LOCAL authorities have warned that there is 'no straightforward solution' to addressing low water levels on a stretch of the Sankey Canal.

Warrington Borough Council and Halton Borough Council are currently working to remedy the issue, which has arisen because of the closure of Fiddler's Ferry Power Station - which had pumped water into the canal and kept it flowing.

The loss of this water supply means levels are dropping in the 'new cut' stretch of canal that extends between Spike Island and Fiddler's Ferry.

Its original supply was lost when sections of the canal in north Warrington were filled in, having been out of use since 1963.

As previously reported, environmental experts had been deployed to the area in order to assess of fish in the watercourse before moving them to the Bridgewater Canal.

This has had a detrimental impact on the health of wildlife, as well as impacting upon angling clubs and boat owners.

HBC has provided an update on the situation, and says it remains 'committed to finding a solution' - although restoring water levels 'may take some time' as there are 'no solutions that are free of difficulty'.

New chief executive Stephen Young, who took over from David Parr at the end of March, said: "The Sankey Canal is an important feature of our borough.

"Halton Borough Council remains committed to the canal and working with partners to find a solution that allows it to continue as an important amenity, asset and wildlife corridor.

“However, this may mean that in the short to medium term our section of the canal will not be as local people have become used to since 1983.

“We are also committed to ensuring that any temporary arrangements do not hamper our longer term ambition of restoring the canal to navigation and maintaining the canal’s heritage value.”

For around 40 years, the canal was kept topped by a water supply at Fiddler's Ferry Power Station used as part of its electricity generating process. 

Over the past decade Halton and Warrington councils, together with the Sankey Canal & Restoration Society, have been working on a project to restore the canal to navigation between Spike Island and Fiddler's Ferry marinas.