Un-locked!

A FIVE-month refurbishment project that cost nearly £930,000 and aims to improve safety for boaters has been unveiled at a lock in Earith. The project will also take the traditional elbow grease out of opening the lock as everything is now computer-contr

A FIVE-month refurbishment project that cost nearly £930,000 and aims to improve safety for boaters has been unveiled at a lock in Earith.

The project will also take the traditional elbow grease out of opening the lock as everything is now computer-controlled.

Hermitage Lock, which runs below the B1050 on the River Great Ouse, at Earith, was last reconstructed in 1986.

At the start of this year the Environment Agency began a major redevelopment of the lock and surrounding facilities to improve safety for staff and river users.


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During the project, the old lock building has been demolished and replaced with modern facilities, including a kitchen and wet room.

The new building is about four times the size of the old lock keeper's house and also has an updated control system used to operate the lock gates from inside the building.

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CCTV cameras have also been installed, the lock gates have been refurbished, repairs have been carried out to the lock chamber and a new safety rail has been installed.

Paul Woodcock, Environment Agency regional director, who officially opened the improved lock facilities last Wednesday, said: "The health and safety of our staff and the boaters who use our rivers is our top priority.

"The improvements to Hermitage Lock not only make it safer and easier to use, but the added facilities should make it a pleasure to visit."

INFORMATION: To find out more about the Hermitage lock project visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk.subjects/navigation

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