The Millennium Ribble Link

Another page which, like the Falkirk Wheel, does not feature a bridge, strictly speaking. The Ribble Link is nevertheless worthy of inclusion as one of the most important developments in sustainable transport to commemorate the new Millennium.

Two hundred years ago, the Lancaster Canal project ran into severe financial difficulties, with the result that whereas the canal extended all the way from Preston to Kendal, including an aqueduct over the Lune at Lancaster, connection to the rest of the country's canal network via an aqueduct over the Ribble was not secured. For a while, a link between the Lancaster Canal and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was maintained by a tramway (now serving as a cycle path running out of Preston on the south side of the Ribble).

A connection by water between the Lancaster Canal and the Leeds and Liverpool remained a dream until the Ribble Link Trust and Canal and River Trust took up the challenge of making the link in an ambitious Millennium project. The original idea of an aqueduct over the river Ribble was completely impracticable, and the new scheme involved the canalization of the Savick Brook down to the Ribble estuary. Onward connection to the Leeds and Liverpool is via the River Douglas and the Rufford branch canal. 

The project was completed in 2002, and the new canal was formally adopted by British Waterways as part of the network.

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