Guidance

River Thames conditions, closures, restrictions and lock closures

River closures, restrictions and lock closures affecting boaters on the River Thames.

River conditions

Find out the latest river conditions and strong stream warnings by:

River closures: updated 15 March 2018

There are currently no river closures in force.

River restrictions: updated 24 April 2018

When Where What’s happening
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.
Wednesday 21 March 2018 until further notice Walton towpath 24-hour moorings Mooring suspension: the 24-hour moorings at Walton towpath will be closed until further notice due to a suspected gas leak.
From Wednesday 4 April 2018 to 6am on Monday 11 June 2018 Henley Reach Henley Royal Regatta course construction: The course for Henley Royal Regatta is being constructed during these times and navigation restrictions apply.
Sunday 29 April 2018 from 8am to 1pm Phyllis Court Club to Upper Thames Rowing Club Phyllis Court Club spring time trial: the navigation channel will be in the centre of the river.
From Wednesday 16 May to Sunday 20 May 2018 Old Windsor Lock to Boveney Lock The Royal Wedding: The Environment Agency expect this stretch of river to be very busy on the above dates and we wish to ensure the safe transit and mooring of all boats.
Saturday 19 May 2018 from 7am to 8pm Teddington Reach Thames Ditton Regatta: the navigation channel will be on the right-hand, Hampton Court side of the river.
Saturday 26 May 2018 from 11am to 7pm Sonning Reach Sonning Regatta: the navigation channel will be on the Thames Path, left-hand 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.
Sunday 17 June 2018 from 6am to 9:45am Romney Reach Royal Windsor Triathlon: swimmers will leave a clear navigation channel for boat traffic along the centre of the river.
Saturday 14 July 2018 from 9am to 5pm Sunbury Reach Thames Valley Skiff Club Regatta: the navigation channel will be on the Middlesex, right-hand side of the river.
Saturday 18 August 2018 from 9am to 5pm Sunbury Reach Walton Reach Regatta: the navigation channel will be on the Middlesex, right-hand side of the river.
Saturday 18 August 2018 from 10am to 6pm Molesey Reach Royal Canoe Club Regatta: the navigation channel will be on the Surrey, left-hand side of the river.

Planned lock closures: updated 15 March 2018

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 4 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 riverthames@environment-agency.gov.uk.

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.

River Thames investment programme Issue 4 notice 2017 to 2018

River Thames investment programme Issue 4 map 2017 to 2018

When Where What’s happening
2 January 2018 to 23 March 2018 Clifton Lock Re-sheeting lock gates
13 November 2017 to 27 March 2018 (From 23 to 27 March assisted passage available from 9.30am to 4pm but the lock will be closed from 4pm until 9.30am) Blakes Lock Repairing and re-sheeting lock gates, refurbishing lock chamber walls, replacing rubbing timbers and general repairs to the lock site area
Postponed until the 2018 to 2019 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.

Email

The Environment Agency sends email updates on River Thames closures and restrictions. To subscribe to this service, email riverthames@environment-agency.gov.uk 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.

Strong stream warning
Strong stream 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 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.

Stream increasing warning
Stream increasing 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.

Stream decreasing warning
Stream decreasing warning

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Published 1 April 2014
Last updated 24 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. River restriction notice added for Phyllis Court spring time trial and river restriction removed for City of Oxford bumps which has now taken place.
  2. River restriction added: The Royal Wedding
  3. River restrictions added: Henley Royal Regatta course construction City of Oxford Bumps River restriction removed: Abingdon head of the river
  4. New notice added.
  5. Cancelled events removed.
  6. Updated with issue 4 of the River Thames lock closure programme
  7. Old notices removed.
  8. New notices added.
  9. New notices added.
  10. New notices added.
  11. New notice added.
  12. New notice added.
  13. New notices added.
  14. Issue 3 notice added.
  15. Updated October 2017.
  16. Changed date for 'Repair works to Clifton Lock Cut Bridge' notice.
  17. New notice added.
  18. New notices added.
  19. New notices added.
  20. New notices added.
  21. Added new notices.
  22. New notices added.
  23. River restrictions table has been updated
  24. river restriction table has been updated
  25. River closures section for winter cruising has been updated.
  26. river restrictions table has been updated
  27. New notices of restrictions added.
  28. The river restrictions table has been updated.
  29. New notices added.
  30. New notices added.
  31. Updated 'keep up to date' section
  32. River restrictions table updated.
  33. New notices added.
  34. river restrictions table has been updated
  35. River restrictions table updated.
  36. New notices added.
  37. River restrictions have been updated
  38. Updates section on planned lock closures.
  39. New notice added,
  40. New notices added.
  41. New notices added and issue 9 of planned lock closure programme.
  42. River restrictions have been updated
  43. New notices added.
  44. River restrictions table updated.
  45. Added issue 8 of the lock programme.
  46. River restrictions table updated.
  47. Issue 7 planned lock closures added.
  48. Planned Lock Closures updated
  49. New notices added.
  50. Issue 5 investment programme added.
  51. River closures updated.
  52. Planned lock closures: updated 10 November 2016.
  53. New notices added.
  54. Issue 3 lock investment added.
  55. New notices added.
  56. The river closure table has been updated.
  57. New notices added.
  58. Issue 2 added.
  59. River restrictions table updated.
  60. New notices added.
  61. River restrictions table updated.
  62. New notices added.
  63. River restrictions table updated.
  64. Planned lock closures: updated 17 August 2016
  65. New notices added.
  66. River restrictions and closures tables have been updated.
  67. New notices added.
  68. River closures updated.
  69. River restrictions table has been updated.
  70. New notices added.
  71. River notices table has been updated.
  72. River restrictions added for 15 July 2016 onwards.
  73. Notices added for river restrictions on 2,3 and 9 July 2016.
  74. Notices for Egham Regatta 26 June and Shiplake lock closure added.
  75. River restrictions due to Egham regatta
  76. River restrictions in place - Sunday 26 June, Egham Regatta.
  77. On Monday 27 June, boats will be unable to travel through Shiplake Lock between 7:30am and 10am.
  78. The river restrictions table has been updated.
  79. The river restrictions table has been updated.
  80. River restrictions table updated.
  81. Restrictions added for June and July 2016, including restrictions for the Royal Henley regatta.
  82. New notices added.
  83. Removed Cookham Lock power fault notice.
  84. Update to river closures table
  85. River restrictions table has been updated.
  86. Added lock closure
  87. Updated on 10 May 2016. Details of Cookham Lock operating times.
  88. Information on restrictions to operation of Cookham Lock under 'River closures'.
  89. New notice added.
  90. Updated time for Cookham power issue.
  91. New notices added.
  92. New notices added.
  93. New notice added.
  94. New notices added.
  95. Completed works updated.
  96. Updated river closures.
  97. Updates to river closures.
  98. New notices added.
  99. Issue 7 investment programme and map added.
  100. New notices added.
  101. Issue 6 added.
  102. The sunken narrowboat has now been removed. Boat passage through the Botley Road Bridge is now possible and the river is open.
  103. Investment programme number 5 added.
  104. New notice added.
  105. New notices added.
  106. New notice added.
  107. Issue 3 of River Thames Lock Investment Programme added.
  108. New notices added and old notices removed.
  109. New notices added.
  110. Planned lock closures section updated.
  111. New notices added.
  112. New notices added.
  113. New notices added.
  114. Notice added for Hampton Court and Dittons Amateur regatta river restriction 19 September.
  115. New notices added.
  116. New notices added.
  117. New investment programme notice and map added.
  118. New notices added.
  119. New notices added.
  120. New notices added.
  121. Notice on water levels added.
  122. Old notices removed.
  123. New notices added.
  124. New notices added.
  125. Reading bridge strengthening work extended until August 2015.
  126. New notices added.
  127. New notices added.
  128. New notice added.
  129. New events for July and August 2015 added.
  130. River restriction for 7 June, F3 Royal windsor swim added.
  131. New river restrictions for June and July 2015 added.
  132. Changes to the Cookham Lock restrictions.
  133. Updated section about Cookham Lock
  134. New notices added.
  135. New notices added.
  136. New notices added.
  137. New notices added.
  138. New notices added.
  139. New notice added.
  140. Updated Kingston Bridge notice to end date of July 2015.
  141. New notices added.
  142. New notices added.
  143. Work on Romney Lock in now complete. Information about closure removed.
  144. Chnged the time of closure because of the problems on the lock.
  145. Romney Lock closed until 2pm on Monday 27 April 2015
  146. New data added 24 April 2015
  147. On Monday 27 April, Romney Lock will be closed from 9am to 11am.
  148. New notice added.
  149. New notices added.
  150. New notices added.
  151. Updated 'planned lock closures' section.
  152. Updated lock closures.
  153. Old notice removed.
  154. New notices added.
  155. New notice and map added to planned lock closures section.
  156. Updated with new dates.
  157. Issue 4 of map and notices added.
  158. New notices added.
  159. New notice added.
  160. New notice added.
  161. New notice added.
  162. New notice added.
  163. New notice added.
  164. Removed old notices and added new notices.
  165. Old notices removed and new notices added.
  166. New notice added.
  167. New notices added.
  168. Updates made to planned lock closures section.
  169. Update on latest closures
  170. Updated lock closures
  171. New notice added.
  172. Old notices removed.
  173. New notices added.
  174. Updates to planned lock closures section.
  175. New notices added.
  176. New notices added.
  177. Two notices amended: Kingston railway bridge works, and Windsor railway bridge works.
  178. Old notices removed.
  179. Old notices removed.
  180. Godstow Bridge river restriction added.
  181. New river closure and river restriction added.
  182. New notice added.
  183. New notices added.
  184. Old notices removed
  185. Old notices removed.
  186. Lock closures updated for 2014 to 2015.
  187. Email address for email updates added and old notices removed.
  188. New notices added.
  189. New notices added.
  190. New notice added.
  191. Latest information on River Thame river closures now available.
  192. Restrictions added for 7 June and 8 June 2014.
  193. New notices added
  194. Updated with new notices.
  195. New notices added on 22 May 2014.
  196. New notices added on 15 May 2014.
  197. New notices added on 13 May 2014.
  198. New notices added on 8 May 2014.
  199. New notice added on 6 May 2014.
  200. New notices added on 2 May 2014.
  201. New river closure added on 23 April 2014.
  202. New information on planned lock closures for Teddington Skiff Lock and Teddington Barge Lock.
  203. New notices added on 11 April 2014.
  204. 9 April 2014: one new closure added and two new restrictions.
  205. First published.