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Caledonian Canal impassable until next week due to broken swing bridge

Crews have been at the Gairlochy Swing Bridge today to try and fix the equipment.

Google Maps image of Gairlochy Swing Bridge.
Boaters need to get past the Gairlochy Swing Bridge to get from one end of the Caledonian Canal to the other. Image: Google

Boaters using the Caledonian Canal have been urged to consider alternative routes due to the Gairlochy swing bridge being shut over the weekend.

It is understood an issue with the gearbox in the 200-year-old crossing has caused it to break down.

Repairs are not expected to be made until next week at the earliest with crews already working on the bridge today.

Boaters advised to stay away from Gairlochy swing bridge

The disruption, which has already lasted several days, has affected many boat owners travelling along the Caledonian Canal during the warm weather.

It is understood one group of boat owners on a voyage around the UK only learned of the issue when they arrived at the Gairlochy swing bridge to discover it out of commission.

One boat owner explained that those who can removed their masts are being allowed past the bridge but those with fixed masts are being advised to wait or make alternative plans.

Scottish Canals has told the Press & Journal that boaters should consider alternative routes while Gairlochy Swing Bridge is closed at the south end of Loch Lochy.

A spokeswoman said: “Gairlochy Swing Bridge on the Caledonian Canal is currently closed to navigation due to a mechanical fault.

“Our specialist teams are working hard to resolve this issue however, we do anticipate that the closure will continue over the weekend and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“We will keep all our customers up to date and keep them informed of any changes to their transits and will provide them with the opportunity to reschedule their visit and value their patience as we carry out essential works to this 200-year-old asset.

“We would advise any boater planning to transit the Caledonian Canal from coast to coast in the next few days, and for whom a limited time schedule for their transit is important, to consider alternative routes.”

The history of the Caledonian Canal: Who built the great canal?