Flood Alleviation and the Jubilee River
1996 saw the start of the Maidenhead-Eton-Windsor Flood Alleviation Scheme. This project provides an 11 kilometre (approximately 7 mile) relief channel for the River Thames running north of the current river between Taplow (just up stream from Maidenhead bridge) to Windsor. The project is due to finish in 2002 and will include a path open to walkers and cyclists. There will be no river traffic on this section of water. The flow is controlled and altered according to the state of the river itself. The channel has been designed to attract wildlife that was displaced from the original river due to bank development and increased river use.
In 2001 the scheme was named the Jubilee River, after the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrated in 2002, the year it opened. You can read more about the Jubilee River on the Environment Agency's website.
A couple of houses on the banks of the River Thames in Maidenhead, just downstream from the railway bridge. Photo taken July 1997.
The area is prone to flooding, the last major floods were in 1947 when 120 people were evacuated to the Town Hall and the army were called in to assist. The Lord Mayor of London sent funds to help and also inspected the damage personally.
November and December 2000 saw bad flooding in Maidenhead. In January 2003 the Thames flooded badly in Marlow and Cookham (areas not covered by the Jubilee River) - Maidenhead was saved from more floods by the Jubilee River. You can read about these events in the news area.