As most boaters know, there are severe water shortages on the canals, especially on the Grand Union, where the Tring Summit has been shut for weeks, and will only be opening for restricted access at the end of this month. All the details of the stoppages are at http://www.waterscape.com/things-to-do/boating/stoppages.
However, there is one that matters to us even more than the rest. The Northampton Arm. Our link to the canals, our one route out of the Fens. But it looks like travelling that route is going to be very difficult this year. According to the stoppage details below, it will only be open for specific weekends dependent on water availability.
Our style of cruising depends upon long days and unrestricted 'out-of-hours' access to locks. This year, flying down to London in 9 days the way we did last July is not going to be possible. I am just hoping that wherever we buy our new boat, if indeed we do buy one this year, we are able to get it back to the Fens!
Stoppage: Grand Union Canal Northampton Arm Locks 1-1713 Apr 2012 until further notice
Associated Regional Office: South East Waterways
From Friday 13th April, 3.00pm, the Northampton Arm will be closed to navigation.
The Arm is proposed to open for through traffic at specific weekends – the following period of opening has been confirmed with Northants IWA ; 3rd May (10.00am) to 8th May (3.00pm), when traffic will need to have cleared the Arm. Further openings to be advised, dependent on water availability.
(Enquiries: 01908 302 500)
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