Shepperton Lock has scooped the award for Best Lock on the River Thames for the second year running, after hundreds of people voted in the Environment Agency’s 2012 Thames Waterways Awards.
Steve Newman, lock keeper at Shepperton Lock, said: “We are delighted to have won this award for the second year running. A big thank you to all those who voted for Shepperton this year, the recognition makes all the hard work of myself and the team worthwhile.
“The Thames has always had a good reputation for its picturesque locks and lovely gardens and this competition can only enhance its reputation for being the best manned waterway in the world. Long may it continue!”
Although Shepperton Lock was a clear winner amongst the public, other locks were awarded commendations due to a high level of positive feedback from many people. Locks that were given these special commendations were Bray, Hambleden, Goring and Eynsham locks, which were all singled out by river users.
Votes were entered into a prize draw and randomly chosen winner Martin Hayward, from Reading, was delighted to win a 20 per cent discount off his 2013 River Thames boat licence. "The lock keepers perform a very important function in sometimes difficult circumstances so I am grateful for the opportunity of showing my support by voting through your awards scheme.”
Matt Carter, Waterways Operations Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “These awards give members of the public an excellent chance to let us know how we are doing on the River Thames. We received some great feedback about our locks and waterways staff. A variety of people contribute to the overall customer experience - permanent staff, seasonal staff and volunteers.
“They are also a great opportunity to recognise the important work our staff carry out to keep the River Thames in good working condition for our all customers.”
The award winners will be presented with vouchers and a plaque to mark their success.
The Awards, kindly sponsored by Peter Brett Associates, invited members of the public to vote throughout the boating season from May until the end of October 2012. “We are proud to have sponsored this prestigious awards scheme for the second year running. Congratulations to all the lock staff along the river who make the Thames the special place that it is." said Steve Capel-Davies, of Peter Brett Associates.