Boat restrictions at historic Locks site
THERE may be restrictions on canal travel, but Foxton Locks is open for business as usual, say those who make their living from the popular tourist site.
Water shortages have seen movement on sections of the locks restricted to between the hours of 10am and 4pm since March 19.
The same restrictions were put in place on a section of the Grand Union Canal between Kibworth and Aylestone from Monday this week, with heavier restrictions ahead.
From April 13 that stretch of the canal - known as the lower Leicester line - will be closed to navigation, with the locks padlocked.
British Waterways, which runs the network, says the driest 12 months in 90 years has left reservoirs seriously depleted.
However Michael Beech, Foxton Museum keeper and company secretary for the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust, said the restrictions would not be a problem for the tourist attraction.
And with the third annual Foxton Locks Festival due to be held on the weekend of June 30, and the Olympic torch to pass through the beauty spot on July 2, Mr Beech said he was confident of a good summer ahead.
“The locks are restricted in opening hours at the moment, but we still get over 25 boats a day going through,” he said.
“In fact we seem to have more boats at the moment than we normally do at this time of year.
“There are so many things to do at Foxton that the restricted boat times are not a problem for us.
“There is no better place to visit in the county, so we are confident that we will have a good summer.”
Mary Matts, of Foxton Boat Services, said everything would be open for business as usual despite the restrictions.
Vince Moran, operations director for British Waterways, said: “We don’t want to restrict opening times, particularly so early in the season, but I’m sure most boaters would recognise that this is an unusual year.”
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Weather for Market Harborough
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North