Whilst thanking all 800 donors who have raised so much already, David and Sheila Suchet gave the Appeal a further personal boost during their visit to the Braunston Historic Narrowboat Festival in June.

Half-way there and David Suchet and Bob Williams discuss "Seeing it through" at the Braunston Historic Boat Rally in June 2018.

View a 'Tunnel Vision' presentation at Shorthand Social

Watch a video of the campaign launch at the 2017 London Boat Show

David and Sheila Suchet visited the site of the proposed tunnel under the railway in June 2016

The Lichfield Canal has to tunnel under the busy Cross-city railway line from Lichfield to Birmingham through a well-elevated embankment, a difficult obstacle in terms of railway management, especially where there are foundations for overhead line electrification equipment as there are in this case.

In 2007, despite those in the “it can’t be done” camp, when the Lichfield Southern Bypass was to reach Birmingham Road the Trust raised £490,000 without grants to install a canal culvert under the new roadway, stopping just short of the railway embankment. Plans by County Highways to extend the Southern Bypass are well advanced where there is a vital Agreement in Principle with Network Rail to drive the road through and install a new railway bridge during a brief possession of the line, probably in late 2019. That means work must begin many months before that.

Design specifications mean that the road and canal culvert have to stand apart by a short distance with the culvert still below road level, which obviously could have a dynamic influence on the bridge abutments. The work is such that it would be immensely more difficult and substantially more expensive to construct the culvert after the road is completed, and particularly so if proposals for two 400+ house developments either side of the railway go ahead.

Donate easily and securely with PayPal, Total Giving or by Text

100% of the money donated through TotalGiving goes to the Trust - there are no fees.

Donate by text - Text LICH20 £5 to 70070  


You can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 by text.

100% of your donation goes to the Trust. Standard text charges may also apply.


Birmingham Road roundabout and beyond it the railway embankment through which the new bypass road and canal will be tunnelled. A culvert for the canal has already been installed under the roundabout at the time of its construction in 2007. 


February 2007 and the culvert is nearing completion. The line of the canal can be seen heading towards the middle catenary support. The catenary is the main reason the road and canal tunnels have to be separated. Read more...


An artist’s impression by Peter Buck and Andrew Wood looking towards the southern bypass (Falkland Road) with the new canal tunnel on the left and the new road bridge on the right.


A culvert has already been installed under the roundabout on the opposite side of the railway embankment to connect with the new tunnel. Below is a close up of the area marked in yellow.

A birds eye view of the the site. Roll your mouse over or click picture to see the proposed development in a sketch by Peter Buck.


Proposed Layout for the Lichfield Canal and Southern Bypass


Picture taken in July 2018 by Andy Starkey (of the Lichfield wedding band Punch The Air).

Whilst routine works still go ahead with modest funding streams, professional estimates put the cost of this railway tunnel around £1 million. In reality, this must be in hand by early 2019 so that contract commitments by the County Council can be made with certainty. It can be done, it must be done, but institutional funding is not the answer. Success depends on the heart of the nation in responding to the Lichfield Canal “Tunnel Vision” Appeal.

  Donate directly with PayPal - no account needed    

David Suchet Appeal Donation

Add a donation to your basket and continue shopping for merchandise or event tickets

Amount to donate

Gift Aid *

* please select YES if you are a qualifying UK taxpayer, see the Gift Aid declaration below.

Your basket will appear in the top right corner

Make a one-off donation of any amount, or a repeating amount, directly through PayPal

* please use this button if you are a qualifying UK taxpayer, see the Gift Aid declaration below.

LHCRT takes your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you have requested from us. Your details will not be passed to any third party.

   More ways to donate...

Download and print the Tunnel Vision form

Return the form to our Treasurer at:

29 Hall Lane,
Staffs. WS7 0JP

Donate with PayPal...
No need for an account

Donate with TotalGiving...
100% goes to the Trust

* If you are a taxpayer then Gift Aid can make your donation worth more. For every £1 you give us we get an extra 25p from the Inland Revenue. Just select "yes" to the Gift Aid above to allow us to reclaim tax on the amount you have paid. It’s that simple.

GIFT AID DECLARATION-  "I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year it is my responsibility to pay any difference."

The Trust reserves the right to apply funding at its discretion. The money may be used for other road crossings if the railway tunnel is seriously delayed.

“Lichfield Canal Trust” is a business name of the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust Limited Reg. No. 2456172, and a Registered Charity No. 702429


Home Page
About Us
Contact Us
News Index

Registered Office: 
Island House, Moor Road
Chesham, Buckinghamshire

Registered in England
 No. 2456172

Registered Charity
No. 702429

VAT registration
No. 823 8213 41 

LHCRT is a member of the 

Inland Waterways Association

and the

Staffordshire Waterways Group

Website design by Paul Marshall

Copyright (c) Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust 2016