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Could the Derby canal work again?

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Could the Derby Canal work again? John Holmes took a walk along this once-thriving waterway

The Derby Canal was once a thriving transport corridor running 14 miles from the Trent and Mersey at Swarkestone to Derby and Little Eaton, and to the Erewash Canal at Sandiacre.

Dating back to 1796, the canal's main cargo was coal. The fuel was carried from the coal villages in mid Derbyshire by a tram road - the wagons were pulled by horses and then lifted from their wheels onto barges - perhaps the world's first example of containerisation.

But the canal was finally closed in 1964, after competition from the railways and roads made it no longer viable as a means of transporting freight.

The Derby Canal

Much of the waterway fell into disrepair - large swathes of it were built on, particularly in Derby where much of the canal is now lost beneath the ring road.

But the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Society has ambitious plans to restore the route of the canal and even re-open some stretches of the waterway.

At present, some parts of the canal towpath are still usable by walkers - other parts are no longer in service.

Decisions on the various planning applications necessary to achieve this are likely to be given in 2010.




SEE ALSO
Plans to reopen canal submitted
25 Jan 10 |  Derbyshire
A walk along the Cromford Canal
12 Nov 09 |  Nature & Outdoors

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