Connecting Olympic Park with the system

Published: Monday, 02 August 2010

THE derelict lock on Waterworks River in East London has been reopened by British Waterways, and is in operation for the first time in over 40 years following a restoration project costing £400,000.

A flotilla of boats from the St Pancras Cruising Club and the Three Mills Mooring Association were the first public boats through City Mill Lock on Saturday 31st July.

This lock now links Waterworks River, which is one of a network of waterways that connect the Olympic Park with the Lee Navigation, and from there to the rest of the inland waterway system.

The reopening of this lock is the next phase in the regeneration of the canals and rivers of East London.  (Photographs by British Waterways.)

British Waterways' head of regeneration, Richard Rutter, enthused:

"It's fantastic to see the lock reopened after such a long time. The first phase of the restoration involved the fitting of new metal gates, and then, when more funding was secured we were able to finish off the project. Installing mechanised electric rams, sluices, lock landings, controls and lock ladders.

"This second stage took approximately six months, and now we will be focussing our attention on Carpenters Road Lock within the Olympic Park."


The 3.4 miles loop of waterways in and around the park have been upgraded, benefiting from works including the restoration of City Mill Lock; the construction of Three Mills Lock and Water Control Structure; extensive waterway wall repairs and dredging. These waterways are hoped to become a popular destination for  boaters, as well as for 'general visitors using the traffic-free towpaths to explore the area by foot and by bike'.

Richard Benyon MP, Waterways Minister, related:

"The reopening of the lock is great news for the UK's inland waterways, connecting the 4,000 miles network with a vibrant new area of East London that has water as a central feature."

Richard Rutter, explained:

"At the moment boaters are restricted in how far they can go as there's no public access to the Park. After the Games we anticipate the waterways will be opened up as quickly as practicable."