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Navigating and living on the waterways of Great Britain & Ireland and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: BEDFORD & MILTON KEYNES LINK

BEDFORD & MILTON KEYNES LINK 05 Nov 2019 21:02 #111183

  • Mike Gibbons
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Update:

The plan remains to provide "a navigation channel 9 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep, but the total width will be 15 metres where possible. The locks will accommodate boats up to 22 metres (72 feet) long, 4.5 metres (14 feet) wide and 1.3 metres (4 feet) deep (draft). Boats up to 9 feet high above water level at their highest point will be able to pass through the bridges which will have a 3 metre clearance above the water level."

Mike Gibbons

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BEDFORD & MILTON KEYNES LINK 03 Nov 2019 09:45 #111099

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Good question Bailliol. To be fair, the session was not 'boat-based' but the illustrations showed what didn't look like the 'two boat' scenario in the document you attached. I will find out!

Mind you, the Great Ouse locks remain the problem. You'd get to the middle of Bedford (providing your air draft allows as the railway bridge is very low and we duck going under it on a wide beam with no wheelhouse) then you'd have Town lock off The Embankment that blocks your way. Mind you, The Embankment would be a nice mooring!

Mike Gibbons

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BEDFORD & MILTON KEYNES LINK 03 Nov 2019 09:34 #111098

  • Balliol Fowden
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Sorry, forgot to add this link to the latest B&MK newsletter:

www.b-mkwaterway.org.uk/the-waterway/route/

Balliol.

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BEDFORD & MILTON KEYNES LINK 03 Nov 2019 09:23 #111097

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Is it now going to be narrow? The document below seems to suggest it will be "broad" gauge with locks of just over 14' width (and good sized bridges!) Has this been superseded?

www.bmkwconsortium.org.uk/documents/ED016_13_BMK-Waterway-DESIGN_A4-v3_PRESS.pdf

It would be very sad if the new locks did not match the dimensions of the larger linked waterway, the Grand Union Canal. The limiting beam on the Great Ouse is I believe a bit less at about 10' 6" but it is possible that these locks might be enlarged in the future. The additional cost of building to broad rather than narrow standard must surely be relatively minimal. A large number of the boats in the Fens/Ouse/Nene/Cam area are wider than 7' beam so a new broad waterway would give them access to the main system. The only present east/west access is the Northampton arm of the Grand Union, which is narrow.

I am not sure I understand why the greatest impact will be to the Thames. The greatest impact for boaters will surely be improved access between the Fenland waterways and the main national canal system, coupled with the possibility of ring cruises, and potentially a broad route across to the east coast, perhaps even the Broads in time.

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BEDFORD & MILTON KEYNES LINK 02 Nov 2019 00:21 #111066

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Interesting afternoon at the Trust Partnership Conference yesterday looking at the Waterway Park to connect MK and Bedford from the Grand Union to the Great Ouse. It might be some way off and 'narrow' plus lakes but it is a strategic part of the plan for flood relief across the Oxford & Cambridge Arc.

The Environment Agency has already completed Phase 1 research and moving into Phase 2. There are three river catchments in the Arc, the Nene, the Great Ouse and the Thames. The completed link will allow water to move from north to south and to the east while the flood chambers will be lakes for navigation not concrete chambers.

So the plan will have impacts on a large area of navigation, especially the Thames. We just have to wait for a long time for it to happen!

Mike Gibbons
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