Toppled crane in canal at Apperley Bridge is shifted after four weeks (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Marina owner unhappy by delays in reopening canal
A 90-ton crane which has been on its side in the Leeds-Liverpool Canal after an accident more than four weeks ago has been shifted.
Two 200-ton cranes had to be used to lift the all-terrain vehicle, which overturned into the water when a towpath gave way at Apperley Bridge on February 9.
The crane’s removal took from 7am until 1.30pm on Wednesday and means the canal should re-open by the end of the month. The heavy duty machine was being used by the Canal & River Trust to replace lock gates at Dobson Locks on the 200-year old canal, as part of the Trust’s winter restoration and repair programme.
The Trust and crane owner, Specialist Crane Hire, have been working together to plan the removal of the vehicle which included the use of the two cranes to lift it into its upright position before removing it from the water.
Operations director at the Trust, Vince Moran, said: “Every winter the Trust carries out lock gate replacements and other essential repairs to our 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales.
“We’re still reviewing the circumstances behind this rare event and I am thankful that the driver or anyone nearby wasn’t injured.
“Now that the crane has been removed we’re aiming to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, including re-opening the canal by Easter.”
The upturned crane became something of a tourist attraction with walkers stopping to take pictures, but it held less appeal for Apperley Bridge Marina owner Steve Wright. He has threatened to report the Trust to the Waterways Ombudsman after the accident threatened long delays to the re-opening of the canal. Further work along the canal has also meant the marina was effectively landlocked through the winter.
He said: “It (the crane removal) now means we’ve now got a date for when the canal will reopen, which will be March 28. That’s 20 days later than it should have been. “I’m not happy about it. It will affect our business for 20 more days than we had allowed for.”
He said he would speak to the waterways charity one more time before going to the industry watchdog.