BOAT hire companies have responded to restrictions placed on the Caen Hill flight of locks.

The restrictions, which leaves the locks open between 10am and 3pm, are in place after one of the two pumps that run the flight is being repaired.

These new opening hours are in place for around a month, until the pump is fully operational again.

Business manager for Foxhangers canal boat hire, David Harle, explained restrictions are ‘forcing his customers’ to travel west instead of east.

He said: “Around 30 per cent of our customers usually travel east from Devizes to see Caen Hill and beyond.

“We’ve had to advise boaters according to the restrictions.

“In an ideal world, there would be a spare pump, but there isn’t enough money for one.

“No one is particularly to blame.”

All 18 boats of Foxhangers' fleet are booked up for the coming month.

Moonraker Canalboat's manager and owner, Nikki Weir, is adamant that these restrictions will not affect the company's trade over the next month.

She said: "If boaters are organised they can work around the restrictions and get up and down Caen Hill.

"People need to make sure they close their locks behind them.

"The canal is important to a lot of people and everyone needs to work together to look after it."

Moonraker' Canalboats is located on the Kennet and Avon canal, between Caen Hill and the Crofton flight of locks, which is also restricted to 10am-3pm but is only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Also between Caen Hill and Crofton, is Honeystreet Boats and Honey Mill Cafe, based in Pewsey.

Owner, John Wyles, admitted the restrictions have 'made a bit of a change' for his business.

He said: "We have had to tell all of our customers about the situation.

"Thankfully, as a friendly narrowboat company, we attract friendly people who have been very understanding.

"Some customers are opting to do a lock-free holiday instead.

"Hopefully these restrictions should serve as a lovely reminder that Devizes is lucky to have Caen Hill."

Mr Wyles also added that boaters who attempt to scale the locks will be helped by the hire company to ensure they get through in time.

Honeystreet are almost fully booked to August and have received no cancellations due to the restrictions.