Aylesbury canal re-opening delayed as new craning operation planned

Work at the collapsed lock last month
Work at the collapsed lock last month

Repairs to a collapsed canal lock near Aylesbury have been delayed, with the route now not expected to re-open until the end of October.

It had been hoped the lock could be repaired by the August bank holiday, but investigations into the collapse are still ongoing and the re-opening date has had to be pushed back.

With the new Circus Fields marina expected the open in the next few weeks there are plans to crane boaters who have already booked moorings at the site back into the canal so they can enjoy the facility.

Works to repair the collapsed lock will start in the next few weeks and will involve building a new concrete lock wall that will be faced in brickwork in keeping with the remaining parts of the lock.

The lock wall, near the Arla dairy in Aston Clinton, collapsed in March and work is expected to cost between £400,000 and £500,000.

The Canal and River Trust has spent the last few months gaining access, setting up the work site and removing the collapsed wall.

Peter Walker, the trust’s engineering manager, said: “Unfortunately it has taken longer than expected to get to the stage where we can start to rebuild the wall and we are now looking at reopening the canal a few months later than first thought.

“It is frustrating, and I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but we do need a bit longer to do the repair job, do it well, and to make sure the wall lasts for another 200 years.”

In addition to repairing the wall and towpath, the opposite lock wall will be pinned to prevent it from moving, the top lock gate will be refurbished and minor brick work repairs will be made to the lock approach walls.

As a result of the lock collapsing, a number of boaters were craned out of the canal after they became stranded in the Aylesbury basin.