Putney hosts university double boat race showdown

Published: 23 March 2016

The eyes of the world will be on Putney this Sunday to witness the annual boat race showdown between Oxford and Cambridge universities.

Thousands of boat race fans will be heading for the town centre on March 27 to watch the latest clash between these two historic rivals, with restaurants, pubs and bars expected to enjoy a roaring trade throughout the day.

Many will be offering visitors and local residents special attractions, ranging from street food and a market in Church Square to face painting, cocktails, canapés and live music, while rowing fans can also visit an exhibition outlining the history of the boat race that’s being staged at the Putney Exchange shopping centre.

The women’s race is scheduled to begin at 3.10pm, with the men’s following an hour later at 4.10pm.

People planning on visiting Putney to watch the start of these iconic races are being advised to allow extra time for their journeys because of disruption to local rail services over the Easter weekend.

There will no overground trains running between Clapham Junction and Barnes because Network Rail is carrying out a £6m upgrade to two ageing rail bridges close to Wandsworth Town station.

A shuttle bus replacement service will operate to all the stations on that line between Clapham Junction and Barnes – including Putney.

Underground services to East Putney and Putney Bridge stations are expected to be running a normal Sunday service.

Boat race fans are also being advised not to drive to Putney town centre as there is unlikely to be much available on-street parking.

Some parking bays will also be suspended along Putney Embankment due to the influx of thousands of spectators to the riverside.

The suspensions will commence at 8.30am on Easter Sunday. Motorists who park cars there overnight on Saturday will need to move them ahead of this deadline. Vehicles left in parking bays after this time are likely to be towed away.

Normal parking rules will be reinstated at approximately 7pm on Sunday evening once the vast majority of spectators have departed.

Numerous signs notifying drivers of the changes have been placed along Putney Embankment.

Residential roads linking Putney Embankment with the Lower Richmond Road will also be closed to all traffic on Saturday apart from residents.

These roads may also be subject to some parking suspensions at junctions to allow emergency vehicles to access them without being obstructed. There will also be additional temporary parking restrictions on Sunday afternoon in the Lower Richmond Road.