New Marton tops the locks again
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.