• Keep a proper lookout
• Know and follow the rules
• Show consideration for others
Navigating any type of small recreational vessel on the tidal Thames, or Thames Tideway as it is also known, requires knowledge of the river and how it operates. The Tideway is by far the busiest inland waterway in the UK which, coupled with a fast-flowing tide and many bridges, piers and moorings, creates a challenging waterway on which to navigate.
‘Our’ stretch of the Thames (between Teddington and Richmond Locks) is active with both commercial and leisure traffic. To ensure the safety of all, river users are required to observe the regulations of the Port of London Authority that control navigation, speed and collision avoidance.
PLA Circulation pattern
As the above diagram demonstrates ‘our’ stretch of river has a relatively simple navigation pattern. Basically it is a case of keeping to the right hand bank in the direction travel. There are three bridges that also need to be negotiated, Richmond Road Bridge, Twickenham Rail Bridge and Twickenham Road bridge. For all these bridges you will normally pass through right hand arch when heading down stream. At times when the boating pontoons downstream of Richmond Road Bridge are busy - typically weekend mornings - we would use the centre arch.
When heading upstream you are required to pass through the middle arches of both Twickenham Road and Rail Bridges and pass through the right hand arch of Richmond Road Bridge. See annotated photos below.