A new code of practice for paddling on the Tideway has gone out for public consultation.

It covers kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, outrigger canoes and dragon boats.

The draft code has been produced by the Port of London Authority with assistance from a number of organisations including  British Canoeing, the British Dragon Boat Association and the RNLI.

 It includes subjects like planning a trip, lifejackets, paddling in the dark and poor visibility, crossing the river and avoiding collisions.

In its introduction the PLA says: “The Paddling Code has been designed to support paddle sport users enjoy their activities on the tideway to the maximum, whilst conveying best practices and vital safety messages.
“We wish to give relevant paddlers, recreational users, vessel operators and other interested river users the opportunity to feedback views and comments on the content of the new Paddling Code.”

The authority says:” Navigating any paddled boat on the tidal Thames  requires knowledge of the river and how it operates .

“The Tideway is by far the busiest inland waterway in the UK which, coupled with a fast-flowing tide and many bridges, piers and moorings, creates a challenging waterway on which to navigate .

 “It is the responsibility of clubs, organisations, individuals and commercial providers to ensure all participants can cope with the expected conditions and that the boats being used are suitable and correctly equipped for busy tidal waters .

Activities should be risk-assessed and undertaken safely with appropriate good environmental practice and consideration for other river users.”

To view the proposed Paddling Code please CLICK HERE 
Comments in response to this consultation exercise should be addressed, in writing, to Jonathan Beckett, (SMS Manager) at the address below or by e-mail:, to arrive no later than Friday 27th January 2017.
The PLA says it is happy to answer queries over the phone (Tel: 01474 562200), but verbal submissions cannot be accepted.



Story dated 2016