Landslide disruption on the Basingstoke Canal

Basingstoke Gazette: Trees have fallen across the canal and land has slipped on either side of the waterway Trees have fallen across the canal and land has slipped on either side of the waterway

A LANDSLIDE has caused more disruption to traffic on the Basingstoke Canal.

After weeks of heavy rain, land on both sides of the 32-mile waterway slipped at Dogmersfield, at the site of a previous landslide in March last year.

Several trees also fell across the canal during the landslide on Monday, February 10.

Hampshire County Council has closed the Basingstoke Canal, as well as the towpath, while engineers inspect the site.

Roger Cansdale, press officer at the Basingstoke Canal Society, said the canal has narrowed as a result of the landslide, making it impossible for the John Pinkerton II passenger barge to pass through.

The society’s boat, based at Colt Hill Wharf, Odiham, raises money for the group of volunteers to help maintain the 32-mile waterway.

Mr Cansdale said: “It is a blow. The boating season does not start until Easter but how much they will clear before then could be a moot point.

“The canal is now severely narrow, just five metres wide.”

He said the society had planned to take the boat to Woking for a trip for councillors, and use it at the Farnborough Air Show in July.

In a statement, Hampshire County Council, one of two authorities responsible for the waterway, said the canal will remain shut for safety reasons, and that the towpath will remain closed “for some time”.

It added: “Currently, there is no formal timescale for repairs. However, the work to re-establish the towpath will happen as part of the large scale engineering works to reinstate the whole landslip area. Hampshire County Council’s engineers are still coming up with the engineering solution at present.”

As reported in The Gazette, the previous landslide in March last year affected 30 yards of the canal, which runs from Greywell, near Odiham, to Woking.

It meant that barges celebrating the opening of the newly-refurbished locks at Deepcut, Surrey, a £1.7million project, could only get as far as Dogmersfield, from Woking.

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