New Mar­ton tops the locks again

Canal Boat - - News -

ONCE AGAIN New Mar­ton Locks on the Llan­gollen Canal and Hill­mor­ton Locks on the north Ox­ford have shared the hon­ours as the two busiest sets of locks in the Canal & River Trust’s an­nual lock­age re­port, com­piled as an im­por­tant el­e­ment of the Trust’s wa­ter re­source plan­ning.

New Mar­ton saw a to­tal of 9,105 op­er­a­tions ( fill­ings and emp­ty­ings) dur­ing 2016, mak­ing them the busiest sin­gle locks; whereas the to­tal at Hill­mor­ton was 9,598, but split be­tween the paired locks. Chol­monde­ston ( Shrop­shire Union), Col­wich ( Trent & Mersey) and Brad­ford-on-Avon ( Ken­net & Avon) com­pleted the top five.

At the bot­tom end of the scale, Be­lan Lock on the iso­lated re­stored length of the Montgomery saw just 64 op­er­a­tions, while the other six with less than 200 in­cluded three on the flood-hit Rochdale, one on the far-flung Pock­ling­ton, one on the partly out-of-use Dee Branch, and an­other on the Monty. But for those fan­cy­ing some quiet cruis­ing, the north-east seems the place to go with plenty of other en­tries near the bot­tom of the ta­ble in­clud­ing the Ch­ester­field, Ere­wash and Sh­effield & South York­shire.

This was re­flected in the re­gional fig­ures, with the North East, East Mid­land and Manch­ester & Pen­nine ar­eas the qui­etest; all see­ing just a frac­tion of the traf­fic of the busier Cen­tral Shires, South-East and North Wales & Bor­ders re­gions. The na­tional to­tal was up slightly at 4,180,979, but over­all this fig­ure has seen rel­a­tively lit­tle change in a decade.

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