Rotten balance beam closes Oxford

Published: Monday, 28 June 2021

A ROTTEN balance beam on a lock gate has snapped off and closed the Oxford Canal, yet again.

Regarded as the second most popular navigation, the Oxford has certainly had its fair share of stoppages this year, Keith Gudgin reports.

DashwoodLockLack of maintenance

Again it is obviously the lack of maintenance that has caused the problem, as the balance beam on the bottom gate of Dashwood Lock (37) above Oxford has snapped off.

The gate has been in poor condition for some time, its wood obviously rotten, but there has been no attempt at replacement.

No intimation

There is no intimation as to when the beam can now be replaced, either on site or if the whole gate needs taking away for repair. 

Unlike the recent failure of the bridge below Dukes Cut, where boaters could use that navigation to bypass the stoppage, this one is above Dukes Cut meaning there is no access to or from Oxford or the Thames.


Canal & River Trust are operating the lock this week to allow access but no times given when staff are on site.