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Grand Union Canal

The Grand Union Canal is part of the British canal system. Its main line connects London and Birmingham, stretching for 220 km (137 miles) with 166 locks.It has arms to places including Leicester, Slough, Aylesbury, Wendover and Northampton.

The Grand Union Canal was also the original name for part of what is now part of the Leicester Line of the modern Grand Union: this latter is now generally referred to as the Old Grand Union Canal where necessary to avoid ambiguity.

With competition from the railways having taken a large share of traffic in the second half of the 19th century, improvements in roads and vehicle technology in the early part of the 20th century meant that the lorry was also becoming a threat to the canals. Tolls had been reduced to compete with the railways, but there was little scope for further reduction. The Regent’s Canal and Grand Junction Canal agreed that amalgamation and modernisation were the only way to remain competitive.

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