It should be 234 lock 'leaves' replaced

Published: Monday, 14 August 2023

FUTHER to Dave Irving’s article, 'It's good to know where we stand', writes Allan Richards.

I can confirm that Canal & River Trust (CaRT), should be replacing more than 180 lock gate leaves each year.

Indeed, Dave’s estimate is very low.

Gates and Leaves

Dave’s estimate is based on 1,500 locks with an average of three 'leaves' per lock which equates to 4,500 leaves. To replace on a 25 year cycle means that 180 lock gate leaves must be replaced each year.

However, Neil Owen, Regional Engineer South, gave exact numbers in an IWA webinar earlier this year. CaRT have 3,105 lock gates and 5,843 leaves. This suggests that 234 lock gate leaves should be replaced each year.

The figures

Here are the actual figures for the number of lock leaves replaced each year obtained by Freedom of Information request (the list is, of course, CaRT's estimate for the current year):

2012/13 166   2018/19 131
2013/14 130   2019/20 132
2014/15 140   2020/21 92
2015/16 159   2021/22 122
2016/17 160   2022/23 121
2017/18 188   2023/24 123

Based on Dave's '180' estimate the above figures are bad. Based on CaRT's '234', it's a disaster.

Here is a screenshot of a slide which give the official figures: