Canal Boat - - This Month -

Washout shuts K& A; wa­ter strat­egy; li­cence fees frozen; stark warn­ing on gen­er­a­tors; count­down to L& L bi­cen­te­nary; more work for Om­buds­man

A LOCK PAD­DLE left open overnight on the Ken­net & Avon, which caused flood­ing and tow­path bank washouts down the Caen Hill Flight, has left the Canal & River Trust with a re­pair bill ex­pected to top £100,000 – and, in com­bi­na­tion with other stop­pages, this has shut the canal as a through-route un­til March.

The prob­lem in­volved a pad­dle at the top lock – which holds back a huge amount of wa­ter in the 15-mile-long pound, and “really couldn’t have hap­pened at a worse spot”, in the words of Wa­ter­way Man­ager Mark Evans. He added that “We don’t know if this was care­less­ness or de­lib­er­ate van­dal­ism”.

Re­pairs be­gan on 3 Novem­ber, with work ex­pected to take four weeks. How­ever, in the mean­time, a sched­uled stop­page at Seend Wharf Bridge has had to be brought for­ward to run through from 23 Novem­ber to 11 March as a re­sult of its wors­en­ing con­di­tion. A short tem­po­rary open­ing of Caen Hill on 18 Novem­ber was sched­uled to al­low boats to pass first.

A CRT spokes­woman told Canal­Boat the top lock pad­dles would now be locked overnight. She added the Trust couldn’t be sure whether there was any con­nec­tion with an­other much more mi­nor prob­lem re­sult­ing from a pad­dle left open at Woot­ton Rivers Locks on the same canal a few days later.

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