Mutford Lock

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Mutford Lock

Postby hank » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:14 am

Mutford Lock, at Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, is often described as the gateway to the southern Broads, with many preferring it to navigating Great Yarmouth port.
But dwindling usage has meant the income it generates has dropped from £9,350 to 2013/14 to £5,436 in 2015/16, covering just a third of annual costs.
To cover maintenance costs, the Broads Authority’s navigation committee had considered raising the current £13 passage fee as much as sevenfold – but have now decided the cash should instead be reclaimed by encouraging greater usage.
Trudi Wakelin, director of operations, said the body was hoping to work with nearby groups, including the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club (RNSYC), which is based near the lock, to better market the passage. “Fundamentally, the members of the committee agreed in principle with the policy that the income from the lock should equal the revenue costs of maintaining the lock,” she said.
“But they preferred the approach that the income be increased by more usage rather than by more charging.”
When added to the cost of a short visit toll, the price tag on entering the Broads via the lock – which is the only remaining one on the Broads – can quickly spiral. It is one of just two ways that boaters can access the wetlands from the sea.
Mrs Wakelin said: “The obvious one is via Great Yarmouth, but there are not facilities for recreational boaters there. Lowestoft is much better, in that there is the sailing club and the marina. We are keen to encourage more boaters to come up in to the southern Broads via the lock – once they get up to Oulton Broad there are plenty of places to visit.”
While the plans are in their infancy, part of the work could include improving the data collected from lock users to better target marketing, Mrs Wakelin said.
She added that increasing fuel prices and changing holiday patterns could be behind the falling figures.
The work would tie in with a Broads Tourism drive to improve promotion of the southern Broads and better connect them with their northern counterparts. Certain areas in the south have been traditionally overlooked for popular Broads communities in the north, such as Wroxham and Ludham.

Mutford Lock
Mutford Lock was built in the 19th century to provide a link to the sea as part of plans for a direct waterway between Lowestoft and Norwich.
According to Lowestoft Heritage, during the Roman occupation, the southern road from Burgh Castle crossed a ‘moot’ bridge where Mutford Bridge now stands.
The first Mutford Bridge was shown on a map by Saxton in 1576, but was reportedly swept away by the tide several times.
In 1660, when a new breakwater was built at Lowestoft to stop Lake Lothing being flooded with saltwater, a Commission of Sewers was set up at the Swan Tavern, in the town, to decide whether to repair or rebuild the bridge.
£10 was reportedly allocated to rebuild it, and the new bridge lasted until 1760, when the first brick structure replaced it.
At that time, the waters were used by small trading and fishing boats with masts that could be lowered to pass under it.
A tidal flood washed this away 31 years later, and the subsequent bridge lasted until 1827.
It was at about this time, when Lowestoft harbour was being built and Lake Lothing was opened to the sea, that the lock was built at Mutford Bridge.
This crossing was reportedly replaced in 1894 by a swing bridge, which was - again - replaced in 1939.
In 1992, a rebuilt lock, pedestrian bridge and new road layout was installed.
Definition: Boat n. A hole in the surface of the water in which to throw money
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Re: Mutford Lock

Postby hank » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:29 am

Mutford Lock – Road Bridge not Operational


Oulton Broad Road Bridge is not operational due to damage to a road barrier. The Lock remains operational and open to vessels not requiring a bridge lift. Full operation will resume as soon as the barrier is repaired.
Definition: Boat n. A hole in the surface of the water in which to throw money
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