Beds, Herts & Bucks

Grand Union Canal lock collapse near Aylesbury strands boats

Narrowboat being lifted out of river in Aylesbury, Bucks
Image caption The boats began to be lifted out of the canal after being stranded in Aylesbury

About 20 boats are being recovered by a crane after a lock off the Grand Union canal collapsed, leaving them stranded.

The lock in Buckland, Buckinghamshire, collapsed on 28 March, leaving boats in the nearby town of Aylesbury unable to connect back to the main waterway.

The Canal and River Trust said the boats would be pulled out this week and reunited with their owners.

The cause of the collapse is unknown, but the charity estimated the damage at "several hundred thousand pounds".

The trust said it was called about the lock by a passing member of the public, but no boat was using it at the time.

Work began earlier to move the boats, which are being taken by lorry to the Willowbridge Marina in Bletchley.

Image caption The Victorian lock is expected to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to repair

Jeff Whyatt, senior waterways manager for the Canal and River Trust, said: "We are still working on how and why the towpath and lock wall at Buckland Lock collapsed and hopefully we'll have a clearer idea in the next few weeks when our investigations are complete.

"Thankfully, no-one was hurt and we are working as quickly as we can to get the lock and the Aylesbury arm back open as soon as possible."

It is hoped the repair work would be completed by the August bank holiday weekend.

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