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 (24-hour service) to hear recorded information and advice (find out about call charges)
- talking to lock staff
River closures: updated 9 October 2019
|Wednesday 9 October 2019, from 7:30am to 4pm||Radcot Lock||Radcot Lock closure: there will be no passage through Radcot Lock while the old riser pile is replaced.|
|Saturday 9 November 2019, from 10am to 12pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm||Teddington reach||Kingston Small Boats Head: the river between Hampton Court Bridge and 250 metres below Steven’s Ait will be closed to all traffic other than authorised boats during the stated times.|
|Saturday 16 November 2019, from 10am to 12pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm||Teddington reach||Teddington Head: the river between Hampton Court Bridge and the head of Trowlock Island will be closed to all traffic other than authorised boats during the stated times.|
|Saturday 30 November 2019, from 9:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm||Molesey reach||Hampton Small Boats Head: the river 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.|
|Sunday 1 December 2019, from 9:45am to 11:15am||Teddington reach||Royal Canoe Club 10@10: the River Thames between Trowlock Island and Kingston Bridge will be closed to all traffic other than authorised boats during the stated times.|
River restrictions: updated 9 October 2019
|Saturday 19 October 2019, from 9:30am to 5pm||Sunbury reach||Weybridge Silver Sculls: the navigation channel will be on the Middlesex, right hand side of the river, using the old river around Desborough Island.|
|Saturday 19 October 2019, from 11am from 3pm||Teddington reach||Royal Canoe Club Paddling Challenge: the navigation channel will be on the Surrey, left hand side of the river.|
|Sunday 27 October 2019, from 10am to 2:30pm||Teddington reach||Royal Outrigger Canoe Club - Hampton Court Challenge: this stretch of the river will be very busy at the stated times due to the event.|
|Sunday 27 October 2019, from 11am to 4pm||Henley reach||Upper Thames Autumn Head: the navigation channel will be in the centre of the river. All boats should navigate on the Buckinghamshire, Fawley, right side of Temple Island.|
|Saturday 9 November 2019, from 9am to 4pm||Henley reach||Henley Sculls Head Race: the navigation channel will be along the centre of the river. All non-racing boat traffic must pass on the Buckinghamshire, Fawley Court, right side of Temple Island.|
|Friday 15 November 2019, from 1pm to 4:30pm||Iffley reach||Nephthys Regatta: in between races a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river.|
|Saturday 16 November 2019, from 9:30am to 4:30pm||Iffley reach||Nephthys Regatta: in between races a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river.|
|Wed 27 to Fri 29 November 2019, from midday to 5pm and Sat 30 November 2019, from 11am to 5pm||Iffley reach||Christ Church Regatta: in between races a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river.|
|Saturday 14 December 2019, from 9am to 4pm||Sunbury reach||Walton Small Boats Head: the navigation will be on the old river and Middlesex, right hand side of the river and Desborough Channel will be closed for normal navigation.|
|Saturday 15 February 2020, from 9am to 4pm||Henley reach||Henley Fours and Eights Head Race: the navigation channel will be along the centre of the river. All non-racing boat traffic must pass on the Buckinghamshire, Fawley Court, right side of Temple Island.|
Planned lock closures: updated 26 September 2019
The Environment Agency carries out a programme of works on the River Thames every year between October 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 August each year.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Listed below are the locks that will be closed during the 2019 to 2020 investment programme. The locks will be closed from the first date listed and re-open on the day after the final date:
|4 November 2019 to 6 December 2019||Hambleden Lock||Replacing tail layby fender timbers, including an additional line of fenders at the raised section of the layby.|
|11 November 2019 to 20 December 2019||Sandford Lock||Installing new fenders on head and tail laybys and tail bullnose.|
|18 November 2019 to 24 January 2020||Shifford Lock||Reconstructing the lock side concrete. Replacing the bullnose timbers. Replacing head layby fenders.|
|25 November 2019 to 24 December 2019||Whitchurch Lock||Refurbishing the lock chamber walls. Reconstructing the head bullnose (approach wall).|
|6 January 2020 to 31 March 2020||Culham Lock||Widening and refurbishing the mooring bank at the head lock cut visitor moorings to improve access.|
|14 January 2020 to 14 February 2020||Rushey Lock||Creating a new head layby walkway and reconstructing the water point building on the layby.|
|No lock closure required||Abingdon Lock||Replacing the head layby canoe portage. This has been reassessed as not disrupting the lock access.|
Here is a map showing the above closures.
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 updates and newsletter
You can subscribe to newsletters about navigation on the River Thames and email updates on River Thames closures and restrictions.
To subscribe to this service, email email@example.com with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line.
Say whether you want to subscribe to:
- closures and restrictions emails
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We will use your personal information in line with our privacy notice.
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.