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Bradford Canal
legend
Urban transverse track Unknown route-map component "uJUNCa" Urban transverse track
Leeds and Liverpool Canal
Unknown route-map component "ugSTRfl"
Shipley
Unknown route-map component "ugmKRZu"
Railway embankment
Unwatered canal with floodgate down Pumping station
Windhill lock and pumphouse
Unknown route-map component "ugKRZuy"
Leeds Road - Windhill bridge
Unknown route-map component "ugKRZuy"
Briggate bridge
Unknown route-map component "ugSTAIRd" Unknown route-map component "ePUMPHOUSE"
Pricking Mill staircase (2 rise)
Unknown route-map component "ugKRZuy"
Poplar Road bridge
Unknown route-map component "ugSTAIRd" Unknown route-map component "ePUMPHOUSE"
Crag End staircase (3 rise)
Unknown route-map component "ugKRZuy"
Gaisby Lane bridge
Unknown route-map component "ugKRZuy"
Stanley Road bridge
Unknown route-map component "ugSTAIRd" Unknown route-map component "ePUMPHOUSE"
Oliver staircase (2 rise)
Unknown route-map component "ugKRZuy"
Bolton Lane bridge
Unknown route-map component "ugKRZuy"
Queens Road bridge
Unknown route-map component "ugKRZuy"
Kings Road (Tordoff Road) bridge
Unknown route-map component "ugSTAIRd" Unknown route-map component "ePUMPHOUSE"
Spink Well staircase (2 rise)
Unknown route-map component "ugWHARF"
Zetland Mills wharf (1872-1922)
Unknown route-map component "ugKRZuy"
Northbrook Street bridge
Unknown route-map component "ugSTRfr"
Bradford
Unknown route-map component "ugWHARF"
Hoppy Bridge wharf (1774-1867)

The Bradford Canal ran three and half miles through 10 locks from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Shipley[1] into the centre of Bradford.[2] It was granted an Act of Parliament in 1771 and opened in 1774, a year later than planned. The canal cost £9,424 14s 2d to build, about £3,500 over budget.

Initially the main cargo was stone, but, as time went by, wool and people became more important. The canal originally drew its water from Bradford Beck, but by the mid 19th century this was heavily polluted by the woollen industry discharging their waste into it, and it became known as 'The River Stink'. In 1866 a court order stopped the canal from using its main water source. The owners were then forced to close the canal. However, in 1870 the canal was reopened with different owners. The length was slightly shortened, and pumping stations were installed along the length to draw water from below the locks. The new owners immediately sold it to a coalition of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation for £27,000. The canal reached its peak for tonnage carried in 1910, but profits were minimal due to the cost of maintenance.

By 1922, traffic had declined to the point where an Act of Closure was passed on the canal. Over the years, much of the canal's route has been built upon and filled in. The only remaining part is its junction with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Shipley, but several of the bridges which once spanned it are still visible in whole or in part.

Contents

Regeneration plan

In the early years of the 21st century, there is a plan to rebuild the Bradford Canal. Among the many projects conceived in connection with Bradford's bid to be European Capital of Culture for 2008 (which competition was actually won by Liverpool), one was a scheme to recreate Bradford Canal. In 2004 Bradford Council, British Waterways, and Bradford Centre Regeneration jointly established a committee to investigate the possilities of a new canal. According to 'Canal Road News'[3], a full feasibility study has "concluded that reinstating Bradford Canal is feasible, represents value for money, and opens considerable development opportunities along the five-kilometre canal corridor".

Issue 1 of 'Canal Road News' shows a map of the proposed canal: it more or less follows the original path from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal as far as Queens Road bridge. But south of that bridge the map shows it crossing Canal Road, and continuing on the west (city) side of that road, past the Conditioning House and the proposed 'Channel Urban Village', and finishing at the bottom of Balme Street. The plan shows 11 locks. Another noteworthy item on the map, not directly related to the canal, is 'Potential Manningham Station' on the Airedale line.

According to a newspaper article of April 2006, "Ambitious plans for a new canal between Shipley and Bradford have been given a cautious welcome by members of the construction industry. ... After the presentation, many of the audience said the plans were exciting and could stimulate regeneration. But others were more cautious and questioned where funding would come from."[4]

See also

References

External links

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