We receive information on a potential surge tide from weather satellites, oil rigs, weather ships and coastal stations. We can forecast dangerous conditions up to 36 hours in advance, and we will close the Barrier just after low tide, or about four hours before the peak of the incoming surge tide reaches the Barrier.
We operate the Barrier every month for maintenance and test purposes. Once a year we test the Barrier at a high spring tide (normally September or October). We may begin closing and reopening the gates up to an hour before the times listed below. Very occasionally, we may need to vary a closure, or cancel it at short notice. Please telephone the day before to check (020 8305 4188).
- Wednesday 5 March 2014 - 09.30 to 12.00 (CANCELLED)
- Wednesday 2 April 2014 – 09.30 to 12.00 (CANCELLED)
- Thursday 8 May 2014 – 13.20 to 15.50
- Monday 16 June 2014 – 09.55 to 12.35
- Tuesday 15 July 2014 – 09.45 to 12.15
- Wednesday 13 August 2014 – 09.35 to 12.05
- Thursday 11 September 2014 – 09.15 to 11.45
- Sunday 5 October 2014 – 03.50 to 13.50*
* Annual full tidal test closure of the Barrier.
How the Thames Barrier works
Look inside the Thames Barrier
Thames aerial view
Other tidal defences