Image Source: Mark Hillary
The River Thames.

Thames boating businesses to benefit from Environment Agency's £9.5m improvement programme

The Environment Agency has released its 2021 to 2022 list of navigation improvements to the River Thames.

With a total budget of £9.5m, it is the largest investment programme in a decade. The improvement works stretch from Lechlade (near the river’s source) to the tidal limit at Teddington.

The improvements include weir refurbishments, dock improvements and the construction of new fish passes.

Stairwell reconstruction, chamber fender replacements and resurfacing will take place at 4 lock sites: Rushey, Bray, Romney and Penton Hook.

Other improvements include the removal of wrecked vessels that are either sunken, stranded or abandoned and causing an obstruction to navigation on the non-tidal Thames, as well as the creation of an offshore canoe ‘portage’ at Abingdon to make safe river entry and exit points either side of the lock.

Further improvements will be made at Sunbury Weir, Chertsey Weir and Mapledurham Weir.

Maria Herlihy, manager, Environment Agency Waterways said: “This year’s massive investment in navigation infrastructure on the non-tidal Thames demonstrates the magnitude of our commitment to support all forms of boating, and boating businesses, on the non-tidal Thames.

“It will fund one of the most diverse and extensive programme of improvements for many, many years. It will also further enhance the experience for tens of thousands of regular and visiting Thames boaters.”

The majority of the listed works will begin around November of this year with the intention of completion by March 2022.

The Environment Agency will provide several weeks’ notice so that river users can plan their winter movements and excursions.

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