A flight of 14 locks on the Basingstoke canal reopened this week letting boats navigate the stretch of waterway for the first time in four years.
The locks at Deepcut have been closed since 2009 for structural repairs and the replacement of many of the gates which had reached the end of their useful life.
The waterway is co-owned by both Surrey and Hampshire county councils and is run on their behalf by the Basingstoke Canal authority. The two council’s have invested £1.6 million over the past four years to tackle the backlog of repairs and to ensure the 225 year old locks, weirs, culverts and embankments are safe for residents and visitors.
An Easter boat rally saw around 40 boats get an early opportunity to navigate the Deepcut locks, which opened to the wider public on Monday, April 22.
Trevor Pugh, Surrey County Council’s Strategic Director for Environment and Infrastructure, said: “I’m delighted we have been able to reopen the 14 locks at Deepcut, making the stretch of canal navigable again. The waterway is a hidden oasis of greenery and tranquillity, even in the hearts of the towns it runs through.
“Thanks to investment and hard work from both Surrey and Hampshire county council’s and the dedication of many volunteers, people can once again enjoy cruising this stretch of waterway.”
The Basingstoke canal was built in the 1790s and like many others in the UK became derelict by the 1960s. It was bought by the two county councils to ensure its future and over the ensuring decades has undergone restoration.
Media requiring more information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley on 0208 541 7259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.