Reach 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 11 August 2016
|Thursday 18 August and Monday 5 September 2016 from 7pm to midnight||Scours Lane, Reading||Reading festival bridge: a temporary bridge will be installed and removed for Reading festival.|
River restrictions: updated 11 August 2016
|Sunday 28 August 2016 from 8:30am to 6pm||Henley Reach||Skiff championships regatta: the navigation channel will be on the right (Fawley Court) side of the river.|
|Saturday 3 September from 8:30am to 6pm||Cookham Reach||Cookham regatta: the navigation channel will be on the right (Bourne End) side of the river.|
|Saturday 3 September 2016 from 10am to 4pm||Henley Reach||Regatta for the disabled: the navigation channel will be on the left (Remenham) side of the river.|
|Sunday 4 September 2016 from 10am to 5pm||Culham Reach||Rotary Club of Abingdon dragon boat races: the navigation channel will be on the left (north) side of the river.|
|Sunday 4 September 2016 from 11am to 1pm||Iffley Reach||Oxford Mile 2016: Swimmers will leave Falcon Canoe Club and will swim 1 mile upstream to Christchurch Meadow.|
Planned lock closures: updated 17 August 2016
The Environment Agency carries out a programme of works on the River Thames every year between November and Easter. In order to carry out this work, it often needs to close a number of locks for relatively long periods.
The Environment Agency’s programme of work is subject to change, due to weather and other circumstances, often beyond its control. It therefore publishes revised issues of the programme of works throughout the winter, so customers can keep up to date. To receive this information, you can sign up to the email update service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check this webpage.
Listed below are the locks that will be closed during the 2016 to 2017 investment programme. The locks will be closed from the first date listed and re-open on the day after the final date.
- River Thames investment programme Issue 1 notice 2016 to 2017
- River Thames investment programme Issue 1 map 2016 to 2017
|16 January 2017 to 27 January 2017||Buscot Lock||Repairing and making health and safety improvements to lock gate sluices and seals.|
|9 January 2017 to 24 February 2017||Shifford Lock||Re-sheeting lock gates, repairing balance beam and re-fixing rubbing timber.|
|1 November 2016 to 16 December 2016||King’s Lock||Re-sheeting lock gates, repairing balance beam and removing silt from travel lines of the lock gates. Head mooring embankment works and additional revenue moorings.|
|14 November 2016 to 16 December 2016||Clifton Lock||Strengthening works to lock gates.|
|14 November 2016 to 25 November 2016||Day’s Lock||Replacing sluice rod.|
|1 November 2016 to 16 December 2016||Goring Lock||Refurbishing lock chamber walls and replacing of worn rubbing timbers.|
|9 January 2017 to 10 February 2017||Marlow Lock||Replacing lock chamber rubbing timbers and re-fixing all grab chains.|
|1 November 2016 to 16 December 2016||Penton Hook Lock||Repairing 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 when prompted select option 1 followed by:
- River conditions and strong stream warnings: 011131
- Work on the river and lock closures: 011132
- Events on the river which affect boating: 011133
Find out about call charges.
The Environment Agency sends email updates on River Thames closure and restrictions. To subscribe to this service, email email@example.com 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. 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 are not an emergency service and are not able to carry out search and rescue, or provide supplies to stranded boats.