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Thanks for your enquiry.
Well, provided you have a right of way (ROW) at all times over your neighbours land to gain access to your oil tanks, the case law concerning locked gates on a ROW is quite clear. A party who owns the ROW is entitled to put up a gate, PROVIDED the person with the benefit of the ROW can still use the ROW freely- meaning that if the gate is locked, the person with the benefit of the ROW has to be provided with a key.
Hence, if your neighbour is only allowing you access as and when he can be bothered to unlock the gate, he is breaching the covenant.
If he persists, you may need to get a Solicitor's letter sent to him, reminding him of the law and threatening an Injunction if he does not either leave the gate unlocked or provide you with a key.
I hope this assists and sets out the general legal position.
If so, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer in the top right hand corner of your screen.
Thanks. Kind Regards