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Millennium Ribble Link, Lancaster Canal
from Lancaster Canal near Haslam Park, Preston, to River Ribble near Lea Marsh, Lancashire
Millennium Ribble Link, Lancaster Canal
associated engineer
Ove Arup & Partners
date  2001 - 20 September 2002
era  Modern  |  category  Canal/Navigation works  |  reference  SD510312
photo  Paul Dunkerley
The 4.5km long Millennium Ribble Link was the first new English canal to be constructed for over 100 years. It is the result of a lengthy campaign to link Lancaster Canal to the rest of the UK canal network.
Construction of the Link required the widening of 2.5km of the existing Savick Brook. It led to the addition of four new bridges, nine locks (seven canal, one river and one sea lock), 3km of footway and cycleway, and a sculpture trail.
From the section of the Lancaster Canal main line that separates Ingol in the north and Haslam Park in the south, the Link runs due south under a modern bridge that carries the towpath. From a basin, a flight of three locks known as the Ingol Staircase lowers the Link to the level of Savick Brook.
The Link then continues west under the B6241 (Tom Benson Way) and the 1840s Preston & Wyre Railway line, and southwest through Lea and Lea Marsh to a sea lock (SD 481288). There it gives access to the River Ribble, before continuing downstream and running via the River Asland (or Douglas) to the Rufford Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
Construction of the Link was funded by a 6m investment by the Heritage Lottery Millennium Commission, The Ribble Link Trust Ltd., Lancashire County Council, The Waterways Trust, and British Waterways. It marked the end of a campaign waged by local boat owner John Whittaker. The Official Opening was held on 27 September 2002, attended by the Rt. Hon Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The main line of the Lancaster Canal was opened in 1797 and was designed by John Rennie.
Main contractor: MJ Gleeson Group plc
research: PD and AJD

Millennium Ribble Link, Lancaster Canal