New byelaws for the Thames

July will see first byelaws update on the Thames since 1978

For the first time in 34 years, the PLA have issued new

byelaws for users of the River Thames.

Whilst the majority of the byelaws are governing the

operation of commercial traffic along the Capital’s River, there are a number

that will affect pleasure boaters.

As the PLA said in a statement, the last time the River’s

byelaws were updated, “Commercial activity in the port was declining, there

were no mobile phones, the Bee Gees were topping the charts, and the Ford

Cortina was the best selling car.”

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A lot has changed since 1978, but many of the laws have just

updated to suite modern equipment, such as AIS and the increasing number of

pleasure craft using the Thames.

A speed limit of 8 knots now applies to the Thames above

Wandsworth Bridge, on Depford Creek, River Lee, Bow Creek, Barking Creek,

Dartford Creek, the creeks northwest of Canvey Island and Yantlet Creek.

The PLA have banned under 16s from mastering craft, almost

totally banned PWCs, water skiing, and those who land their seaplanes on the

Thames, now need to seek permission first.

Swimming in areas of the Thames near commercial traiffic, piers and certain areas will also be banned from July

See the full list of byelaws, which come

into action on 1 July