The Environment Agency's annual winter programme of repairs and refurbishments to locks along the non-tidal River Thames starts on November 1st.

Eight lock sites will have a total of £1.2m spent on them – five in Oxfordshire and one each in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey.

Major works include removing both pairs of lock gates at Shifford Lock near Bampton in Oxfordshire, and Kings Lock in Oxford. Each eight tonne gate will be removed by crane and transported by low-loader lorry to the EA’s depot at Osney, near Oxford for its in-house team of specialist craftsmen to carry out the work.

At Penton Hook Lock near Staines in Surrey, the downstream gates will be removed so that repairs can be made to the hinges that support them. Before the lock is fully drained, any fish found in it will be safely transferred to the main river.

Barry Russell, Waterways Manager, said: “We maintain and operate 45 locks in total. These are  part of a portfolio of over 1000 navigation structures on the Thames that we look after. Many of these are important heritage assets which we are custodians of on behalf of the nation, and without them, boating on the Thames as we know it simply wouldn’t be possible. So taking good care of them is a huge responsibility for us, but one we’re very proud to have.”

This winter’s full programme of work, which may be subject to change, is:

16 January to 27 January 2017

Buscot Lock Repairing and making health and safety improvements to lock gate sluices and seals.
9 January 2017 to 24 February 2017

Shifford Lock Re-sheeting lock gates, repairing balance beam and re-fixing rubbing timber.
1 November to 16 December 2016

King’s Lock Re-sheeting lock gates, repairing balance beam and removing silt from travel lines of the lock gates. Head mooring embankment works and additional revenue moorings.
14 November to 16 December 2016

Clifton Lock Strengthening works to lock gates.
14 November to 25 November 2016

Day’s Lock Replacing sluice rod.
1 November to 16 December 2016

Goring Lock Refurbishing lock chamber walls and replacing of worn rubbing timbers.
1 November to 23 January 2017

Old Windsor Lock Cut Refurbishment and strengthening of the lock cut bridge by Thames Water.
9 January to 10 February 2017

Marlow Lock Replacing lock chamber rubbing timbers and re-fixing all grab chains.
1 November to 16 December 2016 Penton Hook Lock Repairing lock gates.

For the latest updates go to: www.gov.uk/river-thames-conditions-closures-restrictions-and-lock-closures

Story dated Oct 28th 2016

RTN video of work at Teddington three years ago