A £300,000 scheme to connect the two stretches of water at Dudbridge has been washed away after the recent storms caused the canal to flood resulting in damage to the lock.

As a result of the canal overflowing on New Year’s Day during the bad weather the newly laid towpath surface has been worn away leading to the collapse of three metres of the lock wall.

According to Stroud District Council’s canal partnership manager Dave Marshall a metal grille, which was placed at the entrance to the culvert at the top lock for safety reasons, became blocked with floating debris as a result of the storm.

“This debris creates a dam that prevents the excess water passing around the locks in the bywash and instead causes the water to back up and flow over the top of the canal edge and into the channel between the locks and out onto the towpath,” said Mr Marshall.

Plans are already in place to redesign the system so that debris is deflected away from the safety grille however in the short term the top and bottom lock gates of the lower lock will be left open at times of expected heavy flow.