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Campaign to improve Thames defences launched

Flooding in Surrey in February 2014 Credit: Twitter/@eagleradio

Seven local authorities who were hit by February's flooding have joined together to ask for £265 million river defences from the Government.

Homes in South Avenue, Egham were flooded in February 2014 Credit: ITV News/Simon Harris

Surrey, Richmond, Kingston, Windsor and Maidenhead, Elmbridge, Spelthorne and Runnymede councils have agreed to create a business case for the River Thames Scheme, to protect riverside homes and businesses by building a flood channel and improving three weirs.

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Oxford and Cambridge to battle it out in boat race

The Oxford University rowing crew practices on the River Thames Credit: Reuters

The rivalry between Cambridge University and Oxford University continues with the annual boat race on the River Thames this afternoon. Cambridge is desperate to deny Oxford its fifth Boat Race victory in seven years.

Since the races began back in 1829, Cambridge has won 81 times, while Oxford's victory tally stands at 77 races.

Thames traffic also 'reduces congestion on roads'

Deputy Mayor of London for transport Isabel Dedring said:

The Mayor (Boris Johnson) has long championed greater use of the river for both passenger and freight travel.

With record numbers of passengers now travelling on the River Thames, it is fantastic that freight on the river is also... contributing to a reduction in congestion on our roads.

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Thames freight traffic trebles

The amount of cargo being transported down the river has risen dramatically. Credit: ITN

The amount of freight moved through London on the River Thames has trebled over the last four years.

The Port of London Authority says that 5.3 million tonnes was moved in 2013 - a 62% rise on the 2012 figure.

The majority of the increase was down to an extra 1.8 million tonnes of spoil being transported from construction projects, particularly the cross-London Crossrail scheme.

RNLI: Incident is a life saved

"This incident has been recorded as a life saved as there were no other boats in the area at the time and I don’t think anyone was actually aware he was in the water.

He was incredibly fortunate in that respect.

We still don’t know how he came to be in the water but due to an unusual twist of fate we managed to avoid one more fatality on the River Thames last night.

That first person who was threatening to jump from London Bridge probably has no idea that, all things considered, he saved another man’s life."

– Toni Scarr, volunteer lifeboat crew member for Tower RNLI
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