Riverside safety

River safety plan - section 1 - Ravens Ait to Town End Wharf

Section 1.1 - Ravens Ait to Queen Promenade Café

For the purposes of this plan the riverside in Kingston starts at Ravens Ait. Here, the entrance falls gently from the highway footpath onto the wide terraced paths of Queens Promenade. The higher path is constructed of asphalt which is separated from the lower hoggin path by a grass verge.

Along the length of the higher path are many benches which create popular places to sit and watch the life of the river go by. 

Section 1.2 - Queen Promenade Cafe to Town End Wharf

Beyond the Queen’s Promenade, before reaching Town End Wharf, the path narrows down to a paved strip along the water’s edge. In some places the path is only two meters wide, while in others it expands to small raised terraces to form a popular place to sit. Here, there are public moorings. The dilapidated finger moorings at Town End Wharf have recently been removed. Plans to replace these with new 24 hour visitor moorings and some residential places is proposed in the Kingston Moorings Plan.  

Turks Launches are now permanently based at Town End operating trips to Hampton Court and Richmond. Parrs Boats operate just a little upstream from Turks on Queens Promenade. Signs from the town centre advertising boat trips encourage use. At weekends the river is full of activity, including rowers, skiffs, sailing and passing cruisers. 

Nature of footfall

This section of the riverside is used by pedestrians of all age groups, runners and cyclists.

The higher path is regularly used by pedestrians, runners and cyclists, the lower path is not as popular a place to walk. This may be because it is a resting place for the visiting water fowl and can be messy at times. 

Rescue equipment

View map of bank side and river wall equipment

Bank side equipment

The are six life buoys along the Queens Promenade stretch of Section 1, each with throw ropes and toggle openings, and checked daily. 

  • Life buoy 1 - opposite junction of Portsmouth Road and Catherine Road, KT6 4HL, grid reference - X 517645 / Y 167947
  • Life buoy 2 - opposite Ravenside, 36 Portsmouth Road, KT6 4HQ, grid reference - X 517673 / Y 168005
  • Life buoy 3 - opposite junction of Portsmouth Road and Uxbridge Road, KT1 2BF, grid reference - X 517700 / Y 168076
  • Life buoy 4 - opposite Marlowe House, Portsmouth Road, KT1 2NY, grid reference - X 517745 / Y 168184
  • Life buoy 5 - opposite 26 Portsmouth Road, KT1 2ND, grid reference - X 517762 / Y 168275
  • Life buoy 6 - opposite 20 Portsmouth Road, KT1 2NG, grid reference - X517774 / Y 168402

River wall equipment

There is 25 metres of linked chain to provide foot holds at thee locations.

There is large interpretation board at Town End Wharf. Information on the sign includes similar text as the lifebuoy inserts and a high resolution map.

Access assessment scores

Section 1.1

  • Misjudgement, ignorance or disregard - 23 (out of 33)
  • Unlimited access to hazard - 4 (out of 30)
  • Supervision - 3 (out of 7)
  • Ability to save oneself or be rescued - 5 (out of 30)
  • Total score - 35 per cent (lower level risk)

Section 1.2

  • Misjudgement, ignorance or disregard - 23 
  • Unlimited access to hazard - 13 
  • Supervision - 4 
  • Ability to save oneself or be rescued - 10
  • Total score - 50 per cent (medium level risk)

Additional information

There is an additional hazard of the convergence of three entrances off Portsmouth Road onto the main path. Here the path narrows to two abreast and there is no protection on some areas of the river edge. There is often a number of waterfowl along the lower path resulting in a build up of mess left by the birds. This can be slippery.

During large events (such as the Olympics) additional stewards are placed at the convergence points to direct people off the walkway

There have been no recorded incidents along this section.