Caen Hill damage—no action against boater

Published: Wednesday, 04 August 2010

THOUGH it cost £45,000 to repair the lock gate that was damaged by a boater on the Caen Hill Flight, no action is being taken against him.

The entire flight was closed for over three weeks, causing great disruption to boaters, but British Waterways have decided not to claim against him or his insurance, but to stand the cost of the work, for the lock gate was in a poor state of repair, and should have been replaced last winter, and now will be  during this coming winter maintenance period.

Stuck against gate

It seems two boats were using lock 24 when the damage occurred, with a hire boat going through the left hand lock, but a private boat being stuck against the right hand gate, and causing the damage.

Mark Stephens, Waterway Manager, explained:

"British Waterways assesses every incident of damage to the canal on an individual basis and takes action to recoup costs as appropriate. For example we have successfully recovered insurance monies to help us to fix and restore bridges that have been damaged by speeding boaters.

"In this case damage to the lock gate was sustained through an unfortunate accident, was reported promptly by those involved and the damaged lock gate was scheduled to be replaced as soon as the summer season was over and planned maintenance works could get under way."

As the gate was due for replacement it would have been unreasonable to try to recover the cost of a new gate we are told.