Canal towpath shut more than a year

Update on the Lisson Grove towpath closure.

Was closed for towpath works – quite common, this occurs every few years or so when maintenance work is conducted on the power cables that lie beneath the towpath. This was supposed to reopen in October 2014. Never did. The date was revised to July 2015. A new notice that month (shown below) revised the date further into the future. Its now July 2016 and the towpath is still closed!

What is the problem with the towpath?

The ‘problem’ appears to be the tunnel section (Canal & River Trust likes to call it a ‘bridge.’)

It appears there is a lot of oil ingress inside the tunnel (funny thing is this was never a problem before… )

Large sheets of black plastic has been placed on the tunnel’s arch to try and divert the leaking oil away from the cables and the canal itself.

It’s clear from observations the towpath is quite saturated with oil.

The concern apparently is the electricity cables beneath the surface of the towpath. I suppose the closure is to prevent anyone getting zapped with thousands of volts of electricity if they stepped on a damp patch of oil atop the towpath, or perhaps worse still, slip and fall into the seriously polluted canal.

Observations seem to indicate the state of the tunnel isnt getting any better, as seen in the picture above, and so it will remain closed for yet some time, especially as there seems to be nobody actively interested in sorting the problem on this important walkway which benefits London’s tourism.

The following report from Labour Westminster Little Venice Ward gives a few extra details (funny that the towpath is actually in Labour’s Church Street ward – confusing!)

**Note: The London Area Manager for Canal & River Trust is Jon Guest.

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