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Old 02 February 2014, 09:40   #1
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Thames barrier question

Can anyone show me a website that I can use to check when the barrier is closed ?

The Environment one I found only tells you when its closed for maintenance.

The other one I found via Google just told me when the visitor center was closed !

I cant be the only person who just wants to look online to see when its open/closed and the times.
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Old 02 February 2014, 10:12   #2
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Type this into google.....

When is the Thames Barrier closed
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Old 02 February 2014, 10:38   #3
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Yup, I did that. All I get is the Environment agency telling me when it will be closed for maintenance. Or for testing.

It does not tell me for example that its closed today, or that it was closed yesterday.

How can I find that out ?
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Old 02 February 2014, 10:56   #4
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That's because it remains open except for maintenance and tidal surges, there is no regular closing times, a decision is made if it needs to close a day or so in advance see.....

Environment Agency - Forecasting closures
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Old 02 February 2014, 11:13   #5
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OK, but there is still nowhere I can find online to tell me its shut due to a tidal surge.

If we know the tides and weather and river levels and they decide to shut the barrier a day or so in advance - why cant I find a website with that info on it.

Interestingly they say it was shut 4 times in the 80's, 35 times in the 90's and over a 100 in since 2000.
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Old 02 February 2014, 12:03   #6
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OK, but there is still nowhere I can find online to tell me its shut due to a tidal surge.

If we know the tides and weather and river levels and they decide to shut the barrier a day or so in advance - why cant I find a website with that info on it.

Interestingly they say it was shut 4 times in the 80's, 35 times in the 90's and over a 100 in since 2000.
Hi Trimix - you will only get this exact info approx 36 hrs before, following a computed formulation from the met office and the Thames Flood Computer. Bear in mind it only closes 6 hrs through the top of the tide on any particular surge. If you are looking at this for planning purposes try to go during a neap tide when low water is around the middle of the day. Your best call also is London VTS who usually are the first to receive the info - they will normally give you at least 48hrs heads up on what is happening. Any closure is normally well forecast and VTS will have that info some days before if there is any possibility.
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Old 02 February 2014, 12:06   #7
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"The barrier has no individual trigger level for closure. Hydrological and meteorological data is fed into the control room every 20 minutes by telemetry. The closing process is guided by a mathematical matrix considering fluvial flow, tide and surge from this data. The end decision for closure lies with the Thames Barrier duty controller at the time."

I'm guessing, and Poly may well correct me, but there's a chap in a control room and he has lots of data at his disposal, he keeps an eye on it and if he feels there is a flood risk from a tidal surge then he closes the barrier, having a website listing probable closures would be like having a site predicting the weather.
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Old 02 February 2014, 15:18   #8
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Cheers for the info. I will give them a call then when I plan my trip.
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Old 02 February 2014, 17:47   #9
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If its your first time on the Thames then I would genuinely suggest that you wait a while. The fluvial flow off the land is horrendous at the moment and when coupled with the tide its even worse. I've been on and around the Thames for a good few years now and even I'm staying off it till the flows calm down. The PLA have issued a NTM about the high flow.

Incidentally info about the barriers can found out by listening to ch14.

A good source of info is 'The Liquid Highway' webpage or their Facebook page. Some impressive pictures of the river in full flow on there!!

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