Thames River Users Group 8

The RUG8 area stretches from Bell Weir, just upstream of the Runnymede Bridge (which takes the M25 and A30 over the river) downstream to Teddington Lock where the non-tidal Thames ends - a distance of 18 miles by water. RUG8 is arguably the busiest stretch of the Thames for sport and recreation and it is subdivided into four reaches, each looked after by a reach coordinator.

The River Users Groups' terms of the reference, agreed with the Environment Agency (EA), are to:

  • act as a forum of communication and promote understanding between all river users
  • safeguard the interests of all river users
  • promote safety and goodwill
The groups' constitutions require them to have:
  • representation from all organisations and river activities, each with one vote if decisions are needed
  • up to three meetings a year
  • a chairman and secretary
The Environment Agency (EA) has pledged to support all reasonable administrative costs incurred by the RUGs.

The RUG chairs are 'ex officio' members of the `Thames Users Navigation Forum which meets two or three times a year at the EA offices in Reading and is chaired by the EA Area Manager - West Thames.

The individual RUGs work very close with the EA's Waterways Team based at Shepperton Lock. The EA's guidance on how to:

Other RUG Areas

The River User Groups were set up in the 1980s to coordinate river activities and ameliorate conflict between river users cover the complete length of the River Thames from the Head of Navigation at Lechlade downstream to Teddington lock.

There were eight RUG groups originally, now we have:

  • RUG 1 / 2 Lechlade (St Johns Lock) to Sandford Lock
  • RUG3 Sandford Lock to Cleve Lock
  • RUG4 / 5 Cleve Lock to Marsh Lock
  • RUG6 Marsh Lock to Boulters Lock
  • RUG7 Boulters Lock to Bell Weir Lock
  • RUG8 Bell Weir Lock to Teddington Lock
  • RUG9 Tidal Teddington Lock to the Sea
Except for RUG8 and RUG9 Tidal, the other RUGs listed above do not have their own websites.

Email contact for RUGs 1 / 2 is
Email contact for RUGs 4 / 5 is

Otherwise, if you wish to contact the chair of an individual RUG, please email the EA at

For an interactive map of all the locks on the non-tidal Thames and an excellent journey planner for powered and unpowered craft go to:
Map of Thames
RUG Areas - Lechlade Lock to Teddington Lock (enlarge map)

Permission for Restrictions and Closures

The individual RUGs work closely with the EA's Waterways Team based on Shepperton Lock Island. All RUG clubs and organisations should email to get permission to hold an event which restricts navigation on the river by laying buoys for a regatta course, or requiring a partial or full river closure.
All river restrictions and closures are posted on: and included in regular harbour master notices - email and ask to be included on the e-mailing list.

Another important website to check regularly for warnings about strong stream conditions (yellow and red boards) is:

October 2018

Friday, 19th



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