Our planned works to rebuild the lock walls at Hurleston Lock 4 have been problematic and we have not made the progress on site that we had expected; it has also become clear that the work programme would need to be significantly longer than anticipated, with works likely to run until the end of May at least. Given the impact this would have on customers wishing to use the locks in the spring and early summer, we have suspended works and are cancelling the project this winter. We will be re-opening the lock from 22nd February. The works will be deferred to next winter’s stoppage season and will restart in November 2019. We will use the time until then to review and re-plan the works.
We understand the concern regarding this lock, and the number of boats which have had difficulties in passing through it over recent years. We have not taken the decision to defer the work lightly. We have consulted a range of users including hire-boat operators and other key customers and have concluded that an extended closure would cause significant disruption which we could not justify. We do not believe that the lock shows any signs of worsening significantly but will continue to monitor it through 2019, with our lock-keepers available to assist any boats that get into difficulties using it.
We are committed to completing the repairs to Hurleston Lock 4 and apologise to those customers who are unable to use the Llangollen this year because of the deferral.