Canal lockdown could hit businesses in Burnley and Pendle

Businesses relying on passing trade along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Pendle could be hit by temporary closures on parts of the waterway due to the recent dry weather.

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Barrowford
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Barrowford

From Monday, the Canal and River Trust will close locks along a 55 mile section of the canal between Wigan Flight (from below lock 85) and Gargrave (from below lock 30) – meaning that many boats will not pass through Pendle.

Staff at Cafe Cargo, Foulridge Wharf, said they are expecting evening trade to be a lot quieter.

Jade Eyre, who works at the cafe, said: “We have still been having a lot of customers during the day but we expect to have a lot less in the evenings as they tend to be mainly boaters.

“I noticed earlier in the week that a lot of boats left because they can’t travel through.”

However, the canal restrictions have not affected all businesses.

Martin Cleaver, from Foulridge Canal Cruises, said: “The restrictions won’t affect us as we only operate between the top of Barrowford Locks and Greenberfield at Barnoldswick, although I expect we’ll see less boats.

“I can understand why the restrictions have had to be put in place. The canal rarely has enough water capacity and so it really needs rainfall in May, June and July, which we have not had this year.”

In addition to the planned closure, use of locks at Barrowford, Greenberfield, Bank Newton and Gargrave had already been restricted to 10am to 6pm.

However, with the continued drawdown of the reservoirs, the prolonged low rainfall and forecast for further dry weather, the Trust is restricting opening hours further to between 10am and 4pm.

The towpaths will remain open as normal.