Maintenance costs a great deal more...

Published: Friday, 02 October 2020

THERE was a recent article in narrowboatworld telling of the lack of funding for maintenance.

It quoted the year long findings of the renowned KPMC on keeping the waterways in a 'steady state' condition, thus ensuing there was no deterioration.

This was commissioned by the then British Waterways before the Canal & River Trust took over, it stating in May 2012 what the Trust would need to spend

SawleyLockGates1Needed to spend between £155 and £185 millions

Its findings were very clear, with KPMC stating that to keep the waterways in 'steady state', thus preventing any deterioration, between £155 millions and £185 millions must be spent on maintenance each year.

Now, eight years later, with just £45 millions being spent on maintenance, the figure now needed to get the waterways back to 'steady state' would be astronomical.

Great deal more that £185 millions would be needed

But a great deal more that £185 millions would be needed in this day and age to keep the waterways in 'steady state' without deterioration, as the fitting of lock gates at Sawley Lock on Sawley Cut clearly shows.

Not only is the double safety fencing now required, but a staircase into the lock and various other constructions as can been seen from the photograph.

Increasing costs dramatically

SawleyLockRepair2Increasing the costs dramatically, a mobile crane had to be lifted on to the lock 'island' by crane to handle the lock gates and place them into position, plus the installation of a huge generator and ancillaries. Eventually of course a crane must return to lift all the equipment off,

OldMethodLockRepair400With all this expensive equipment left on site overnight it need surveillance, that is in the form of a tower containing CCTV cameras, at further cost.

Done simply

But one thing is certain.  The cost of replacing lock gates most be multiple times more than in former days when done simply, as many thousands were, using pull lifts on a simple structure.

So that £45 millions barely touches the ever mounting problem of lack of maintenance...