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Canal to close over water shortage fears

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal near Chorley
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal near Chorley
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A 55-mile section of canal in Lancashire is to shut as the drought continues.

The section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal between Wigan and Skipton – which runs through Chorley and South Ribble – is to shut from July 30.

The closure, which will not affect the tow path, is due to ongoing concerns about water supply.

The Canal and River Trust said the route is likely to stay closed throughout August, unless there is significant rainfall.

Trust spokesman Daniel Greenhalgh said it had been “a difficult decision” to close the canal, and that it had been working with boating businesses to offer alternative routes.

The closure comes as reservoirs around the North West run dry after the longest spell of hot dry weather since the famous heatwave of 1976.

United Utilities has announced that a hosepipe ban will be coming in ti force from Sunday August 5.

Residents are asked to use water sparingly.