AT LONG last there is the first tangible signs of the proposed Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway actually taking shape.
This is in the form of the building of an underpass that will carry the waterway beneath the A421 on its route between the River Great Ouse at Bedford and the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes, which will connect the main canal system with the waterways of the East.
To celebrate, there is to be a reception at the Marston Vale Forest Centre on Tuesday, 28th July 2009, when the Mayor of Bedford, Frank Branston, and local Members of Parliament, Nadine Dorries and Patrick Hall, will be guests of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust.
This event is also to mark the installation of the waterway's first interpretation board at the Marston Vale Forest Centre, and the purchase of land to ease the passage of the waterway from Stewartby to Kempston.
Jane Wolfson, Chair of the B&MK Waterway Trust, commented:
"These are the first tangible signs that the waterway has progressed from an idea that might happen to an idea that can happen. Not only does it have the potential to become one of the great projects of this century, but to become also an iconic feature of the central Bedfordshire landscape."
A permanent interpretation board—Spreading the Word—explaining in words and illustrations the vision behind the project has been erected at the Marston Vale Forest Centre. Three more are to be installed along the route of the waterway and the Great Ouse through Bedford. These complement the four already erected along the planned route of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway in Milton Keynes, with lottery funding of £7,000 for the Bedfordshire boards being achieved by local trust members Andrew and Jenny Eardley.