Level Access

The Canal & River Trust (CRT) issued an email this morning saying that the River Severn was now navigable after being in flood for several days.

The water levels were very raised when cycled there a few days ago, including the Droitwich Barge Canal and part of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal as I checked the data for my maps.

The recently installed sign at Droitwich Barge Canal’s Lock 2 had two flashing red lights in the “Do Not Proceed” indications although, despite numerous attempts, I couldn’t get them to show in the photos.

Strong Stream Information at Droitwich Barge Canal Lock 2.
Strong Stream Information at Droitwich Barge Canal Lock 2.

At Lock 1 of the Droitwich Barge Canal, which leads to Hawford Junction and the River Severn, the water was level across the lock and anyone foolish enough to try navigating could have opened both sets of gates and cruised straight through.

Raised water levels at Droitwich Barge Canal Lock 1.

I doubt they would have had enough power to navigate upstream and they would have been travelling at more than ten miles per hour when they hit the first obstruction or low bridge downstream.

At Worcester, the water was level with the “towpath” and well over it in places.

Raised water levels in Worcester.

You wouldn’t have been able to get a narrowboat under that bridge.

Raised water levels in Worcester.

At Diglis Junction, where the Worcester & Birmingham Canal meets the River Severn, the water was near the top of the walls which are usually high above boaters.

Raised water levels at Diglis Junction.

That swing bridge would have needed opening for any boats to pass through but it’s normally so high that even vessels with short masts can pass under.

As with the Barge Canal, foolish boaters could have opened both sets of gates at the same time at Lock 1 on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to cruise onto the River Severn.

Raised water levels at Worcester & Birmingham Canal Lock 1.

The map updates discovered on this trip are now on the master map ready for publication in the April 2018 monthly update for my cruising maps.

Selly Oak Junction

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Selly Oak Junction
Selly Oak Junction

The Dudley No 2 Canal once came through the building site to meet the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near the centre of the photo.  The Worcester & Birmingham Canal runs between Birmingham (to the right) and Worcester (to the left).

The Lapal Canal is will restore through navigation using approximately the line of the Dudley No 2 Canal. The building works in the photo include creation of the first section of the Lapal Canal as an integral part of the work.  The Lapal Canal will run a little further south than the original alignment, nearer to the blue and grey buildings seen in the background.

Waterway and Kilometerage LAPAL 00.000.01
OS Grid Reference SP 04401 82805
Date and Time 151204 081759
Copyright © Paul Balmer

Selly Oak Junction

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Selly Oak Junction
Selly Oak Junction

Looking north, along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal towards Birmingham from Bristol Road Bridge 80.

The Dudley No 2 Canal once came in from the left, approximately where the raised section of towpath is, near the pylon.  The Lapal Canal will soon provide an alternative route with the new junction a little nearer to the camera, close to this end of the straight section of towpath.  The canal will be widened a little to the right to make turning at the junction easier, and creating a new winding point.

Waterway and Kilometerage LAPAL 00.000.03
OS Grid Reference SP 04356 82707
Date and Time 151204 130402
Copyright © Paul Balmer