When entering the Thames estuary from the North Sea whilst navigation your way upstream you will travel in the tidal section of the Thames. From here the river will carry you through Central London until you reach Teddington Lock. The management of the tidal section of the Thames is handled by the Port of London Authority (PLA) who's operations cover over 95 miles. The PLA works hard at keep commercial and leisure users safe, protect and enhance the environment, and promote the use of the river Thames for trade and travel.
Notices to Mariners provide essential, up to date information and advice to all those supporting navigation and commercial shipping in the Port of London. Subjects will include (but not be limited to) advice on PLA procedures and/or requirements and notification of new and updated rules and regulations for navigation.
Managing the safety and navigation of the 95 miles of tidal Thames is done by a professional team of Harbour Masters. The Harbour Masters are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC), enforcing the rules and regulations and leading on Port Security and Emergency and Resilience Planning
The Port of London Authority has created their own Boating on the Thames website which provides guidance and advice to assist recreational users when navigating the tidal Thames through central London and beyond. Plenty of very useful information can be found on here including a Live Tides overview as well as a Tidal Thames App
The River User Groups (RUGs) were setup to provide a forum to discuss and resolve issues affecting river activities. The meetings are a stimulating forum for discussion, clarification and resolution of difficulties. Their website provides a way to share and communicate the debates and the decisions made in public meetings. RUG Tidal covers the stretch between Teddington and the North Sea.
There are a few 'river groups' and websites which offer information, however RUG Tidal is different, it is made up of marine engineers, boat builders, mooring and dock owners, freight operators, sports associations, houseboat owners and many more organisations which provide the 'day to day' activities on the Tideway. In other words a strong trade association operating facilities and actively working to improve future use and amenity of the Tidal Thames.
The RUGs are long established working groups which meet about 4 times a year and whilst not 'open-house', the RUGs are keen to welcome new members with experience in using the river. The membership is open to all users including anglers, rowers, sailors, canoeists, motor boat users, walkers, in fact anyone who lives, works or enjoys the Tidal River Thames.
Although RUG Tidal has always concentrated on the Tidal Thames, to meet the aspirations of all our members and to recognise the importance of the canals and tributaries of the Thames, it is the intension of RUG Tidal to cover the entire waterways of London and beyond to ensure a holistic approach to waterways management.
The RUGs really do make a difference because they bring together people with many different interests along the reaches which they cover, and know intimately. Issues are identified and solved through discussion with other groups and Environment Agency, Port of London Authority and Local government staff.
The RUGs are funded through membership and sponsorship, the funds are used to cover the cost of the public meetings, research, administration and the RUG Tidal website, which has been created to help communication and consultation outside meetings.