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The Ribble Link opened in 2002, and at that time it was Great Britain's newest inland waterway until the opening of the Liverpool Link in 2009.
The four-mile link connects the once-isolated Lancaster Canal with the main navigable system via a canalisation of the Savick Brook which is tidal in its lower reaches. The Link runs around the outskirts of Preston and flows into the River Ribble. From there it uses the River Douglas to connect with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Rufford Branch.
The channel has been widened to allow navigation by 10 ft 6 in beam boats.
Starting from the Lancaster Canal, the Ribble Link descends about 59 feet (18 metres) by means of: A staircase of three locks - four conventional locks - one lock which is semi-tidal at its lower end a rotating sector gate (originally planned as a lock) only passable around high tide.
The Ribble Link was indefinitely closed during 2006 with British Waterways citing that the appearance of voids meant that the last section was too dangerous to operate for both British Waterways staff and boaters. After dredging and infilling behing lock chambers during the winter of 2006-7, the link was re-opened on 6 April 2007.