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Slough Arm The Slough Arm near Cowley Principal Engineer Alfred Walker Date of Act 1879 Date Completed 1882 Date Closed 1960 Date Restored 1975 Start Point Slough End Point Cowley Peachey Connects to Grand Union Canal Locks 1 stop gate Status navigable  [v • d • e] Slough Arm legend River Thames 3 km gap Slough Basin Wexham Road A412 Uxbridge Road Middlegreen Road St Mary's Road B470 Langley Park Road Market Lane M25 Motorway Colne Brook aqueduct River Colne aqueduct Fray's River aqueduct Packet Boat Marina Stop gates Grand Union Canal The Slough Arm is a short canal branch from the Grand Union Main Line to Slough in Berkshire (before 1974 in Buckinghamshire), England. It was originally opened to serve the brick-making industry. The last commercial traffic was carried in 1960, but as the plans to fill it in were opposed locally, the stretch was re-opened in 1975 and has remained in-use since. Contents 1 History 2 Restoration 3 Thames Link plans 4 The route 5 Points of interest 6 References 7 See also // History With the demand for bricks for the buildings of London continuing to increase, a canal branch to Slough was first proposed in 1878 by Hubert Thomas. It would run from Bulls Bridge on the Grand Union Canal (then the Grand Junction Canal) to Slough, where new brickworks would be opened. Thomas completed a survey in 1879, and the route was altered slightly, with the junction moving to Cowley Peachey. An Act of Parliament was sought, which was opposed by the Great Western Railway, but despite this, the Act was passed in July 1879, although the Slough end was truncated back to Stoke Road, as the original terminus would have crossed lands owned by the Duke of Leeds and Eton College.[1] Construction began at the Cowley Peachey junction in early 1880, overseen by Alfred Walker, who had recently completed construction of the Melton Mowbray Canal. The route included a major cutting and embankment at Iver, which were started in February and May respectively. By April 1881, work was also in progress at the Slough end. The major earthworks at Iver were completed in June 1882, and the canal opened throughout on 4 December 1882.[1] It was about 5 miles (8 km) long, and did not require any locks. Walker remained after the canal opened to oversee the construction of wharves and landing places, to sort out any problems resulting from settlement of the formation, and to ensure that traffic developed in a satisfactory way. This he seemed to achieve, for in 1905 the canal conveyed 192,000 tons of cargo, mainly bricks, sand and gravel, for which the tolls were £7,164. A number of tramways facilitated the carriage of goods to the canal wharves.[1] From the peak year of 1905, a steady decline set in. Cargoes of bricks and gravel sustained the canal through the 1920s and 1930s but by the 1940s, the deposits of clay and gravel were becoming exhausted. The pits were then used for landfill, which provided some traffic, and there was a trade in timber, which was delivered to Slough Wharf,[2] but the last commercial use of the canal was in March 1960. With the British Waterways Board taking over the canals in the 1960s, the Arm was not considered worth saving.[1] Restoration With no likelihood of the canal being used again, Slough Council proposed buying part of it and building an access road for a trading estate along its route. The Slough Canal Group was formed in 1968, and fought a vigorous campaign to save the canal, supported by the local newspaper, the Slough Observer. They were successful, and the canal was re-opened in 1975.[1] The Slough Arm was one of seven stretches of canal, formally designated as remainder waterways, which were re-classified by the British Waterways Act of 8 February 1983. Under the act, a total of 82 route miles (132 km) were upgraded to Cruising Waterway Standard.[3] The canal has been widely reported as being "the last canal built in Britain", with the exception of the Manchester Ship Canal. This is not the case, as the New Junction Canal was opened in 1905, and there have been a number of new canals built in recent years. Thames Link plans There have been proposals to build a link from the end of the Slough Arm to join the River Thames, a distance of approximately 2 miles (3 km) at the closest point in the centre of Slough. British Waterways (BWB) have estimated that this would cost £28m.[4] The route The route of the canal starts at its junction with the Grand Union Canal, where there are a set of stop gates,[5] and immediately crosses three aqueducts, over the Frays River, the River Colne and the Colne Brook. Passing under the M25 motorway, it enters the Iver cutting, to emerge near the main line railway from Paddington. The two routes pass along the northern edges of Slough, and then the canal diverges northwards, to end at Stoke Road. Apart from the last mile, it is surprisingly rural in nature. Points of interest Point Coordinates (Links to map resources) OS Grid Ref Notes Slough basin 51°31′02″N 0°35′21″W / 51.5172°N 0.5892°W / 51.5172; -0.5892 (Slough basin) SU979807 Terminus A412 Uxbridge road bridge 51°30′47″N 0°34′26″W / 51.5131°N 0.5740°W / 51.5131; -0.5740 (A412 Uxbridge road bridge) SU990803 M25 motorway bridge 51°30′50″N 0°30′05″W / 51.5140°N 0.5014°W / 51.5140; -0.5014 (M25 motorway bridge) TQ040805 Cowley Peachey junction 51°31′03″N 0°28′49″W / 51.5175°N 0.4802°W / 51.5175; -0.4802 (Cowley Peachey junction) TQ055809 Grrand Union main line Map of all coordinates from Google Map of all coordinates from Bing Export all coordinates as KML Export all coordinates as GeoRSS Map of all microformatted coordinates Place data as RDF References ^ a b c d e Richard Hill, The Final Cut, article in Canal and Riverboat Magazine, Spring 2003 ^ The Inland Waterways Association: Slough Arm ^ Lewis A. Edwards, (1985), Inland Waterways of Great Britain, 6th Ed, Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson, ISBN 0-85288-081-2 ^ Inland Waterways Association, Newsletter: October 2007, retrieved 2008-03-22. ^ Herbie cruising log See also UK Waterways portal Canals of Great Britain History of the British canal system v • d • e Transport in Buckinghamshire Road Motorways M1 · M4 · M25 · M40 A-Roads A4 · A40 · A41 · A404 · A412 · A413 · A418 · A421 · A422 · A428 · A4010 · A4012 · A4146 · A4155 · A5 · A508 · A509 · A5130 Roman roads Akeman Street · Watling Street Notable Junctions Handy Cross roundabout · Denham Roundabout · Magic Roundabout (High Wycombe) Motorway service stations Beaconsfield · Newport Pagnell Rail Main lines West Coast Main Line · Chiltern Main Line · Great Western Main Line Other lines Marston Vale Line · London to Aylesbury Line · Metropolitan line · Princes Risborough to Aylesbury Line · Marlow Branch Line Closed lines Varsity Line · Great Central Main Line · Banbury to Verney Junction Branch Line · Brill Tramway · Wycombe Railway · Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway · Cheddington to Aylesbury Line · Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway · Wolverton to Newport Pagnell Line · Bedford to Northampton Line Other Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway · East West Rail Link · Buckinghamshire Railway Centre · Seer Green rail crash · List of railway stations Air Denham Aerodrome · Turweston Aerodrome · Silverstone Heliport · Wycombe Air Park · RAF Bases Waterways Rivers River Thames · River Great Ouse Canals Grand Union Canal · Branches: Slough Arm · Wendover Arm · Aylesbury Arm Footpaths National Trails Thames Path · The Ridgeway Long-distance footpaths Icknield Way (path) · Chiltern Way · Greater Ridgeway · Midshires Way · Ouse Valley Way · Shakespeare's Way · Swan's Way Cycle Paths Route 4 · Route 6 · Route 50 · Route 51 · Route 57 · Route 61 · Route 70 Related articles v • d • e Transport in Milton Keynes Road Milton Keynes grid road system · A421 · A422 · A4146 · A5 · A509 · A5130 · H6 Childs Way · H10 Bletcham Way · V6 Grafton Street · V8 Marlborough Street Rail Bletchley railway station · Bletchley TMD · Bow Brickhill railway station · East West Rail Link · Fenny Stratford railway station · Marston Vale Line · Milton Keynes Central railway station · Varsity Line · West Coast Main Line · Woburn Sands railway station · Wolverton railway station · Wolverton to Newport Pagnell Line Bus Buses in Milton Keynes · Arriva Shires & Essex · Milton Keynes Coachway · MK Metro · Stagecoach in Northants · United Counties Omnibus Other transport Cosgrove aqueduct · Grand Union Canal · Milton Keynes redway system · Watling Street · Wolverton and Stony Stratford Tramway