£60,000 facelift for lock

27 January 2011, 11:43 | Updated: 10 February 2011, 14:20

An Environment Agency Lock in Bedfordshire is being given a £60,000 facelift.

Work started to replace vital equipment at Roxton Lock, on the River Great Ouse near Sandy, at the beginning of January.

The project began with the lock being drained of water and inspected. Approximately 10 tonnes of silt, stones and other debris, which had collected in the lock basin, have also been removed.

Other works being carried out at the site include the replacement of both pointing door cills and all door seals. The site has only ever had one paddle (slacker) in each pair of doors. Two new paddles will be installed, along with new plastic paddle doors and gearboxes to all four mechanisms.

The replacement seals will help to reduce water leaking from the lock and allow water levels to be better controlled. Adding two extra paddles will also ensure that boats are still able to navigate the lock should one mechanism fail.

Waterways Engineer Steve Crooks said: “The works will improve the lock for boaters on the River Great Ouse. The paddles will be easier and quicker to operate. Better seals will allow the lock to fill with water more quickly, meaning people spend less time going through the lock and more time enjoying the river.

“In addition, the inspection report allows us to plan future maintenance and prolong the life of the structure, helping to save money and resources.”

The works at Roxton Lock are being carried out by Jackson Civil Engineering Ltd. using Drake Towage Ltd. as their main sub-contractor. They are due to be completed this week (wc 24 Jan).