Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.


Navigation in upper tidal Thames

Notice has been given by the Port of London Authority (PLA) advising of reduced depths of navigable water from those charted between Richmond and Battersea.

As a consequence, all users of the river above Battersea are asked to take extra care as there could be the possibility of grounding at low water.

These reduced depths are a direct result of the exceptionally low levels of rainfall over recent months following the driest winter since 1976, with eight consecutive months of below average rainfall. This advice follows the announcement last week by the Environment Agency about the effects of continued dry weather.

In order to maintain water levels upstream, the PLA is to reduce to a minimum the number of times Richmond Lock is opened, by putting as many boats as possible through the Lock at any one time. As this could cause river users to be required to wait longer to use the Lock, the PLA requests their co-operation and understanding.

Water depths in the upper reaches of the tidal Thames are dependent on the flow of fresh water coming downstream. However, as a result of the low rainfall greater abstraction of water from the river is necessary to maintain water supplies to London. The PLA is working closely with the Environment Agency and Thames Water in monitoring the situation.

Contact Martin Garside, Port of London Authority, Tel: 020 7743 7915.

Note to Editors:

The Port of London Authority is responsible for navigation on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington.