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River Users Consultative Forums

Terms of Reference
Current Membership



The requirements of both the Port Marine Safety Code and the Trust Ports Review formalised the consultation arrangements ports should have with users and stakeholders. The PLA used this opportunity to strengthen and enhance its own long-standing liaison with river users.  It has established two River User Consultative Forums (RUCFs) - for the Upper and Lower areas. There are two meetings per year for each Area/District.

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The fundamental objective of the RUCFs is:

to ensure that an effective mechanism exists whereby all river users and other stakeholders can be consulted and may represent their views on general and safety issues concerning the use of the tidal Thames for commercial and recreational purposes.

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The two Forums reflect the differing characteristics of the River and relate to the following areas:

  • River User Consultative Forum (Upper) - Teddington to Crossness
  • River User Consultative Forum (Lower & Estuary) - Crossness to Outer Limits

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Terms of Reference

The two River User Consultative Forums act as:

a)  A forum for raising and discussing issues, including safety, relating to the tidal Thames, relevant to the Port of London Authority (PLA).

b)  A vehicle for consultation with the PLA, which contributes to meeting the requirements of the Port Marine Safety Code and the Guide to Good Practice.

c)  A sub-committee of the South East District Marine Safety Committee.

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a)  Each Forum will normally comprise appropriate staff officers from the PLA and other statutory bodies, together with representatives from bona fide associations, groups and other organisations of the port/river community, other stakeholders and beneficiaries.

b)  The PLA District Harbour Master will normally chair the relevant Forum. In his absence, the Deputy Harbour Master will take the chair.

c)  Each Forum will normally meet on a six-monthly basis, in the spring and autumn. Extra-ordinary meetings may be called as and when necessary.

d)  The PLA will provide a Secretary for each Forum. Notes of meetings will be circulated to members, in addition to being placed on the PLA web site. Agendas and supporting papers will be circulated, where possible, at least two weeks before the next meeting and also placed on the web site.

e)  In the interests of equity and efficient working, representation will be limited to one member from each association, group or organisation.

f)  Where an organisation not normally represented considers that attendance is merited, either temporary or permanently, application should be made to the relevant Forum chair.

g)  Where an existing body or organisation does not represent an element of the river/port community, the PLA will be pleased to liaise with the group concerned with a view to facilitating an agreed mechanism for such representation.

h)  Practicality also dictates that private individuals cannot be accommodated. Where however, an individual wishes to have his/her views considered by a Forum, and where no existing member can reasonably represent those views, submission should again be made in writing to the relevant Chairman. Where appropriate, an invitation to attend a future meeting will be extended.

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Current Membership

RUCF (Upper)

  • Amateur Rowing Association
  • Association of Thames Yacht Club
  • Bennetts Barges
  • British Canoe Union
  • Capital Pleasure Boat Services
  • Castle Keep
  • Chas Newens Marine
  • City Cruises
  • Company of Watermen & Lightermen
  • Cory Environmental
  • Crown River Cruises
  • Environment Agency
  • General Marine
  • Greenwich Launches
  • General Port Services
  • Inland Waterways Association
  • Livetts Launches
  • London Fire Brigade
  • London Home and Water Safety Council
  • London Port Health Authority
  • London Rib Services
  • London River Services
  • Lower Thames and Medway Passenger Services
  • Maritime & Coastguard Agency - Orpington
  • Maritime & Coastguard Agency - Thames
  • Metropolitan Police - Marine Support Unit
  • MST
  • Newens Marine
  • North Kent Yachting Association
  • Passenger Boat Association
  • Residential Boat Owners Association
  • River Association for Freight and Transport
  • River Thames Society
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institute
  • Royal Yachting Association
  • Sargent Brothers Thames Ltd
  • SERCO Woolwich Ferry
  • Society of Thames Mudlarks
  • Thames Clippers
  • Thames Regional Rowing Council
  • Thames Rib Experiences
  • Turks
  • Woods River Cruises
  • WPSA


RUCF (Lower and Estuary)

  • Amateur Rowing Association
  • Association of Thames Yacht Clubs
  • Castle Point Council
  • Company of Watermen & Lightermen
  • Environment Agency
  • Essex Police Marine Unit
  • Gravesham Council
  • Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority
  • Kotug
  • Leigh & Southend Fishermen’s Association
  • London Port Health Authority
  • London River Users Society
  • London Shipowners & River Users Society
  • Maritime & Coastguard Agency
  • Medway Yachting Association
  • Metropolitan Police - Marine Support Unit
  • Peel Ports Medway
  • Port of Tilbury
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution
  • Royal Yachting Association
  • Sailors Society
  • Southend Council
  • Sport England East
  • Svitzer
  • Thames Estuary Partnership
  • Thames Fisheries A.C.
  • Thurrock Council
  • Trinity House
  • Unite

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Minutes of Previous RUCF Meetings

RUCF (Lower & Estuary)   

June 2020     

21 May 2019

13 November 2018

22 May 2018

23 November 2017    

18 May 2017                                          


RUCF (Upper)

10 April 2019

5 December 2018

25 April 2018

30 November 2017

20 April 2017




For any minutes dating back to 2011 please contact the relevant Harbour Master.

Harbour Master Upper

Harbour Master (Lower & Estuary)