We are creating a waterway that is a source of pride now and for generations to come. The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Park (the B&MK for short) will provide a green corridor at the heart of new developments in the area, linking communities and creating a unique sense of identity and place. It is a Waterway for All – serving local people and enhancing the local environment, and at the same time connecting the Fenland waterways with the main canal network.
The project will connect the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes with the Great Ouse river at Bedford, creating Britain’s first major waterway in a century and providing a cross-country link that connects east and west, opens up the Marston Vale region, and provides amenities and opportunities for communities in the rapidly-developing Milton Keynes South Midlands area.
Take a short visual overview of the route here with Kevin Whately Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway: A Golden opportunity
When built, this new 26 kilometer waterway – the first major new-build waterway this century – will bring huge benefits right across the region:
- fun for everybody, whatever their interests, age and physical ability
- a more varied and attractive urban environment
- new places for walking, cycling, boating and fishing
- new homes and business buildings in attractive waterside locations
- new leisure and tourism jobs
- new wildlife habitats
- an uplift in property values
- a new channel for water supply and drainage
- providing a broad beam boat route from the Severn to the Wash
- a new Fenland cruising ring and more cruising opportunities.
The Waterway is designed to be a broad canal that can accommodate a wide range of boats on the water and different users on paths beside it.
Because we can design a canal for a variety of uses at the outset, rather than trying to squeeze a variety of uses into a space designed 200 years ago for freight, we have a unique opportunity to apply blue skies thinking to the development of waterways for the future.
The B&MK Waterway Park will be a prime example of the best in 21st century engineering, landscaping and design – a truly sustainable development.