UK Inland Waterway Size Restrictions in English Units

Compiled by John Russell [email protected]. Converted from Excel to the web by Clive Worrall. John's comments: "All dimensions are in feet/inches. They are best guesses only and have been given in good faith. No guarantees. Many thanks to all those who have supplied me with the above details. I would be most grateful for any additional information which will be included in subsequent amendments. Please notify me of any errors or omissions."

Changes from the previous version (of May 2000): The changes are mainly to the Southern Oxford and the GUC (Northampton & Leicester arms) plus the Rivers Lee, Stort, Soar, Thames & Wey. I have also been asked by the Dutch Barge Association to include the River Medway, which is now featured.

WATERWAY GAUGES     (Revised 17 Jan 01)
Waterway Length Width Draft Air Draft Location     (Br = Bridge     < = Greater than)
Aire & Calder 142ft 17ft 8ins 7ft 6ins 12ft 3ins  
Ashby Canal No Locks 7ft 3ft 6ins 6ft 6ins Br 15 (89ins), 17 (87ins), Snareston Tunnel (75ins)
Avon River (Stratford) 70ft 13ft 6ins 4ft 10ft  
Basingstoke Canal 72ft 6ins 13ft 6ins 2ft 6ins* 7ft 6ins Fleet to Greywell 5ft   *Draft <3ft 6ins as far as Ash reported
Bridgewater Canal (PrestonBrook-Leigh,Castlefield-Waters Meeting) 70 ft 14ft 9ins 4ft 8ft 6ins Preston Brook tunnel reported low
Calder & Hebble Navigation 57ft 6ins 14ft 2ins 5ft 9ft Wakefield to Broadcut Top lock - Length 120ft, Width 17ft 6ins, Draft 6ft 6ins, Air Draft 11ft
Caldon (Etruria-Hazlehurst Junction) 70ft 7ft 3ft 4ins 5ft 9ins Br 8,9,15,18,22 reported low & Stockton Brook Locks
Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation 60ft 16ft 2ft 6ft  
Chesterfield 72ft 7ft* 3ft 6ins 7ft Airdrafts lower than 6ft 10ins reported   * Width Stockwith-Retford 9ft 3ins
Coventry 72ft 7ft 3ft 6ins 6ft 6ins Caution at Br 13. Bridges 56 & 65 reported low - no airdraft given
Forth & Clyde Canal (Scotland) 70ft 19ft 6ins      
Fossdike Canal (Torksey-Lincoln) 74ft 6ins 15ft 2ins 5ft 8ft 10ins  
Grand Canal (Ireland) 60ft 13ft      
Grand Union Canal (London-Braunston) 72ft 14ft 3ft 6ins 7ft 6ins Braunston & Blisworth Tunnels 6ft 6ins at edges
Grand Union Canal (Braunston-Birmingham) 72ft 12ft 5ins* 3ft 6ins 7ft 6ins* *Blue Lias br subsidence reported (Width & Height), Leamington br (reported low - no airdraft given)
Grand Union Canal (Norton Junction-Leicester*)incl Mkt Harborough Arm 72ft 7ft 3ft 6ins 7ft 6ins Br 61 reported low, Br 6 on Mkt Hbrh Arm 7ft 6ins. Caution at Foxton Locks - Lock gate footboards.  *Leicester-Foxton 14ft, Foxton-Mkt Harborough 12ft 6ins
Grand Union Canal (Northampton Branch) 72ft 7ft 3ft 6ins 7ft 6ins Br 5 (Lift Bridge), 13 (6ft 9ins), 14 (7ft)
Grand Union (Slough Branch) No locks 14ft 3ft 6ins 7ft 6ins Caution: Br 7
Huddersfield Broad Canal 57ft 6ins 14ft 2ins 2ft 9ins 9ft 3ins  
Kennet & Avon Canal 72ft 13ft 10ins 3ft 6ins 7ft 6ins Newbury br reported low. Care needed at Bristol Harbour moveable br
Llangollen 70ft 6ft 10ins 2ft 7ft 6ins Ellesmere & Chirk tunnels + Grindley Brook Lk footboards reported low. Care needed at all locks
Leeds & Liverpool Canal (Including Rufford & Leigh Branches) 62ft 14ft 3ft 9ins 8ft Gannow & Foulridge tunnels reported low
Lee, River 88ft 15ft 9ins 6ft 9ins 7ft 10ins* Overall airdraft 7ft 10ins     *6ft 10ins on two bridges near Hertford
Nene, River 13ft 4ft 4ft   Northampton South Br (8ft)
Macclesfield Canal (Marple-Kidsgrove (incl Bosley Locks)) 70ft 7ft 3ft   Airdraft reported in excess of 6ft 10ins
Medway (Allington Lock - Maidstone) 180ft 20ft 6ft 6ins 10ft 6ins  
Medway (Maidstone - Tonbridge) 80ft 18ft 6ins 5ft 6ins* 8ft 6ins *Draught 4ft above Hampstead Lock
Middle Level: Twenty Foot River 72ft 14ft 3ft 6ins 7ft Caution: Whittlesey Bend (sharp, narrow bend), Infields Br reported low
Montgomery 72ft 7ft 3ft 6ins 7ft 6ins  
Ouse, River Great (St Neots - Earith) 100ft 10ft 6ins 3ft 9ft  
Ouse, River Great (Earith - Denver) 70ft 12ft 6ins 3ft 12ft  
Ouse, River Yorkshire (Trent Falls - Naburn) 150ft 12ft 8ft 6ins    
Ouse, River Yorkshire (Naburn-York) 150ft 25ft 6ins 8ft 6ins 25ft 6ins  
Oxford-South 72ft 7ft 3ft 3ins 7ft Br 145, 146, 165, 168, 173, 179, 181, 183, 188, 190, 194, 198, 200, 213, 214, 215 reported low
Oxford -North 72ft 7ft 3ft 6ins 7ft Caution at Br 80, 75, 71(87ins - variable), 66, 50, 43, 14, 4
Upper Peak Forest (Marple - Whaley Bridge & Buxworth) 70ft 7ft 3ft   Airdraft reported in excess of 6ft 10ins. Note: Marple Locks passable with care.
Lower Peak Forest 70ft 7ft 3ft   Hyde Bank & Woodley tunnels plus several bridges reported low
Regents 78ft 14ft 6ins 4ft 6ins 8ft 10ins Islington & Maida Hill Tunnels reported 6ft 10ins
Rochdale (Sowerby Bridge-Todmorden) 74ft 14ft 2ins 4ft 9ft Care needed at Walkleys Clog Factory Br
Selby Canal 78ft 6ins 16ft 6ins 6ft 10ft  
Sheffield & South Yorks. Navigation (Keadby - Sheffield) 61ft 6ins 15ft 6ins 6ft 10ft  
Shropshire Union Canal (incl Middlewich Branch) 70ft 7ft* 3ft 4ins 8ft Care needed with footboards on Tyrley & Audlem locks *Width 14ft Ellesmere Port-Nantwich (Pinch Point 11ft at Ellesmere Port new Road Bridge)
Soar, River 72ft 14ft 3ft 6ins 7ft 6ins  
Staffs & Worcs (Great Heywood-Autherley Junct) 72ft 7ft 3ft 7ft 6ins Autherley-Stourport awaiting report - believe lock bridges + Cookley & Dunsley tunnels low
Stort, River 88ft 13ft 4ins 4ft 6ft 3ins* Roydon & Sawbridgeworth Railway Brs reported low  (*less than 6ft 3ins after heavy rainfall)
Thames, River 109ft* 14ft* 3ft* 7ft 6ins** **Osney Br 7ft 6ins.  *Dimensions: Oxford-Lechlade (Greater on lower reaches)
Trent, River 237ft 19ft 6ins 7ft 3ins 11ft  
Trent & Mersey Canal 70ft 7ft 3ft 4ins 5ft 9ins Br 3,5,30,32,50,51,87,114,115,165 + Harecastle,Barnton,Saltersford tunnels reported low. Lock 41 passable Sanny Stn side
Trent & Mersey Canal (Shardlow - Burton, Preston Brook-Croxton) 70ft 13ft 6ins 3ft 4ins 5ft 9ins  
Witham Navigable Drains 72ft 18ft 3ft 6ins 8ft Note: Dimensions quoted are via Antons Gowt Lock. Otherwise Length 60ft,Width 11ft
Wey River 73ft 6ins 13ft 10ins 2ft 6ins* 6ft * Draft reported <3ft 6ins Weybridge-Guildford
 


Link to main canals page.