'Bite size chunks' to get proposed waterway

Published: Wednesday, 10 November 2010

A DELEGATE at the first partnership conference of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway, told that the waterway could be completed in 'bite size chunks'.

It was the Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, (pictured with Jane Wolfson) who emphasised how progressing with 'bite size chunks' would make the project of the building of the proposed waterway come alive:

"More chunks each year will make sure this is deliverable."

He pointed out that the proposed Marston Innovation Park would also bring the waterway a step closer. Telling that it would offer business headquarters alongside the improved road, just ten minutes from the M1, and the stretch of waterway through the Park would enhance the location as an attractive place to work.

100 delegates

More than 100 delegates from local authorities, agencies, business, academia, sport and leisure and local communities were present at the first B&MK Partnership conference at the Marston Vale Forest Centre last Thursday (4th November), celebrating the founding of the B&MK Waterway Trust ten years ago by the late Brian Young, a Bedford resident.

Jane Wolfson, 'Chair' of the Trust, in a 'call to action' to communities along the 26km missing link of waterway between the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes to the River Great Ouse at Bedford, explained how the Trust's role in the future would be to work with the Partnership and the 300,000 people living along the route on the various projects which will ultimately link the waterway.

Longer to secure route

She however admitted that whilst the waterway could in theory, have been a 10 years project, in practice it was likely to take 10 to 20 years to bring it to completion, pointing out it took longer to secure the route in local plans, eight years not three, and that it is taking longer to secure funding.