Britain’s busiest locks revealed

New Marton Locks

New Marton Locks - Credit: Archant

The monitoring of lock operations may seem trivial to some, but it is an essential practise that is actually essential to the management of our water resources and to measure the changes in the patterns of use in our nation’s waterways.

This year marks the 15th report that the Canal & river Trust have issued and the main conclusion from the report is that overall average recorded lock usage in 2015 for the comparison sites decreased marginally, by 0.75%, compared with 2014.

Similar to last years report, Hillmorton Lock 2 & 3 was the busiest lock on the network having been used 9,101 times. This was followed closely by the New Marton Lock on the Llangollen Canal with 8,779 uses.

There are numerous reasons for variations from year to year across the different Waterways some simple and others complex. The weather plays a huge part: 2015 was seen as an average year meaning that the main boating season was largely unaffected by drought or flood restrictions or closures.

Perhaps the most obvious reason for variation is stoppages and closures. This can be seen in the usage for the first lock on the River Dee branch of the Shropshire Union. The connection with the river is out of use and as result saw only 98 uses.