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Canal lockage feels last summer’s heat

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CRT PRESS RELEASE

 

4 February 2019

 

Canal lockage feels last summer’s heat

 

The Canal & River Trust has published its Annual Lockage Report for 2018 which summarises the recorded usage of the locks across its 2,000 miles of waterways.

 

The Report compares 2018’s lock usage with the previous year and details an 11% reduction across 150 comparison sites.

 

Whilst lock usage was affected by the long hot summer and water resources shortages, which led to a number of lock restrictions and canal closures, on canals where there were no closures or restrictions, there was very little change in lockage, and some increases were seen.

 

The Report also highlights the success of the Trust’s 1,114 volunteer lock keepers which were present at 111 registered lock keeper sites. Together they recorded just under 140,000 hours of lock keeping, with a survey suggesting that on an average week around 3,410 locks full of water were saved by their help.

 

Once again, Hillmorton Lock 2 & 3 was the busiest site on the network, with a total of 8,621 lockages, followed by New Marton Lock on the Llangollen Canal with 7,866 lockages.

 

Adam Comerford, national hydrology manager at the Canal & River Trust, comments: “The monitoring of lock operations across the Trust’s waterways remains an essential element in our water resources management as well as providing an insight into any changing patterns in use across the network.

 

“The reasons for variances in lockage numbers year to year can be numerous and complex. Last summer was the third driest and second hottest in a series since 1910. Water resources driven closures and restrictions led to local reductions in lockage.

 

“I’d like to thank the boaters and the teams of volunteer lock keepers who worked hard to minimise water usage as the dry period continued by sharing of locks where possible.”

 

‘Lockage’ can be defined simply as lock usage through the filling and emptying of a lock chamber, which in turn allows the movement of water and passage of boats. It is important to distinguish lockage from boat movements, which are the actual number of boats which travel through a lock. The Trust separates boat movements from lockage to acknowledge that averages can be skewed by the boat:lockage ratio (in the case of a typical broad lock, the ratio can be between one and four boats per lockful of water used).

 

The report, which is now in its 18th year, can be found on the Canal & River Trust website: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/lockages

 

ENDS

 

For further media requests please contact: Jonathan Ludford: 020 32044420 [email protected]

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I have been having a look at that, it makes interesting reading.

 

I have to admit that I had to look up where, Graving lock was, i thought that the Dee branch was shut, but it seems not.

 

Interesting that Rushall is next but one to the lowest, it probably gets 25% of its annual lockage on the BCN Challenge weekend!

Edited by john6767

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16 minutes ago, john6767 said:

I have been having a look at that, it makes interesting reading.

 

I have to admit that I had to look up where, Graving lock was, i thought that the Dee branch was shut, but it seems not.

 

Interesting that Rushall is next but one to the lowest, it probably gets 25% of its annual lockage on the BCN Challenge weekend!

 

Last time we were in Chester I walked the Dee branch. The lock onto the river was shut, but the lock from the basin down to the first pound was open (there are rather nice  moorings there)  and the the next lock down also looked fine. Is the Graving lock the top of the flight, next to the drydock?

 

MP.

 

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16 minutes ago, john6767 said:

I have been having a look at that, it makes interesting reading.

 

I have to admit that I had to look up where, Graving lock was, i thought that the Dee branch was shut, but it seems not.

 

Interesting that Rushall is next but one to the lowest, it probably gets 25% of its annual lockage on the BCN Challenge weekend!

Access to the Dee is closed, but there are long term moorings below the top lock and I suspect that when there are vacant spaces the boatyard sometimes puts a boat down there for short term storage. We spent a month or so in Chester last winter and saw the lock used two or three times.

 

You could well be right about the Rushall flight.

 

...................Dave

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50 minutes ago, MoominPapa said:

 

Last time we were in Chester I walked the Dee branch. The lock onto the river was shut, but the lock from the basin down to the first pound was open (there are rather nice  moorings there)  and the the next lock down also looked fine. Is the Graving lock the top of the flight, next to the drydock?

 

MP.

 

 

48 minutes ago, dmr said:

Access to the Dee is closed, but there are long term moorings below the top lock and I suspect that when there are vacant spaces the boatyard sometimes puts a boat down there for short term storage. We spent a month or so in Chester last winter and saw the lock used two or three times.

 

You could well be right about the Rushall flight.

 

...................Dave

 

I have never been to Chester, well not by boat, so I guess it must be the top lock then it is shown as lock 1; 30 lockages, so possibly 15 boats down and back up in the year!

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Quote

The Report also highlights the success of the Trust’s 1,114 volunteer lock keepers which were present at 111 registered lock keeper sites. Together they recorded just under 140,000 hours of lock keeping, with a survey suggesting that on an average week around 3,410 locks full of water were saved by their help.

 

A phenomenal claim - I would dearly like to see the facts, figures and maths that they claim supports it.

In my own experience I feel sure I have seen more water wasted by inappropriate actions by volunteer lock-keepers than I have seen saved by their involvement.

I find it hard to give any credence to this claim!

 

 

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On ‎04‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 15:22, john6767 said:

 

 

Interesting that Rushall is next but one to the lowest, it probably gets 25% of its annual lockage on the BCN Challenge weekend!

And another 25% or so when the BCN Explorer cruises pass that way.

 

N

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Goes to show ring cruises are overstated, at least the Four Counties; aside from Wardle and Cholmondeston there wasn't much of a drop in usage along this stretch compare to 2017 figures, some even recorded higher figures!

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