UK Inland Waterway Size Restrictions in Metric Units

Compiled by John Russell [email protected]. Converted from Excel to the web by Clive Worrall. John's comments: "All dimensions are in metres. 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 - METRIC VERSION     (Revised 17 Jan 01)
Waterway Length Width Draft Air Draft Location     (Br = Bridge>   m = metres    < = Greater than)
Aire & Calder 43.28 5.39 2.29 3.73  
Ashby Canal No Locks 2.13 1.07 1.98 Br 15 (2.26m), Br 17 (2.21m), Snareston Tunnel (1.91m)
Avon River (Stratford) 21.34 4.11 1.22 3.05  
Basingstoke Canal 22.1 4.11 0.76* 2.29 Airdraft Fleet to Greywell 1.52m.    *Draft <1.1m as far as Ash reported
Bridgewater Canal (PrestonBrook-Leigh,Castlefield-Waters Meeting) 21.34 4.5 1.22 2.59 Preston Brook tunnel reported low
Calder & Hebble Navigation 17.53 4.3 1.52 2.74 Wakefield to Broadcut Top lock - Length 36.58 Width 5.33, Draft 1.98, AirDraft 3.35
Caldon (Etruria-Hazlehurst Junction) 21.34 2.13 1.02 1.71 Br 8,9,15,18,22 reported low & Stockton Brook Locks
Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation 18.29 4.88 0.61 1.83  
Chesterfield 21.95 2.13* 1.07 2.13 Airdrafts lower than 2.08m reported     * Stockwith-Retford 2.84m
Coventry 21.95 2.13 1.07 1.98 Caution at Br 13. Bridges 56 & 65 reported low - no airdraft given
Forth & Clyde Canal (Scotland) 21.34 5.94      
Fossdike Canal (Torksey-Lincoln) 22.71 4.6 1.52 2.69  
Grand Canal (Ireland) 18.29 3.96      
Grand Union Canal (London-Braunston) 21.95 4.27 1.07 2.29 Braunston & Blisworth Tunnels 1.98m at edges
Grand Union Canal (Braunston-Birmingham) 21.95 3.81* 1.07 2.29* *Blue Lias br subsidence reported (Width & Height), Leamington br (reported low - no airdraft given)
Grand Union Canal (Trent-Foxton) 21.95 2.13 1.07 2.29 Br 61 reported low, Br 6 on Mkt Hbrh Arm 2.29m.  Caution at Foxton Locks - Lock Gate footboards. *Leicester-Foxton 4.27m, Foxton-Mkt Harborough 3.01m
Grand Union Canal (Northampton Branch) 21.95 2.13 1.07 2.29 Br 5 (Lift Bridge). Br 13(2.01m), 14(2.13m) reported low
Grand Union (Slough Branch) No locks 4.27 1.07 2.29 Caution: Br 7
Huddersfield Broad Canal 17.53 4.3 0.79 2.82  
Kennet & Avon Canal 21.95 4.18 1.07 2.29 Newbury br reported low. Care needed at Bristol Harbour moveable br
Llangollen 21.34 2.08 0.61 2.29 Ellesmere & Chirk tunnels + Grindley Brook Lk footboards reported low. Care needed at all locks
Leeds & Liverpool Canal (Including Rufford & Leigh Branches) 18.9 4.27 1.1 2.44 Gannow & Foulridge tunnels reported low
Lee, River 26.82 4.75 2.1 2.4* Overall Airdraft 2.4m    * 2.1m airdraft on 2 bridges near Hertford
Nene, River 23.77 3.96 1.22 2.13 Northampton South Br (2.44m)
Macclesfield Canal (Marple-Kidsgrove (incl Bosley Locks)) 21.34 2.13 0.91   Airdraft reported in excess of 2.08m
Medway (Allington Lock -Maidstone) 54.86 6.1 1.98 3.2  
Medway (Maidstone - Tonbridge) 24.38 5.64 1.68* 2.59 *Draught 1.22m above Hampstead Lock
Middle Level: Twenty Foot River 21.95 4.27 1.07 2.13 Caution: Whittlesey Bend (sharp, narrow bend), Infields Br reported low
Montgomery 21.95 2.13 1.07 2.29  
Ouse, River Great (St Neots - Earith) 30.48 3.2 0.91 2.74  
Ouse, River Great (Earith - Denver) 21.34 3.81 0.91 3.66  
Ouse, River Yorkshire (Trent Falls - Naburn) 45.72 3.66 2.59    
Ouse, River Yorkshire (Naburn-York) 45.72 7.77 2.59 7.77  
Oxford-South 21.95 2.13 1.01 2.13* Br 145, 146, 165, 168, 173, 179, 181, 183, 188, 190, 194, 198, 200 ,213, 214, 215 reported low
Oxford -North 21.95 2.13 1.07 2.13 Caution at Br 80, 75, 71(2.21m - variable),  66, 50, 43, 14, 4
Upper Peak Forest (Marple-Whaley Bridge & Buxworth) 21.34 2.13 0.91   Airdraft reported in excess of 2.03m. Note: Marple Locks passable with care.
Lower Peak Forest 21.34 2.13 0.91   Hyde Bank & Woodley tunnels plus several bridges reported low
Regents 23.77 4.42 1.37 2.74 Islington & Maida Hill Tunnels reported 2.1m
Rochdale (Sowerby Bridge-Todmorden) 22.56 4.3 1.22 2.74 Care needed at Walkleys Clog Factory Br
Selby Canal 23.93 5.03 1.83 3.05  
Sheffield & South Yorks. Navigation (Keadby - Sheffield) 18.75 4.72 1.83 3.05  
Shropshire Union Canal (incl Middlewich Branch) 21.34 2.13* 1 2.44 Care needed with footboards on Tyrley & Audlem locks *Width 4.27m Ellesmere Port-Nantwich (Pinch point 3.35m at Ellesmere Port New Road br)
Soar, River 21.95 4.27 1.01 2.29  
Staffs & Worcs (Great Heywood-Autherley Junct) 21.95 2.13 0.91 2.29 Autherley-Stourport awaiting report - believe lock bridges + Cookley & Dunsley tunnels low
Stort, River 26.82 4.05 1.22 2.1* Roydon & Sawbridgeworth Railway Brs reported low  (*less than 2.1m after heavy rainfall)
Thames, River 33.22* 4.27* 0.91* 2.31** **Osney Br.  *Dimensions: Oxford-Lechlade.  (Greater on lower reaches)
Trent, River 72.24 5.94 2.21 3.35  
Trent & Mersey Canal 21.34 2.13 1.01 1.71 Br 3,5,30,32,50,51,87,114,115,165 + Harecastle,Barnton,Saltersford tunnels reported low. Lock 41 passable Sanny Stn side
Witham Navigable Drains 21.95 5.49 1.07 2.44 Note: Dimensions quoted are via Antons Gowt Lock. Otherwise Length 18.29m,Width 3.35m
Wey River 22.4 4.21 0.76* 1.83 *Draft reported <1.1m Weybridge - Guildford


Link to main canals page.