ListMoto - Tideway

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The Tideway
is the part of the River Thames
River Thames
in England
that is subject to tides. This stretch of water is downstream from Teddington Lock
Teddington Lock
and in its widest definition is just under 160 kilometres (99 mi) long.[1] The Tideway
includes the Thames Estuary, the Thames Gateway and the Pool of London.


1 Tidal activity 2 Responsibilities 3 Navigation 4 Environment 5 Thames Estuary 6 Thames Gateway

6.1 Major crossings 6.2 Tributaries 6.3 Islands and peninsulas

7 Pool of London

7.1 Major crossings

8 Inner London

8.1 Major crossings 8.2 Tributaries

9 Outer London

9.1 Major crossings 9.2 Tributaries 9.3 Islands

10 See also 11 References 12 External links

Tidal activity[edit] Depending on the time of year, the river tide rises and falls twice a day by up to 7 m (24 ft) and, due to the need to overcome the outflow of fresh water from the Thames Basin, it takes longer to subside (6–9 hours) than it does to flow in (4–5 hours). London Bridge
London Bridge
is used as the basis for published tide tables giving the times of high tide. High tide reaches Putney
about 30 minutes later. Low-lying banks of London
have been defended against natural vulnerability to flooding by storm surges. The threat has increased due to a slow but continuous rise in high water level, caused by the extremely slow 'tilting' of Britain (up in the north and down in the south) due to post-glacial rebound and the gradual rise in sea levels due to climate change.[2] The Thames Barrier
Thames Barrier
was constructed across the Thames at Woolwich
to deal with this threat. Responsibilities[edit]

A Fast Response Targa 31 boat of the Marine Support Unit
Marine Support Unit
of the Metropolitan Police

The Tideway
is managed by the Port of London Authority
Port of London Authority
(PLA) and is often referred to as the Port of London. The upstream limit of its authority is marked by an obelisk just short of Teddington Lock. The PLA is responsible for one lock on the Thames: Richmond Lock. In London, the Thames is policed by the Thames Division, the river police arm of London’s Metropolitan Police. Essex Police
Essex Police
and Kent Police have responsibilities for the rest of the Tideway. 21st century criminal investigations have included the Roberto Calvi
Roberto Calvi
and Torso in the Thames cases. The London Fire Brigade
London Fire Brigade
has a fire boat on the river.

E class lifeboat
E class lifeboat
based at Chiswick
Pier performing a rescue

As a result of the Marchioness disaster
Marchioness disaster
in 1989 when 51 people died, the Government asked the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Port of London
Authority and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
(RNLI) to work together to set up a dedicated Search and Rescue service for the tidal River Thames. As a result, there are four lifeboat stations on the Thames, at: Teddington, Chiswick
Pier, Tower Pier and Gravesend.[3] Navigation[edit] Main article: Port of London

River traffic around Waterloo Pier in 2008

The Thames Lock on the Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
at Brentford
in 2005

The river is navigable to large ocean-going ships as far as the Pool of London
at London Bridge
London Bridge
and is the United Kingdom's second largest port by tonnage.[4] Today, little commercial traffic passes above the Thames Barrier, and central London
sees only the occasional visiting cruise ship or warship moored alongside HMS Belfast, and a few smaller aggregate or refuse vessels, operating from wharves in the west of London. Most trade is handled by the Port of Tilbury, ro-ro ferry terminals at Dagenham
and Dartford, and petroleum products handling facilities at Purfleet, Coryton and Canvey Island. There is a speed limit of 8 knots (15 km/h) west of Wandsworth Bridge and in tributary creeks, and except for authorised vehicles, 12 knots (22 km/h) between Wandsworth Bridge
Wandsworth Bridge
and Margaretness.[5] The tidal river is used for leisure navigation. In London
sections there are many sightseeing tours in tourist boats past riverside attractions such as the Houses of Parliament
Houses of Parliament
and the Tower of London, as well as regular riverboat services provided by London
River Services. This section is not suitable for sporting activity because of the strong stream through the bridges. Rowing has a significant presence upstream of Putney
Bridge, while sailing takes place in the same area and also along the coasts of the Estuary. The annual Great River Race
Great River Race
for traditional rowed craft takes place over the stretch from Greenwich to Ham. Thames meander challenges along the length of the Thames from Lechlade
often pass through the London
sections and finish well downstream, for example at Gravesend Pier. The Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
joins the river at Brentford, with a branch – the Regent's Canal
Regent's Canal
– joining at Limehouse Basin. The other part of the canal network still connecting on the Tideway
is the River Lea Navigation.

Thames Reaches east of Westminster

Reach 1 Upper Pool, Lower Pool and Limehouse Reach

Reach 2 Limehouse, Greenwich and Blackwall Reach

Reach 3 Bugsby’s and Woolwich

Reach 4 Gallions and Barking Reach

Reach 5 Halfway and Erith Reach

Reach 6 Erith Reach, Erith Rands and Long Reach

Reach 7 Long Reach and Fiddler’s Reach

Reach 8 Northfleet Hope

Reach 9 Gravesend Reach

Reach 10 The Lower Hope

Reach 11 Sea Reach


The River Thames
River Thames
flooding at Chiswick
Lane South in 2006

Narrow low-lying belts beside the tidal section of the Thames regularly flood at spring tides, supporting brackish plants. One such example is at Chiswick
Lane South, where the river, as pictured, overflows this road a few times per year. (Picture taken in 2006). Although water quality has improved over the last 40 years and efforts to clean up the Tideway
have led to the reintroduction of marine life and birds, the environment of the Tideway
is still poor. Heavier rainfall in London
causes overflows from pipes on the river banks from the standard type of sewer in the capital, the combined sewer. Around 39,000,000 m3 (3.9×1010 l) or 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage mixed with rainwater are released into the Tideway each year from sewage treatment works and combined sewer overflows (CSOs), averaging 106,849 m3 (106,849,000 l) per day or 106,849 tonnes per day.[6][7] These CSOs can cause the deaths of marine life and health hazards for river users. The Thames Tideway
Scheme, under construction, aims to divert most of the overflow from sewers into a tunnel under the river. Thames Estuary[edit] Main article: Thames Estuary The Thames Estuary
Thames Estuary
is bordered by the coast and the low-lying lands upstream between the mouth of the River Stour on the Essex/Suffolk border and The Swale
The Swale
in north Kent. It is now usually designated the Greater Thames Estuary
Thames Estuary
and is one of the largest inlets on the coast of Great Britain. The water can rise by 4 metres moving at a speed of 8 miles per hour. The estuary extends into London
near Tower Bridge, and can be divided into the Outer Estuary up to the Swale at the west end of the Isle of Sheppey, and the Inner Estuary, designated the Thames Gateway
Thames Gateway
above this point. The shore of the Outer Estuary consists of saltmarshes and mudflats, but there are man-made embankments along much of the route. Behind these, the land is cultivated or used for grazing. Parts of the Outer Estuary are on a major shipping route. Thames Gateway[edit] Main article: Thames Gateway

The Grain Tower, Isle of Grain
Isle of Grain
1855, and causeway seen at low tide, 2008

The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge; opened in October, 1991

The Gateway is some 70 kilometres (43 mi) long,[1] stretching from the Isle of Sheppey
Isle of Sheppey
to Westferry
in Tower Hamlets. Its boundary was drawn to capture the riverside strip that formerly hosted many land extensive industries, serving London
and the South East. The decline of these industries has left a legacy of large scale dereliction and contaminated land, but an opportunity for major redevelopment. The area includes the London
Docklands, Millennium Dome, London Riverside
London Riverside
and Thames Barrier. Major crossings[edit]

Crossing including two Dartford
Tunnels (1963 and 1980) and the cable-stayed Queen Elizabeth II Bridge (1991) Blackwall Tunnels (Alexander Binnie, 1897; second bore 1967) Jubilee line
Jubilee line
and Docklands Light Railway
Docklands Light Railway
tunnels Greenwich foot tunnel
Greenwich foot tunnel
(Alexander Binnie, 1902) Rotherhithe Tunnel
Rotherhithe Tunnel
(Maurice Fitzmaurice, 1908)


Pitsea Creek, Mar Dyke
Mar Dyke
and River Ingrebourne River Rom
River Rom
(lower reaches known as the Beam) and River Dart River Roding
River Roding
(tidal reach known as 'Barking Creek') River Lea
River Lea
or Lee (tidal reach known as 'Bow Creek') Ravensbourne (tidal reach known as 'Deptford Creek')

Islands and peninsulas[edit]

Isle of Grain— actually a peninsula Two Tree Island Canvey Island Lower Horse Island Frog Island, Rainham Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
— actually a peninsula

Pool of London[edit] Main article: Pool of London

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
open to admit HMS Northumberland in April, 2007

The Pool of London
Pool of London
is divided into two parts, the Lower Pool and Upper Pool. The Lower Pool traditionally runs from the Cherry Garden Pier in Rotherhithe
to Tower Bridge. The Upper Pool consists of the section between Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
and London
Bridge. In the 18th and 19th centuries the river was lined with nearly continuous walls of wharves running for miles along both banks, and hundreds of ships moored in the river or alongside the quays. The lack of capacity in the Pool of London prompted landowners to build London's Docklands with enclosed docks with better security and facilities. The abrupt collapse of commercial traffic in the Thames due to the introduction of shipping containers and coastal deep-water ports in the 1960s emptied the Pool and led to all of the wharves being closed down. The Lower Pool area was extensively redeveloped in the 1980s and 1990s to create new residential and commercial neighbourhoods, often using converted warehouses. In the Upper Pool this provided scope for office development in the City of London
City of London
and Southwark. Major crossings[edit]

Rotherhithe Tunnel
Rotherhithe Tunnel
(Maurice Fitzmaurice, 1908) Thames Tunnel
Thames Tunnel
(Wapping to Rotherhithe
Tunnel) (Marc Brunel, 1843; the world's first underwater tunnel, now part of the East London
Line) Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge

Inner London[edit]

London Bridge
London Bridge
with the Gherkin in the background

Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge
with St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral

Lambeth Palace, photographed looking east across the River Thames.

Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station
viewed from the north bank of the River Thames at Pimlico.

Between London Bridge
London Bridge
and Putney
Bridge, the river passes through Central London
and some of the most famous landmarks.

North Bank South Bank

Monument St Paul's Cathedral Inner Temple Somerset House Victoria Embankment HMS President HMS Wellington Cleopatra's Needle Charing Cross railway station Norman Shaw Buildings Houses of Parliament Tate Britain Thames Embankment Southwark
Cathedral St Saviour's Dock Globe Theatre Tate Modern Royal National Theatre Royal Festival Hall London
Eye Albert Embankment County Hall, London St Thomas' Hospital Lambeth Palace SIS Building Battersea Power Station

River boats carry tourists up down and across the river, and also provide a regular commuter service. Major crossings[edit]

Northern line, Waterloo & City line, Bakerloo line, Jubilee line, Victoria line, tunnels London Bridge
London Bridge
(1973) Cannon Street Railway Bridge
Cannon Street Railway Bridge
(1982) Southwark
Bridge (1921) Millennium Bridge (2002) Blackfriars Railway Bridge
Blackfriars Railway Bridge
(1886) Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge
(1869) Waterloo Bridge
Waterloo Bridge
(1945) (the "women's bridge") Hungerford Footbridges (Golden Jubilee Bridges) (2002) Charing Cross (Hungerford) Bridge (1864) Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge
(1862) Lambeth Bridge
Lambeth Bridge
(1932) Vauxhall Bridge
Vauxhall Bridge
(1906) Grosvenor Bridge
Grosvenor Bridge
(Victoria Railway Bridge) (1859) Chelsea Bridge
Chelsea Bridge
(1937) Albert Bridge (1873) Battersea Bridge
Battersea Bridge
(Sir Joseph Bazalgette, 1890) (Henry Holland, 1771) Battersea Railway Bridge
Battersea Railway Bridge
(1863) Wandsworth Bridge
Wandsworth Bridge
(1938) Fulham Railway Bridge
Fulham Railway Bridge

Tributaries[edit] (culverted tributaries largely converted to sewers are marked ‡)

Walbrook‡ River Fleet‡ Neckinger‡ (save for mouth) Tyburn‡ Westbourne‡ Counter's Creek
Counter's Creek
(also known as 'Chelsea Creek')‡ (save for mouth) Effra‡ Wandle

Outer London[edit]


Historic riverside pub, Strand-on-the-Green, Chiswick

View from Richmond Hill, Richmond.

From Putney
Bridge to Teddington Lock, the river passes through inner and outer suburbs such as Hammersmith, Chiswick, Barnes, Richmond on Thames and Ham. This part of the Tideway
is home to most of London's rowing clubs, and is the venue for training and racing throughout the year. The Championship Course
The Championship Course
over which The Boat Race
The Boat Race
and many other events are run, stretches from Putney
to Mortlake. Major crossings[edit]

Bridge (Sir Joseph Bazalgette, 1886) (Phillips & Ackworth, 1729) Hammersmith
Bridge (Sir Joseph Bazalgette, 1887) Barnes Railway Bridge
Barnes Railway Bridge
(1849) Chiswick
Bridge (1933) Kew Railway Bridge
Kew Railway Bridge
(1869) Kew Bridge
Kew Bridge
(John Wolfe-Barry, 1903) Richmond Lock
Richmond Lock
and Footbridge (1894) Twickenham Bridge
Twickenham Bridge
(1933) Richmond Railway Bridge
Richmond Railway Bridge
(1848) Richmond Bridge (1777)


Beverley Brook Stamford Brook‡ Brent Duke of Northumberland's River
Duke of Northumberland's River
(manmade) Crane Sudbrook


Eyot, Chiswick Oliver's Island, Strand-on-the-Green Brentford
Ait, Brentford Lot's Ait, Brentford Isleworth
Ait, Isleworth Corporation Island, Richmond Glover's Island, Twickenham Eel Pie Island, Twickenham Swan Island, Twickenham

See also[edit]

Geography of London Islands in the River Thames List of crossings of the River Thames List of locations in the Port of London Locks and weirs on the River Thames Rowing on the River Thames Subterranean rivers of London Thames Tideway


^ a b http://www.thames-path.com/2008/?page_id=16898 ^ "GOV.UK". Environment Agency. Retrieved 2014-04-17.  ^ "ENGLAND Thames lifeboat service launched". BBC News. 2002-01-02. Retrieved 2014-04-17.  ^ (DFT) Provisional Port Statistics and Sea Passenger Statistics 2007 – Amended version Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ The Port of London Authority
Port of London Authority
Tidal Thames Recreational Users Guide ^ " Thames Tunnel
Thames Tunnel
Consultation". Thames Tunnel
Thames Tunnel
partnership. Retrieved 9 March 2013.  ^ Environment Agency, February 2009 ‘’ London
State of the Environment Report: Water Quality’’ Archived 31 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

The Thames Estuary
Thames Estuary
Partnership The Port of London
Port of London
Authority The Mirror of the Sea, Joseph Conrad at Wikiquote. From the estuary to the Port of London
Port of London
by boat in 1906, when the port was the commercial heart of the British Empire. London's River – An intriguing journey down the Thames in rare archive film. River Thames
River Thames
Boat Blog – A blog with articles dedicated to helping people get the most from boating on the Tidal River Thames
River Thames
in London. London
Bridges – A view of London
Bridges over the River Thames Fantasy flight along the Thames in a high-speed pod from the London Eye! Thames Discovery Programme community archaeology project

Coordinates: 51°25′47″N 0°19′12″W / 51.4298°N 0.3200°W