Boaters are to benefit from a £1.4 million investment into Anglian Waterways, as the Environment Agency launches its latest improvement programme.
The Capital Investment Programme sets out the repairs and upgrades being made across Anglian Waterways’ 353-mile network.
Eight locks across its most popular rivers are set for refurbishment. The seven-figure investment will ensure the structures remain in good working order for years to come.
The work covers locks at Wadenhoe, Woodford, Titchmarsh, Orton, Cotterstock, and Ashton on the River Nene, and Eaton Socon and Brandon on the River Great Ouse.
These are among the busiest locks on the Anglian Waterways network, giving access to around 7,000 boaters a year.
Work started in November 2017 and continues throughout the winter months, avoiding the peak boating season to minimise disruption for those on the river.
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The locks will have to close during the work to be drained of water and allow full access to the chambers and the gates. Boaters can get the latest information by signing up for email updates or calling the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 and asking for Anglian Waterways.
The investment programme will also include de-shoaling work on the rivers Great Ouse and Nene. This will remove underwater gravel that builds up naturally and can hamper navigation.
Also included are investigations into improving the Nene’s landing stages, where boaters can disembark, and upgrading control panels at the locks to the same model, making them consistent and easier to use and maintain across the region.
Neil Pope, Anglian Waterways assets team leader at the Environment Agency, said:
Our precious waterways are an important part of our nation’s rich heritage and beauty. They are a national treasure, valued for their contribution to our environment, our health and wellbeing, and our economy. We’re proud to play a part in caring for them, and we take that responsibility very seriously.
Maintaining them to a good, safe working standard is our number-one priority. We invest money very carefully to ensure the best value for every pound we spend. This means our waterways will continue to offer outstanding value to the many, many people who enjoy them every year.
The Environment Agency cares for more than 353 miles of navigable waterways in the Anglian region, as well as a vast network of associated facilities such as bridges, locks, moorings and toilets.
The two most popular rivers in this network – the Great Ouse and the Nene – attract more than 7,000 boaters and an estimated 1.1m other visitors every year.
Capital Investment Programme
The work in the agency’s investment programme is subject to change. The current schedule (7 December 2017) is:
- Wadenhoe Lock, River Nene, Northamptonshire: 3 January 2018 to 12 February 2018. Complete refurbishment.
- Woodford Lock, River Nene, Northamptonshire: 27 November 2017 to 22 December 2017 and 22 January 2018 to 23 February 2018. Complete refurbishment.
- Titchmarsh Lock, River Nene, Northamptonshire: 3 January 2018 to 16 March 2018. Complete refurbishment.
- Cotterstock Lock, River Nene, Northamptonshire: 22 January 2018 to 16 February 2018. Replacement of counterweight.
- Ashton Lock, River Nene, Northamptonshire: 16 February 2018 to 28 March 2018. Refurbishment of guillotine gate.
- Orton Lock, River Nene, Cambridgeshire: Dates to be confirmed. Re-painting.
- Landing stages, River Nene: November 2017 to April 2018. Investigate the possibility of additional landing stages along the Nene and repair existing ones.
- De-shoaling, River Nene: Dates to be confirmed. Remove gravel impacting navigation.
- Eaton Socon, River Great Ouse, Cambridgeshire: February 2018. Replace sweep arms on the mitre gates.
- Brandon Lock, River Great Ouse, Suffolk: March 2018. Repair footbridge walkway.
- De-shoaling, River Great Ouse: Dates to be confirmed. Remove gravel impacting navigation.