Bedford River's Makeover

21 February 2011, 10:35 | Updated: 7 March 2011, 14:38

To improve facilities for boaters and other river users, the North bank of the River Great Ouse, in Bedford, has undergone reconstruction work and it is now close to completion.

The mooring facility has been constructed as part of the wider programme of river improvement works that Bedford Borough Council is undertaking. Other visible work includes the new path linking the East end of Longholme Lake through to the Willington cycleway, Gudgeons Meadow and Priory Country Park. 

Also, further major works will include improvements to the Duck Mill Weir and riverside access points and path improvements in the Queen’s Park area to improve links to the Great Denham development.

Cllr Doug McMurdo, portfolio for Leisure and Culture, at Bedford Borough Council, said: “The river really is one of the Borough’s greatest assets with a huge amount of potential. The work undertaken will help us to make the most of it as a destination of choice for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “Our river is stunning and these works will assist us in making it more accessible for everyone. We work all year round to ensure the river, and its surroundings, remain cared for.”

Martyn Pearson, Chairman, Bedford River User Group, said: “These repair works, which the Council has undertaken, will certainly be appreciated by the boating community who hopefully will be visiting Bedford over the forthcoming summer months.”

As part of a drive to encourage more residents and visitors to visit and enjoy the Borough’s River, Bedford Borough Council is also looking into the possibility of introducing rowing boat, canoe and chauffeured punt hire from the centre of Bedford.  The Council has invited expressions of interest from suitably experienced operators to run a commercial service from the steps by Town Bridge opposite the junction of Newnham Road and The Embankment.