PRESS RELEASE: IWA Campaigns to Save Navigation in Yorkshire

Issue date: 28th July 2014

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) is campaigning to save a section of the waterways system from becoming unnavigable.  

Elvington Lock (also known as Sutton Lock) on the River Derwent in Yorkshire, is currently closed to navigation, following a temporary closure notice issued by the Environment Agency back in February.  This has cut off part of the system from the national network and stranded a number of boats upstream. IWA is very concerned about the closure of this lock and wishes to see navigation up to Stamford Bridge re-instated urgently.

IWA has been concerned at the delay by the Environment Agency in completing a structural assessment of the top guillotine gate in the initially promised timescale. IWA has now arranged to meet the Environment Agency to press for action. The Agency has explained the reasons for the delay, and IWA is looking forward to working with the Agency to secure the long-term maintenance and availability of the guillotine gate for navigation use.

The situation at Elvington Lock is unusual, with no one authority being responsible for the whole structure.  Whilst the Environment Agency owns the top guillotine gate, the bottom mitre gates are in a different ownership. These wooden gates are becoming life-expired and require replacement soon.  IWA wishes to see the lower lock gates at this lock replaced and is keen to work with other supportive bodies to provide both practical help and funding to replace these gates.  

Paul Roper, IWA Navigation committee Chairman said "I hope the lock will be reopened as quickly as possible and IWA will be working hard to try and ensure this."

IWA has no wish to re-open previous legal arguments about rights of navigation on the River Derwent.

Further background to the situation can be found in IWA’s Position Paper (1.17MB) prepared on behalf of IWA’s Navigation Committee.


Notes for editors

About IWA

Download IWA’s Position Paper on the reopening on Sutton Lock (1.17MB)

Image: Elvington/Sutton Lock, River Derwent. Download image from Flickr

IWA campaigns for the use, maintenance and restoration of Britain's inland waterways.
About IWA
Volunteers restoring the waterways. The Waterway Recovery Group is part of IWA.
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Image: Elvington/Sutton Lock, River Derwent
Download image from Flickr