Chertsey Lock on River Thames gets revamp

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Major improvements are being carried out on a busy lock on the River Thames in Surrey.

The Environment Agency said wear and tear from boats and the river itself had caused the chamber of Chertsey Lock to deteriorate.

Refurbishment will extend the life of the lock for another 30 years at least, waterways engineer Paul Power said.

He said the lock had already been fully drained so new concrete could be applied to the walls.

'Rare sight'

Before work began, Environment Agency staff caught 150 fish inside the lock, between Walton-on-Thames and Staines, and released them into the river.

Remaining fish which escaped the net were momentarily stunned with electro-fishing tools and returned to the water.

Mr Power said: "This is a highly unusual opportunity to see a lock out of operation and fully drained down to the bottom.

"A drained lock is a rare sight, and these works serve as a reminder to us of how much we rely on the smooth operation of locks to keep the River Thames running on a day to day basis."

Maps have been placed on the Environment Agency website to help boaters plan their journeys while work is under way.

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