These historical maps are the work of the late Dr. Mike Stevens
Completion of the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction and the Macclesfield brought the fullest extent of the long-distance system. Only local links were going to be added to the system from now on.
Other smaller projects were also completed, including the "missing link" of the Grand Western Canal, completed as a tub-boat canal rather than a broad one as originally planned, to save money.
A proposal for a Manchester Ship Canal was quite different from the one that was built many years later. This one started from Liverpool and ran along the north side of the Mersey to Warrington and thence into Manchester.
The BCN still had problems of congestion, especially on Farmer's Bridge locks where the Birmingham & Fazeley leaves the city centre. Their response was to plan a northerly by-pass route, the Tame Valley Canal, from the Birmingham & Fazeley at Salford to the Walsall Canal. This inspired the Warwick Canals to build a branch (the Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canal) from the Birmingham end of their line to join the B&F also at Salford, thus forming a cross-waters.
The shape of things to come was seen when in 1836 the Croydon Canal sold out to a railway company who built their line over that of the canal for much of its length.