Nearly 200 years on, in 1994, Bedford resident Brian Young had the idea of getting the canal built as part of the new millennium celebrations. The idea was to have a 'waterway for all' which could improve the quality of the local environment, serving the new industries of leisure, tourism and communications. The B & MK (Bedford and Milton Keynes) Waterway Trust was established in 1995 to promote the development of this broad waterway linking the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes to the river Great Ouse in Bedford.
The waterway is set to be a 20 mile link between the River Great Ouse at Kempston in Bedford and Grand Union Canal at Newlands in Milton Keynes. It's a long process set to take up to 20 years, but the first steps are underway.
The new canal route would provide a range of social and economic benefits...
- Recreation: on water and off water activities, including boating
- Green infrastructure- Creation of natural corridors and environmental benefits
- Regeneration and property- attractive waterfront, appealing to local housing
- Ecosystem services- help in controlling flooding
- Transport- particularly for freight movements
- Tourism- contributing to increase in visitors to the area
Do you like the idea of linking the Grand Union Canal to Bedford? Tell us your views, we'd love to hear what you think!
For more information, visit the Trust's website.