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Welcome to
The Thames River
Users Group

The River User Groups (RUGs) were set up in the 1980s following an Environment Agency (EA) working party report on River Thames Leisure Policy. The policy said that: “RUGs should be set up to coordinate river activities and ameliorate conflict. The intention is to foster a spirit of co-operation and understanding between different users, so as to reduce conflicts and dangers likely where there is intensive club use.”

The non-tidal River Thames was originally arranged into eight areas, now consolidated into six as follows:





RUG 1 & 2

Lechlade to Sandford Lock

Lechlade - Oxford





RUG 3

Sandford Lock to Cleeve Lock

Abingdon - Wallingford





RUG 4 & 5

Cleeve Lock to Marsh Lock

Goring - Reading - Sonning - Shiplake - Wargrave





RUG 6

Marsh Lock to Boulters Lock

Henley – Marlow – Bourne End -Cookham





RUG 7

Boulters Lock to Bell Weir 

Maidenhead – Eton –Windsor – Datchet - Runnymeade





RUG 8

Bell Weir to Teddington Lock

Staines – Chertsey – Walton – Sunbury – Kingston - Teddington

The River User Groups' terms of the reference, agreed with the Environment Agency (EA), are to:
  • act as a forum of communication and promote understanding between all 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 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 of 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:
  • register a boat
  • get permission to hold an event
  • obtain information on river closures, restrictions and  conditions
can be found on the Gov.UK Boating Pages and they can be contacted on: riverthames@environment-agency.gov.uk
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Last Update : Saturday December 2nd 2017 4:56:58 - By: Steve

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