Elvington Lock Campaign Update09 October 2014
The current closure of Elvington Lock on Yorkshire's River Derwent was the main topic discussed at a meeting between representatives of the Environment Agency (EA) and IWA held on Monday 6th October.
Elvington Lock, also known as Sutton Lock (being situated between two villages of those names) has been closed since February this year when EA announced its temporary closure due to concerns about the structural integrity of the guillotine top gate at the lock.
Closure of the lock means that there is a six mile stretch of the inland waterway network currently not accessible from the rest of the system, and has left a number of boats stranded upstream.
The meeting took place at EA’s offices in York, followed by a site visit to Elvington Lock itself, and was an opportunity for IWA to state its position concerning the lock closure (for further information refer to IWA’s position paper).
It was also an opportunity to hear from EA first hand the reasons for the closure. EA shared the early findings of a structural survey at the meeting, and IWA looks forward to receiving a copy of this report as soon as it is available.
IWA’s presentation clearly stated IWA’s aspirations to see the lock brought back into use at the earliest possible opportunity, while EA expressed environmental and economic concerns that IWA accepts will need to be addressed.
Both sides now have a better understanding of the complex issues and agreed that sharing background knowledge and ideas had been useful. IWA will now be following up issues surrounding the bottom gates of the lock, which are not owned by EA.
IWA looks forward to a further meeting with the Environment Agency once progress on some of the issues has been made, with a view to getting this lock back into use in as short a timescale as possible.
Photo: IWA and EA representatives visiting Elvington Lock on Monday 6th October (photo by Alison Smedley)