Caen Hill problem could happen again

Published: Thursday, 29 August 2013

THE incident on the Caen Hill Flight where a gate was lifted, could of course happen anywhere, but the new type paddle mechanism that is being fitted means even experienced boaters could be caught out.

Just maybe Canal & River Trust (CaRT) will take this incident as a warning, although I would not bank on it, writes Tony Brooks.

Couldn't close in time

I know from your photograph that the lock looks as if it has standard ground paddles but if it happened there it could, as we all know, happen anywhere, and if it was elsewhere on the Kennet & Avon or Northern Shropshire Union then even experienced boaters would not have been able to close the paddles in time.

I refer specifically to the gearboxes that have been fitted to the lock mechanisms which, in all too many cases, are non-reversible so have to be wound down rather than simply dropped in an emergency. I know they can be made reversible because some of the Shropshire Union ones will drop.