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Author Topic: Thames & Severn Canal  (Read 631 times)
CyclingSid
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« on: May 09, 2019, 01:29:29 pm »

Following the link from SandTEngineer's post
Quote
on the Elizabeth Line, I looked up some of the other news items.

One that caught my eye was:
Highways England has today announced £4m funding towards the restoration of the final ‘missing mile’ of the Stroudwater navigation canal in Gloucestershire. http://www.infrastructure-intelligence.com/article/may-2019/highways-england-pours-%C2%A34m-canal-restoration-scheme. The Cotswold Canals Trust says this is part of their larger project "to restore the Cotswold canals as a navigable route from the Severn to the Thames."

I think they will need more than £4m to make the Sapperton Tunnel navigable again https://www.cotswoldcanals.net/sapperton-canal-tunnel.php
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johnneyw
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2019, 02:18:33 pm »

The £4m is a part of the cost of the next phase of restoration between Stroud and Saul Junction where it will reconnect the Cotswold Canals with the national canal system on the Gloucester - Sharpness Canal.
Sapperton tunnel isn't a part of that restoration stage but will follow at a later stage with different funding.
The £4m is specifically to help where road building has obliterated the original route (A38/M4) in order to link with the short spur of navigable canal at Saul which was reinstated many years ago as moorings.
The 7 odd miles already restored around Stroud was done first as it was seen as the most difficult bit, even if it meant not linking to the national network immediately.
Also soon to come will be the 're-excavation of Brimscombe Port where the two separately run canals that formed the Cotswold Canals met and transferred cargoes as the two canals were of different widths requiring different sized boats.
I'm going on a bit but as a long standing member of the Cotswold Canals Trust, I couldn't resist throwing that in.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2019, 02:59:40 pm »

Just to be clear, johnneyw: The illustration shows the route where if crosses underneath the A38/A419 roundabout. Is there a usable tunnel under the M5?
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johnneyw
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2019, 05:05:02 pm »

Ah yes, the M5 has had a number of proposed solutions:  Tunnelling under the M5 was one. Another was making a stretch of the river Frome, that runs parallel to the canal route and under an existing M5 bridge, into a navigable deviation. Now, I think, but am just short of certain that the latter solution is favoured but I have to admit that I am a little behind with phase 1b of restoration as I have had my head turned by other shiny new heritage projects or other transport developments of late.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2019, 05:31:37 pm »

OK, you pointed me in the right direction: The March 2019 edition of The Trow (which you can find here: https://cotswoldcanals.com/the-trow-archive/) explains that the intent is to build a new, lower level channel alongside the River Frome where it passes under the M5.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2019, 05:31:58 pm »

I'm really pleased to read this.  Cheesy I grew up in (or very near) Stroud and remember as a child walking along or on top of the canal, as most of the route west of the town and round the town had been infilled with rubbish at some previous time. It's so much more pleasant now and all makes sense rather than being isolated stretches. (I also remember walking along the trackbed of the old Midland line there and jumping from sleeper to sleeper on an old bridge – all now turned into a cycle path.)
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2019, 07:01:44 pm »

OK, you pointed me in the right direction: The March 2019 edition of The Trow (which you can find here: https://cotswoldcanals.com/the-trow-archive/) explains that the intent is to build a new, lower level channel alongside the River Frome where it passes under the M5.

I think going into the Frome itself was considered too risky by the Environment Agency for reasons of flooding and ecosystem, so the "separate but parallel" solution was arrived at.

The Highways England grant is superb news. The third obstacle, after the A38/A419 and the M5, is of course the Bristol-Gloucester railway: but I believe the intention is to construct a culvert there at the same time as a long-planned engineering closure, coming up in a couple of years.

I'm hoping Phase 1B will be complete before we move our mooring from Worcester - as another long-term CCT member (and the original creator of their map) I can't wait to take our boat to Stroud for the first time.

(A pedant writes: this bit is of course the Stroudwater Navigation rather than the Thames & Severn Canal.)
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johnneyw
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2019, 01:05:34 pm »

All this helpfully reminds me that it's about time to get the train to Stonehouse or Stroud to do my once or twice yearly stroll to inspect the progress for myself. A lot of dredging in progress last time I was there, up towards Brimscombe which should be pretty much done by now.
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