Birmingham City Council

Canals: Grand Junction Part 3

The journey through Warwick was certainly shorter, but there were more locks and it was possibly no quicker as a result. The tolls charged ought to have been less (tolls were charged per mile), but the Warwick and Napton had to pay the Oxford Canal compensation tolls on each boat. The charges were similar enough for the two routes to cut the tolls to gain the traffic from the other route. In 1810 the Coventry and Warwick companies agreed toll rates to stop the price-cutting.

The Grand Junction company thrived, in 1810 it carried 343,560 tons of goods through London, about equal amounts into and out of the capital. It had so much water at the London end that it set up its own public water supply company. The summit level at Tring suffered from a considerable shortage of water, not helped by the amount of traffic passing. it wasn't until 1838 that a new reservoir and pump at Tring solved the situation. In the same year work started on a parallel set of locks at Stoke Bruerne. The canal had become heavily congested in that section

The London and Birmingham Railway was completed in 1838. The canal companies tended to work together to reduce tolls in competition with the railway. Only the Oxford Canal seemed reluctant to cut tolls. The reductions actually saw an increase in traffic on most of the canals. Unfortunately the companies made rather less profit and some losses.
Canals: Grand Junction - Part 4