|Croxton embankment. Picture from CRT|
When the Trent & Mersey Canal breached at Dutton and came within a whisker of doing so at Croxton, leading to stoppages at both sites there was a widespread feeling amongst boaters that the closures would be long-term. The Canal & River Trust's (CRT) aspirations for a Christmas re-opening for Croxton, followed by Dutton at Easter were treated with much scepticism. But all must agree that one thing CRT has been good at throughout is keeping affected boaters, such as me, informed of progress, with regular email and website updates. The re-opening for Croxton was first brought forward to "early December" and today an email update has arrived telling us that:At Croxton, progress on the ground has been excellent, so much so that we are delighted that we are going to be able to reopen the canal to navigation earlier than we first thought. The anticipated date for this is now Tuesday 27th November.
So that's one in the eye for the sceptics and excellent news for Starcross, which may now finally reach its new home at Uplands Basin only two months later than intended. The "aspiration" for Dutton remains at Easter.
Unfortunately, the appeal fund opened by CRT to enable boaters - and others - to contribute towards the cost of the re-opening seems to have stalled at less than £15,000. (about 1% of the predicted cost). In recognition of the Trust's determination to complete the work ahead of time I've been inspired to put my hand in my pocket again. If you've not already done so, here's the link.