River closures, restrictions and lock closures affecting boaters on the River Thames.
Find out the latest river conditions and strong stream warnings by:
- visiting our River Thames Conditions website
- calling our Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or 0845 988 1188 (24-hour service) to hear recorded information and advice (find out about call charges)
- talking to lock staff
River closures: updated 17 January 2018
|Saturday 3 February 2018, from 9:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm||Molesey Reach, 500 metres downstream of Sunbury Lock to 500 metres downstream of Platt’s Eyot||Hampton small boats head race: the River Thames between 500 metres downstream of Sunbury Lock to 500 metres downstream of Platt’s Eyot will be closed to all traffic other than authorised boats during the stated times. Be aware racing boats will assemble 500 metres downstream of Sunbury Lock half an hour before racing starts.|
|Saturday 17 February 2018 from 1:30pm to 4pm||Molesey Reach||Molesey veterans head: the river between Sunbury Lock and Garrick’s Ait will be closed to all traffic other than authorised boats during the specified times.|
|Saturday 17 March 2018 from 10:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm||Teddington Reach||Kingston small boats head: the river between Hampton Court Bridge and 250 meters below Steven’s Eyot will be closed to all traffic other than authorised boats during the specified times.|
River restrictions: updated 2 February 2018
|6 March 2017 to 31 January 2018||Backwater around Monkey Island, Boveney Reach||Monkey Island footbridge replacement: the backwater will be shut off to all navigation while the footbridge is being replaced.|
|Winter 2017 to 2018||Kings Lock||Balance beam replacement: the balance beams at Kings Lock are being replaced. This work will require short stoppages of up to 2 hours at a time as the beams are lifted out of place and the new ones are installed.|
|Sunday 4 February 2018 from 1pm to 5pm||Iffley Reach||Isis winter league: a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river. While racing is in progress, the marshals may request boaters to wait for a period of no longer than 15 minutes before proceeding up or downstream through the course.|
|Saturday 17 February 2018 from 9am to 4pm||Henley Reach||Henley fours and eights head race: the navigation channel will be along the centre of the river.|
|Sunday 18 February 2018 from 1pm to 5pm||Iffley Reach||Isis winter league: a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river. While racing is in progress, the marshals may request boaters to wait for a period of no longer than 15 minutes before proceeding up or downstream through the course.|
|Friday 23 February 2018 from 1pm to 5:30pm||Iffley Reach||Rowing On and Torpids: racing will be held at half-hourly intervals. Whilst racing is in progress, the marshals may request boaters to wait, for a period of no longer than 15 minutes.|
|Saturday 24 February 2018 from 8am to 4pm||Chertsey Reach||Burway Rowing Club small boats head: The navigation channel will be on the Middlesex, right hand side of the river.|
|Wednesday 28 February to Saturday 3 March 2018 from midday to 5:30pm||Iffley Reach||Rowing On and Torpids: racing will be held at half-hourly intervals. Whilst racing is in progress, the marshals may request boaters to wait, for a period of no longer than 15 minutes.|
|Sunday 8 April 2018 from 8am to 6pm||Culham Reach||Abingdon head of the river: the navigation channel will be on the west, Abingdon Marina, left side of the river.|
|Sunday 3 June 2018 from 7am to 12pm||Shiplake Reach||Henley junior triathlon: The navigation channel will be on the Berkshire, Wargrave side of the river.|
Planned lock closures: updated 2 November 2017
The Environment Agency carries out a programme of works on the River Thames every year between November and Easter. This often results in the closure of a number of locks for relatively long periods.
So that river users can plan their winter cruising and boat movements well in advance, the Environment Agency publishes the first issue of their programme of works in early August each year. Please see Issue 3 details below.
This programme of work is subject to change, due to weather and other circumstances. Revised issues of the programme of works are published throughout the winter, so customers can keep up to date. To receive this information, sign up to the email update service by emailing email@example.com.
Listed below are the locks that will be closed during the 2017 to 2018 investment programme. The locks will be closed from the first date listed and re-open on the day after the final date.
|30 October 2017 to 16 January 2018||Shifford Lock||Re-sheeting lock gates|
|2 January 2018 to 23 March 2018||Clifton Lock||Re-sheeting lock gates|
|13 November 2017 to 23 March 2018||Blakes Lock||Repairing and re-sheeting lock gates, refurbishing lock chamber walls, replacing rubbing timbers and general repairs to the lock site area|
|13 November 2017 to 15 December 2017||Bell Weir Lock||Replacing lock chamber rubbing timbers|
|Postponed until the 2018-19 winter works lock closure programme||Molesey Lock||Re-sheeting lock gates|
|1 January 2018 to 23 March 2018||Teddington Lock (barge)||Re-sheeting lock gates|
Keep up to date
Get the latest river information before you go boating. Call the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 and select option 1 for river information for boaters. When prompted enter one of the quick dial numbers below for the area of the river you want to hear about:
|Quick dial codes||Area||Description|
|415000||Upstream of St John’s Lock to Radcot Lock||St John’s to Radcot locks, including Buscot and Grafton locks|
|415001||Rushey to Godstow Lock||Rushey to Godstow locks, including Shifford, Northmoor, Pinkhill, Eynsham and Kings locks|
|415002||Osney to Iffley Lock||Osney to Iffley locks only|
|415003||Sandford to Clifton Lock||Sandford to Clifton locks, including Abingdon, and Culham locks|
|415004||Day’s to Mapledurham Lock||Day’s to Mapledurham locks, including Benson, Cleeve, Goring and Whitchurch locks|
|415005||Caversham to Shiplake Lock||Caversham to Shiplake locks, including Sonning Lock|
|415006||Marsh to Boveney Lock||Marsh to Boveney locks, including Hambleden, Hurley, Temple, Marlow, Cookham, Boulters and Bray locks|
|415007||Romney to Bell Weir Lock||Romney to Bell Weir locks, including Old Windsor Lock|
|415008||Penton Hook to Chertsey Lock||Penton Hook to Chertsey locks only|
|415009||Shepperton to Teddington Lock||Shepperton to Teddington locks, including Sunbury and Molesey locks|
|415010||River Kennet upstream of Blake’s Lock||River Kennet for upstream of Blake’s Lock and down to the confluence with the River Thames|
Find out about call charges.
The Environment Agency sends email updates on River Thames closures and restrictions. To subscribe to this service, email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘subscribe to harbourmaster’s notices’ in the subject line.
Know your river conditions
Any river activity poses a greater risk when there are strong currents, high river levels or cold weather conditions. River flows can increase even during the summer months – never assume sunny weather means the conditions are not hazardous.
Warning boards may be displayed at locks to inform river users of the conditions. Read the explanations of what these mean for you. Don’t take risks and never underestimate the power of the river.
When these red boards are displayed on lock gates, we advise users of all boats not to navigate because the strong flows make it difficult and dangerous.
People in hire boats arriving at a lock where these boards are displayed should stop immediately and contact their hire boat operator to ask for instructions.
When these yellow boards are displayed on lock gates, we advise users of all unpowered boats not to navigate and users of powered boats to find a safe mooring. This is because river flows are likely to strengthen, and red boards could be displayed very soon and without further warning.
When these yellow boards are displayed on lock gates, we advise users of all unpowered boats not to navigate and users of powered boats to navigate with caution.
Dealing with changing river conditions
Read this section carefully to find out what to do if you find yourself in conditions where we advise you to stop navigating. Remember, not all conditions will be serious enough to require all the measures suggested below.
- Please take the advice to stop. Even the most experienced boater can be caught out, so think about those who could be put in danger if they have to help you.
- Moor your boat in a safe place, preferably in a marina or at a recognised mooring. Limited space may be available at some locks. Moor against high banks if you can.
- Ensure your mooring lines are fastened to secure fixings such as bollards, rings or even trees; put out extra lines for additional security and allow enough slack for a further rise in river levels; don’t rely on your own mooring pins or stakes, they might not hold.
- If possible, put extra fendering (eg scaffold poles or strong timber posts) between your boat and the bank side, to prevent your boat drifting onto the river bank and becoming caught up when levels drop.
- Make sure you have a safe exit ashore from your boat. If not, you should consider returning home or finding alternative accommodation until conditions improve.
- If you are running low on essential supplies or have other safety concerns and are not able to vacate your boat safely, treat this as an emergency and dial 999 to ask for evacuation.
- Those in hire boats: if you are advised to stop navigating, you should stop immediately and contact your hire boat operator and follow their instructions.
Please remember your life is more important than your boat
The Environment Agency does not provide emergency services and is not able to carry out search and rescue, or provide supplies to stranded boats.