Kytra Lock Gates

Kytra Lock has been identified as priority for gate replacement due to condition, age and criticality.

The Caledonian Canal is one of the Highlands most popular visitor attractions with over 1,400 boats transiting the canal each year.

Maintenance of the lock gates is vital to maintain the navigation of this historic waterway and any failure during operation could lead serious health and safety implications. We have a variety of steel construction and timber construction gates along the network, many of which are now past the design life.

Scottish Canals have a prioritised asset management programme for all lock gates in Scotland, based on condition and risk. Kytra Lock has been identified as priority for gate replacement due to condition, age and criticality.

Design works for the replacement gates have been to maximise the ability to adjust the fitting of the gates and also reduce the maintenance burden on the gates. The gates and walkways have been fabricated and we are now working on a project to install them.

UPDATE 16th May 2019

Please note that there will be planned diving works taking place at Fort Augustus on Friday 24th May from midday to 5.30pm.

The works will then commence at Kytra locks on Saturday 25th May from 8am to midday. Please note that all boat movements will be suspended during the diving work, which are an essential follow up to the works which took place during winter 2018/19.

UPDATE 17th April 2019

Good news, folks – the Caledonian Canal has reopened to sea-to-sea boat traffic!

Update 14th February

The old lock gates are out, ready for the new lock gates to be installed.


Update 7th February

Watch the video below as the old lock gates are taken out. Works to install the new gates have now begun.

Update 25th January

A temporary dam has been built at Kytra to provide safe access and working to replace the lock gates at Kytra and Fort Augustus locks.

Update 15th January

Works have begun to install two pairs of lock gates at Kytra. The water levels have been dropped between Cullochy Lock to the bottom of Fort Augustus Lock Flight and works are in progress to install localised dams and maintain the low water level. Fish are being safely moved to watered sections of the canal. The towpath is currently closed to all users whilst these work are being undertaken.

Update 14th January

Whilst undertaking the installation of new lock gates at Kytra, we encountered additional issues with the embankment, which require us to close the towpath  to ensure the safety of users.

We are now progressing remediation works which require plant to access the site over the next two weeks in order for a detailed investigation to be carried out and this will enable us to decide on the best solution going forward.

We hope to allow pedestrian and cycle access to be reinstated once we are confident that there are no health and safety risks, although we do anticipate intermittent closures over the next 2-3 months to ensure any additional works can be carried out safely.

These are crucial works to ensure the continued safe and operational delivery of the Caledonian Canal and are necessary to safeguard the canal and towpath for years to come.

Update 12th December 

Following detailed inspections of the lock gates, we are now looking to install two pairs of lock gates at Kytra. Works are scheduled to begin on 14th January and last until 25th March 2019. Towpath use may be restricted during this time however our contractor will manage safe access during these works. The canal will be partially drained down between Cullochy Lock and Fort Augustus to allow these works to take place safely, however by undertaking these works during the winter closure, we hope to minimise disruption to boating traffic.

Update 23rd November

Transport Scotland have announced an additional £5.35 million of capital funding to undertake a number of projects across the network, including the replacement of the lock gates at Kytra.

This page will be updated as works progress.