Guidance

River Thames: restrictions and closures

Navigation on the River Thames may be restricted or closed in certain areas. Find out where and when these restrictions and closures are.

Before boating on the River Thames, you should check the current river conditions.

River closures: updated 26 February 2020

When Where What’s happening
Tuesday 18 February 2020 until further notice Marsh Lock Marsh Lock tree blockage: Marsh Lock is currently closed to all boats as a large tree has been washed downstream and is blocking the upstream entrance/exit to the lock.
Wednesday 26 February 2020 until further notice Teddington Lock Teddington Lock emergency closure: Teddington Lock is closed to all traffic until further notice due to two boats catching fire.
Saturday 14 March 2020, from 10:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm Teddington reach Kingston Head of the River Race: the river between Hampton Court Bridge to 250 metres downstream of Steven’s Eyot will be closed to all traffic other than authorised boats during the stated times.

River restrictions: updated 19 February 2020

When Where What’s happening
Monday 2 March to Saturday 28 March 2020 Clifton Lock Cut Clifton Lock Cut Bridge inspection: engineers will be using a mobile pontoon to access the underneath of the bridge. This will cause periodic disruption to navigation.
Monday 2 March to Saturday 28 March 2020 Boulters Lock tail Boulters Lock Bridge inspection: engineers will be using a mobile pontoon to access the underneath of the bridge. This will cause periodic disruption to navigation.
Monday 2 March to Saturday 28 March 2020 Sunbury Lock Cut Sunbury Lock Cut Bridge inspection: engineers will be using a mobile pontoon to access the underneath of the bridge. This will cause periodic disruption to navigation.
Sunday 5 April 2020, from 8am to 1pm Henley reach Phyllis Court Club Spring Time Trials: the navigation channel will be along the centre of the river. Racing will take place from Upper Thames Rowing Club to the Phyllis Club.
Saturday 5 September 2020, from 8:30am to 6pm Cookham reach Cookham Regatta: the navigation channel will be on the Bourne End, right side of the river.

Planned lock closures: updated 14 February 2020

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.

The Environment Agency publishes the first issue of the programme in August each year. This is so that river users can plan their winter cruising and boat movements well in advance.

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 river users can keep up to date. To receive this information, sign up to the email update service.

The following locks 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:

When Where What’s happening
4 November 2019 to 31 March 2020 Hambleden Lock Replacing tail layby fender timbers, including an additional line of fenders at the raised section of the layby. The tail layby is currently unsafe to use therefore it, and the lock, will remain closed for the duration of this updated closure. Lock passage maybe possible when a lock keeper is on duty.
14 January 2020 to 31 March 2020 Rushey Lock Creating a new head layby walkway and reconstructing the water point building on the layby.
2 March 2020 to 31 March 2020 Boulters Lock Structural survey of the vehicle bridge over the tail lock cut.
2 March 2020 to 31 March 2020 Caversham Lock Adjustment of lock chamber timbers.

For more information see the River Thames Investment Programme lock closures 2019-20 map.

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 riverthames@environment-agency.gov.uk with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line.

Say whether you want to subscribe to:

  • closures and restrictions emails
  • newsletter emails
  • both

We will use your personal information in line with our privacy notice.

Published 12 February 2020
Last updated 26 February 2020 + show all updates
  1. New lock closure notice for Teddington Lock (Wed 26 Feb until further notice).

  2. Under River closures, Reading University Head of the River Race due to take place on Saturday 29 March has been cancelled due to river conditions and details withdrawn .

  3. River restriction for Burway Rowing Club Head (Saturday 22 February 2020) removed due to cancellation of the event. River closure for Kingston Head of the River race (Saturday 29 February 2020) changed due to change of time.

  4. New notices added for Phyllis Court Club Spring Time Trial (Sun 5 April 2020) and Cookham Regatta (Sat 5 Sept 2020).

  5. New emergency closure notice for Marsh Lock from Tuesday 18 February 2020 until further notice.

  6. New closure notice for Reading University Head of the River Race on Saturday 29 February 2020.

  7. Hambledon and Rushey lock closure end date extended to 31 March 2020 due to bad weather conditions delaying the contractor work. Sandford, Shifford and Whitchurch lock work completed at end of January so removed from list.

  8. First published.