Following recent restrictions on boat movements due to strong river currents, the Environment Agency is offering up to five days extension to the licences of visiting boaters who have been unable to move their boats.

Boaters can continue their visit once conditions improve and should approach the Lockkeeper at the nearest licensing lock for further information.

On Friday 5 September, the upper part of the River Thames went onto ‘red boards’ which means boaters are advised not to use the river because of the strong currents.  Red boards are still currently displayed between Lechlade and Marlow which means some boaters are stuck along the river.

The Environment Agency displays ‘red boards’ when the river current is particularly strong making boat manoeuvres more difficult as there is much less time to react if something goes wrong. The bridges and narrower channels become more difficult to negotiate and the current becomes particularly dangerous just above the weirs. 

Mark Rowe, Waterways Manager, said: “The River Thames is a popular destination for boaters who keep their boats on other inland waterways.  The river conditions have been difficult at times again this summer with some unseasonal weather and strong river currents. We want to do what we can to encourage boaters to enjoy their time on the river and hope this extension will give them time to see what the Thames really has to offer.“

Boaters can keep up to date on current river conditions for the Thames by calling the Environment Agency Floodline on 0845 988 1188, selecting option 1 followed by quick dial number 011131.  The red boards are also displayed at each lock site when appropriate.