It's good to know where we stand

Published: Saturday, 12 August 2023

I SEE in Damian’s latest Boater’s Update, writes Dave Irving.

That 'With over 1,500 locks across the network, and a working life of typically 25 years, there is a constant cycle of production and replacement of old lock gates. This year our specialist team is producing 123 separate lock gate leaves for installation across the network'.

Average number of gates

I’m not sure what the average number of gates (or should I say ‘leaves’?) is per lock, but I’m sure it’s more than two, and pretty sure it’s less than four, so let’s say three. So 1500 locks x average three gates per lock makes 4,500 gates to be replaced every 25 years—which is 180 gates per year. But they’re only making 123 gates per year, and hoping to increase that to 125. Does anyone else see a problem here?

While on the Boater’s Update, it’s interesting to see that the new Towpath Code only mentions boaters in the 4th item, below pedestrians, cyclists, pets and wildlife. It’s good to know where we stand.