, and from 1.30pm to 2.30pm.
“As the towpath remains closed from the junction with the Leek Branch (Hazlehurst Junction), running south east to Hazlehurst Aqueduct until mid-July, for boats travelling west our contractors will facilitate the operations of the adjacent lock so that boaters don’t have to get off their boats. Boaters travelling east will be able to operate the lock themselves.
“On weekends and bank holidays, unrestricted passage is available evenings from 5pm and mornings until 7.30am, and boaters can operate the locks from both directions without assistance. The towpath on the main line (through the locks) remains closed from Hazelhurst Junction to Hazelhurst Aqueduct, however boaters will be able to get on and off to operate all locks within this fenced section.”
“There is small restriction in height for boats travelling under Hazlehurst Bridge. A 2.1-metre minimum height is still available, equating to a reduction of around 30cm.
“The Public Right of way on the access pathway towards the bridge from Leek Old Road will also be closed for the duration of the works. Footpath and towpath diversion signs are in place.”
Hazlehurst Bridge is an accommodation bridge that provides access across the Caldon Canal for farmers, residents and liveaboard boaters. It also provides access for the Trust for maintenance work.
The bridge was irreparably damaged in March 2020 following the draining of the canal upstream for repairs to Hazlehurst Bottom Lock. The Canal and River Trust is rebuilding the structure, matching its former location, form, scale, and character, including using many of the original stone copings.
For more information about the project, go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/hazelhurstbridge, call Canal and River Trust on 03030 404040 or email email@example.com @CRTWestMidlands
For more information on Canal and River Trust including how you can donate money or volunteer to support our work visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk