|BOATERS are to benefit from a £1.4 million investment into Anglian Waterways, as the Environment Agency launches its latest improvement programme.
The Capital Investment Programme sets out the repairs and upgrades being made across Anglian Waterways’ 353-mile network.
Eight locks across its most popular rivers are set for refurbishment. The seven-figure investment will ensure the structures remain in good working order for years to come.
The work covers locks at Wadenhoe, Woodford, Titchmarsh, Orton, Cotterstock, and Ashton on the River Nene, and Eaton Socon and Brandon on the River Great Ouse.
These are among the busiest locks on the Anglian Waterways network, giving access to around 7000 boaters a year.
Work started in November and continues throughout the winter months, avoiding the peak boating season to minimise disruption for those on the river.
The locks will have to close during the work to be drained of water and allow full access to the chambers and the gates. Boaters can sign up for email updates about closures by visiting gov.uk and searching for ‘Anglian Waterways river closures’, or calling the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 and asking for Anglian Waterways.
The investment programme will also include de-shoaling work on the rivers Great Ouse and Nene. This will remove underwater gravel that builds up naturally and can hamper navigation.
Also included are investigations into improving the Nene’s landing stages, where boaters can disembark, and upgrading control panels at the locks to the same model, making them consistent and easier to use and maintain across the region.
Neil Pope, Anglian Waterways assets team leader at the Environment Agency, said:“Our precious waterways are an important part of our nation’s rich heritage and beauty. They are a national treasure, valued for their contribution to our environment, our health and wellbeing, and our economy. We’re proud to play a part in caring for them, and we take that responsibility very seriously.
“Maintaining them to a good, safe working standard is one of our top priorities. We invest money very carefully to ensure the best value for every pound we spend. This means our waterways will continue to offer outstanding value to the many, many people who enjoy them every year.”
The Environment Agency cares for more than 353 miles of navigable waterways in the Anglian region, as well as a vast network of associated facilities such as bridges, locks, moorings and toilets.