Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust
The Trust was established in 1995 to promote the development of a broad canal which will link the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes to the River Great Ouse in Bedford through a series of waterways parks. The planned route of the new canal runs from the Grand Union Canal at Campbell Park in Milton Keynes (close to Gulliver's Land), crosses the M1 motorway between Junction 13 and 14, runs near to Brogborough Hill, through Marston Vale and connects with the River Great Ouse at Kempston.
In 2003 British Waterways announced its long-term aim to build the connection from the Grand Union at Milton Keynes to the River Great Ouse at Bedford in conjunction with a number of partner organisations.
The Trust has carried out design work on the project, funded through a £250,000 Lottery grant. The canal project suffered an apparent setback in 2004 when Milton Keynes Council did not include the route in the Supplementary Planning Guidance for the Eastern Expansion Area of Milton Keynes. However, this decision was recalled as a result of a public petition, and reversed at the subsequent meeting. The route within Milton Keynes is now protected by the SPG, and this episode serves to show public as well as political support for the scheme.
The first new structure specifically constructed for the waterway was completed in September 2009 – a 100-metre (110 yd) concrete culvert (Berry Farm A421 Underpass) incorporated into the A421 road as the result of £250,000 provided through Government Growth Area Funds. The road opened on 1 December 2010, although the underpass is not due to open for public access until sometime into 2011.[dated info]
- Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust, Registered Charity no. 1114294 at the Charity Commission
- Inland Waterways Association: Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway
- Route chosen for £150m link canal BBC News story
- Milton Keynes Citizen: £30m water park scheme unveiled
- British Waterways Press Release
- "Package N: Berry Farm A421 Underpass" (PDF). Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Status at October 2010 (page 23). Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Consortium. November 2010. Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- "A421 Bedford to M1 Junction 13". (Scheme Update). Highways Agency. April 2011. Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- Canal Cuttings magazine: Brogborough Whirl
- Official website
- Youtube video by B&MKWT
- The Guardian: "First British canal for 100 years announced"
- Highways Agency response to a query about widening the Berry Farm Underpass to allow for the canal (made under the 'Freedom of Information Act')