2011 News

Green Lung Campaign loses Crab and Winkle Way Fight (from The Whitstable Times)

 

Page 19 of Whitstable times 23rd June 2011

 

Front Page of Whitstable times 17th March 2011

by Nerissa Blower

Crab and Winkle given Green Light

Split council finally agrees to controvensial bridges plan

THE Crab and Winkle footpath and cycle way is to get its multimillion-pound “missing link.”

Planners agreed on Tuesday to allow cycle charity Sustrans and the Crab and Winkle Line Trust to build two bridges over the main London to Ramsgate railway and across Old Bridge Road and Teynham Road.

These will mean that for the first time since the 1960s walkers will be able to use the link all the way from Canterbury to Whitstable Harbour without having to leave the path and cross busy roads.

But the decision was touch and go when members of the city council’s planning committee saw designs for the new bridges.

Five objected: Councillors Julia Seath, Jenny Samper, Ian Thomas, Evelyn Bisset and Ida Linfield.

Liberal Democrat Ms Linfield, who normally supports the Crab and Winkle Line, said: “I went to the meeting thinking I was going to vote for it but actually the bridges are huge.

“When I saw the first plans in 2008 they showed modern lightweight bridges but the updates show the bridge as solid and overbearing in nature.

“The bridges are too big, overbearing and will be a hotspot for graffiti. They will be very detrimental to the life of residents. The people living in bungalows will have a whopping great bridge next to them.”

But councillors were split and 10 eventually pushed the controversial plans through.

Lib Dem councillor Nick Eden-Green said: “There will be some overlooking of the immediate housing but you have to balance out the overall benefit to the community.

“The advantage is that it will promote alternative transport and it will open up a route for locals and cyclists.

“We want to encourage tourism in the district. There are a lot of cycle tourists in east Kent. They book expensive hotels so this is a good way to get people to spend more money in the area.”

Planning officer Nicola Hughes said: “The need for safety clearance across roads and railway would result in the bridges being quite prominent, higher than the existing ground levels of the former embankments.”

Marcial Boo, chairman of the Trust, said: “This has been a long time coming but it is a great step forward. The Crab and Winkle Way is a piece of Whitstable’s history. This will not only help us celebrate our past but will benefit current and future residents.”

The 12-mile Canterbury and Whitstable railway line – later dubbed the Crab and Winkle line because of its initials – was opened in May 1830 to link Canterbury with Whitstable Harbour.

Sustrans is part-funding the Whitstable scheme with £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

There were originally 42 letters of support, including a 679-name petition, and 24 objections.

 

Whitstable Bridges (from 2010 News)

The planning applications for the new bridges in Whitstable was submitted in August and subsequently validated. The consultation period ends on the 26th November and we hope that the planning application will be considered by the planning committee in January 2011. At the time of going to press we are unable to ascertain whether this will be the case. Please keep a watch on the local press for up dates on the progress of our application. We shall of course be ensuring that we have the maximum of three speakers to have their three minute spot to speak in support of this flag ship project, which has wide support in Whitstable and the area as a whole.

2010 News

DECEMBER 2010 NEWSLETTER

Whitstable Bridges

The planning applications for the new bridges in Whitstable was submitted in August and subsequently validated. The consultation period ends on the 26th November and we hope that the planning application will be considered by the planning committee in January 2011. At the time of going to press we are unable to ascertain whether this will be the case. Please keep a watch on the local press for up dates on the progress of our application. We shall of course be ensuring that we have the maximum of three speakers to have their three minute spot to speak in support of this flag ship project, which has wide support in Whitstable and the area as a whole.

Connect2

Representatives of the Trust attend meetings on the Trust’s behalf to push forward the bridges project. The committee is made up of representatives of Kent County Council, the project leaders, Canterbury City Council, Sustrans, and ourselves.

Crab & Winkle Way

An extra short section of the existing Crab & Winkle Way has been tarmaced on the down ward slope from Blean Church to Blean Bottom, a section in Clowes Wood and also towards South Street. Our grateful thanks to Kent Highways for making this improvement.

New Leaflet

Some two years ago we had 30000 leaflets printed. The stock has almost been used up and we shall have to consider a reprint during 2011.


THE BEVERLEY FARM FOOTPATH ARCH

One of the best kept secrets of the Crab & Winkle Line is the above mentioned footpath arch, located at the southern end of the embankment at the Hanover Place end of Beverley Meadow, Canterbury. Only the upper sections of the arch are visible from Beverley Meadow and from the cycle path running towards the West Railway Station from Beaconsfield Road. There is virtually nothing written in railway documents about this important structure.

The Trust had been concerned about the condition of the arch for some time and on the 14th December 2009 applied to English Heritage to consider it for listing.

On the 1st September 2010, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport awarded it Grade 2 listed status for the following reasons:-

• Historical interest: Although a round-headed brick railway bridge of modest architectural quality it has strong historical significance as a pre-1840 railway structure of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway, which had George Stephenson as its major engineer.
• Intactness: Although buried nearly to the top of the arch since the 1960’s the arch survives substantially intact, possibly with original buttresses, although the parapet is missing.
• Railway Transport interest: It is now the only remaining substantially intact railway bridge of the Canterbury and Whitstable railway, the only surviving substantially intact pre-1830 railway bridge in Kent and probably the south eastern counties. There are only a handful of pre-1830 railway bridges surviving nationally.
• Group Value: It is situated fairly near the Tyler Hill Tunnel (grade 2*), the only other substantially intact surviving building of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway, and Canterbury West Station (Grade 2) of 1854 and it is set within an original railway embankment. The whole of the former Canterbury and Whitstable Railway is a designated conservation area.

The Trust is negotiating with the owners, Canterbury City Council to afford protection to this important structure.

 

AUGUST 2010 NEWSLETTER

New bridges planning application submitted

The new planning application for the revised bridges design has now been submitted to the planning department of Canterbury City Council. The previous planning approval for the bridges in Whitstable expired in May 2010.

The new design is for simplified design of bridges which will be less costly to construct and cheaper to maintain.

SUSTRANS have been assisting the Trust with the preparation of this new planning application and we are most grateful for their assistance.

The preparatory work has involved a complete redesign and considerable local consultation.

Should planning approval be received this will be another part of the jigsaw to put in place to extend the Crab & Winkle Way towards the centre of Whitstable and Whitstable Harbour. This will give us all a safe traffic free and safe route to walk or cycle.

Now we need your support please by signifying your approval of the planning application. Kindly write to the planning department of Canterbury City Council, Military Road, Canterbury CT1 1YW with your comments of agreement. Alternatively comments may be made via the Canterbury City Council planning portal. Please ensure you quote planning reference: CA/10/01293.

 

SPRING 2010 NEWSLETTER

Whitstable Bridges

The plans for the new bridges are now in the public domain and we expect the planning application to be submitted very shortly. Public consultation started at the Horsebridge centre recently followed by two weeks in Whitstable library. The initial comments are being studied to take into account local feelings before the final planning application is made. Watch out for details in the press and voice your support for the project when the matter is in the hands of the planners. Meanwhile we are looking at funding opportunities to cover the substantial shortfall in meeting the costs of this project. These have increased considerably since our original planning application was submitted even though the new bridge design is much more simple. The implementation of the Clare Road embankment planning permission is conditional on the granting of planning permission for the bridges. Your committee members distributed 390 letters of consultation to local residents. Don’t forget to write a letter of support to the planning department once the plans have been submitted. Every letter of support will count in our favour.


THE BOGSHOLE RAILWAY BRIDGE, WHITSTABLE

The condition of the Bogshole Bridge, the 1st or 2nd railway bridge in the world and in private ownership has been of some concern for some time and in June 2009, the Trust applied to English Heritage to assess if it could receive Listed Building status, thereby protecting it from further decay. English Heritage presented its conclusions in November and regretfully did not recommend it for designation.

The reasons for this decision are and to quote:-

• Although the original Bogshole Railway Bridge was in use by 1830, the original bridge was constructed of wooden girders on brick abutment walls. These timbers were replaced and the abutments strengthened in the 1840’s for the South Eastern Railway before the bridge was completely rebuilt in brick in 1862.
• Bogshole Railway Bridge is a standardized 1860 brick railway bridge of which large numbers were built nationally.
• It is not a particularly intact example of an 1860’s railway bridge as much of the parapet is missing.

The Trust appealed to the English Heritage Listing Review Officer because of the bridges historic interest but the original decision was upheld. For information, the Trust has applied to English Heritage to assess the Beverley Farm Footpath Arch at Beverley Meadow, Canterbury. They have expressed interest and we await their decision.

Connect 2

The Trust is represented on this committee comprising on the interested parties in the Crab & Winkle Way extension, Viking Trail, and Oyster Trail extension. A new route to Reculver is being looked at to complete the around Thanet circular trail. Details of the connecting route from Tankerton Slopes to Hampton should be published in the near future.

Plans for two new ‘Crab and Winkle’ bridges for Whitstable to be unveiled this month

Issued on: Monday 1 March, 2010 from the Sustrans Website

What: Plans for two ‘Crab and Winkle’ bridges to be unveiled in Whitstable

Where: The Horsebridge Centre, 11 Horsebridge Road, Whitstable CT5 1AF

When: Friday 12 March 12-5pm, Sat 13 March 9am-1pm

The Consultation Document for the Two new Bridges can be found here

The designs for two new bridges for Whitstable will go on display later this month at the Horsebridge Centre so that local people can give their views on them. The proposed bridges will go over Old Bridge Road and over Teynham Road and are being shown to the public before planning permission is sought. The bridges will be part of a newly created route for pedestrians and cyclists between the existing Crab and Winkle Way at All Saints Close and the seafront. At the public exhibition, drawings and plans will be on display and members of the steering group for the project will be available to discuss it.

Sustainable transport charity Sustrans has been working in partnership with Kent County Council, Canterbury City Council and The Crab & Winkle Line Trust to create this high quality route as part of a multi-million pound project which will complete a greenway and promenade along a 12 mile stretch of the Kent coast and will be an extensive walking and cycling scheme which will extend the existing route to Canterbury – the Crab and Winkle Way, complete the circular Viking Coastal Trail and create the coastal route between Whitstable and Reculver – the Oyster Bay Trail. It will also provide a quality traffic free facility for locals to get to work and school in a sustainable way which benefits their health and the environment.

Simon Pratt, Regional Director of Sustrans, said, “This will be the first time people can come and see the new bridge plans so we hope they take this opportunity to come and talk to the project team and give us their feedback. These bridges are for Whitstable so it’s important for the local people to see the proposed designs and have a say.”

Ruth Goudie, Partnership Officer, Kent Highway Services, said, “We are pleased that this project is moving forward and we hope that as many people as possible will give us their views on the bridges so we can get this route created and people in Whitstable can really start using it.”

After the exhibition, the designs will then go on display at Whitstable Library from Monday 15 March until the closing date for feedback which is the 26th March. Original planning permission for these two bridges was given in 2006 but has since expired. At this time Canterbury City Council considered that the construction of these bridges was acceptable in principle, in planning terms. Following detailed surveys and discussions with key stakeholders, the bridge designs have also changed since the 2006 application and will require the submission of a new planning application.

Sustrans is part funding the Whitstable scheme with £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund. The charity won £50m in ‘The People’s Millions’, the UK’s largest lottery competition, in 2007 with a national TV vote to create new walking and cycling routes on a national scale showing that communities across the UK support investment in creating these networks for pedestrians and cyclists.

 

Planning permission confirmed to revive part of Whitstable’s Crab and Winkle Way

Issued on: Wednesday 3 February 2010 from the Sustrans Website

Whitstable became a step closer to getting a planned new route aimed at pedestrians and cyclists last night at The Guildhall in Canterbury when Council Members approved final details and gave full planning permission, under delegated powers, to enable sustainable transport charity Sustrans and The Crab and Winkle Line Trust to create a new shared use pathway and improve the neglected railway embankment extending from All Saints Close to Northwood Road – along the old Crab and Winkle Way.

The surrounding environment will also be improved with thousands of new tree and shrub plantings which will enhance and maintain a green corridor for local wildlife. The two sections of path will be connected by two newly designed bridges spanning Teynham Road, Old Bridge Road and the Railway line. These bridges are currently being designed and will be subject to a planning application in the near future.

David Young, Project Coordinator, Sustrans South East, said, “We are delighted with last night’s outcome as this will help complete a virtually traffic-free walking and cycling route on the Crab and Winkle Way from Canterbury to Whitstable and the coast. We will be shortly lodging a planning application for new bridges spanning Old Bridge Road, the Railway Line and Teynham Road. Whitstable residents will have an opportunity to review the new bridge designs and comment and have input prior to the planning application being lodged with Canterbury Planning Department and a public exhibition of the Bridge designs is being planned for Feb/March”.

The multi-million pound project from Kent County Council, Canterbury City Council, Sustrans and The Crab and Winkle Line Trust, will complete a greenway and promenade along a 12 mile stretch and will be an extensive walking and cycling scheme which will link extend the existing route to Canterbury – the Crab and Winkle Way, complete the circular Viking Coastal Trail and create the coastal route between Whitstable and Reculver – the Oyster Bay Trail. It will also provide a quality traffic free facility for locals to get to work and school in a sustainable way which benefits their health and the environment.

Cllr Nick Chard, Cabinet Member for Highways, Kent County Council said, “The county council is keen to encourage residents who are cycling and walking for good health. This new route makes good use of the old Crab and Winkle Way. It will help residents and visitors alike to discover more of our special Kent countryside.”

Sustrans is part funding the Whitstable scheme with £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund. The charity won £50m in ‘The People’s Millions’, the UK’s largest lottery competition, in 2007 with a national TV vote to create new walking and cycling routes on a national scale showing that communities across the UK support investment in creating these networks for pedestrians and cyclists.

Sustrans’ Regional Director South East, Simon Pratt said, “We are very pleased to be able to improve this land for local residents and to make it accessible for all. It is only one part of this scheme but a vital part of the wider aim to complete the historic Crab and Winkle Way and make it easier for people in Whitstable to make everyday journeys by foot or by bike.”

Marcial Boo, Chair, The Crab and Winkle Line Trust, said, “This has been a long time coming but is a great step forward – the Crab and Winkle Way is a piece of Whitstable’s history and this will not only help us celebrate our past but will benefit the current and future residents of our town.”

Steve Fawke, Chair, SPOKES East Kent Cycle Campaign said, “I am delighted with the success of this application and I’m looking forward to the great benefits this will bring to residents, visitors and the environment. I also see this as a wonderful example that I hope will be copied in many more places.”

2009 News

November 2009 Newsletter

Clare Road Embankment

Planning permission has finally been granted for the dual use path along the embankment, subject to conditions. It has taken two years since our planning application was submitted to arrive at this stage. The Trust would like to record our thanks to our partners SUSTRANS and Kent Highways who have worked extremely hard to overcome numerous objections to the scheme. SUSTRANS are currently ironing out the problems in order that the conditions of the planning approval can be formally agreed. The Trust hopes that the conditions will be approved at the December planning committee meeting.

Whitstable Bridges

The planning approval for the bridges project lapsed earlier this year. SUSTRANS are working with Kent Highways to prepare a new planning application for a revised bridges scheme. The new plans will be for simpler bridges that will be cheaper to build and to maintain. We anticipate that a planning application will be submitted to Canterbury City Council early in the new year. Your support for this application will be appreciated in due course. Once this has been approved the whole project can move forward.

Southern Tunnel Portal

Heritage Open Days allowed the opportunity for a few of our members to view the newly renovated southern portal. No entry into the tunnel itself was allowed as the bats are now in residence. However the finished product is impressive and it most likely looks the same as it did when the tunnel was first opened in 1830. We hope to be able to welcome you to the site on one of the Heritage Open Days in September 2010, subject to the approval of the new owner to whom we extend our thanks for allowing this year’s visit.

New Leaflet

Our new leaflet is now available from committee members or from dispensers at Whitstable or Canterbury West Stations. New dispensers have been provided at both locations to accommodate the new format leaflet.

The Crab & Winkle Way

In August a lady cyclist was involved in a crash with a car at the junction with the Tyler Hall Road. Members are reminded that cars have priority at this crossing. May we also remind members that this is a dual use pathway and consideration must be given to walkers. Speeding is not condoned.

Connect 2

The Trust is represented on this committee comprising on the interested parties in the Crab & Winkle Way extension, Viking Trail, and Oyster Trail extension. The bridge proposed on the Viking Trail over the main Herne Bay to Margate railway has been dropped. A new route to Reculver is being looked at to complete the around Thanet circular trail.

Crab and Winkle plan can go ahead, councillors decide

(extract from the Whitstable Times online)

A CONTROVERSIAL cycle path has finally been approved – two years after it was first proposed. Councillors voted through plans to extend the Crab and Winkle path from All Saints Close to Northwood Road at a meeting last night (Tuesday) after a mammoth two-hour debate. More than 30 supporters and objectors filled the public gallery of the Guildhall in Canterbury to hear and applaud the eight speakers who made impassioned pleas both for and against the plan. Opponent Mark Dickerson said: “Lets not forget this is a conservation area with a blanket tree preservation order. Since when did conservation mean ripping out the environment we are trying to preserve? Whitstable is shouting loud and clear. We don’t want this path to follow this destructive route. Let’s have a plan that truly celebrates and commemorates the railway heritage instead of building all over it.”

The Rev Paul Wilson slammed the plans as misguided and mishandled and said the application was not valid because the correct forms had not been completed when it was lodged. And amateur historian Bob Winter said more surveys and work were needed and a new application should be submitted. He added: “Let’s open the door marked peace and not the one marked strife.”

Tony Ledger, spokesman for the Whitstable Green Lung Association, said the area needed to be protected because of its importance to wildlife. He criticised the council’s report as “biased” and demanded an independent review of the case. But Ruth Goudie, from Kent Highway Services, said the route had already been included in the local plan and a raft of council policies. And it was backed by county council officials because it would link the Canterbury to Whitstable route and a proposed coastal path. She said: “We have given a lot of support financially to the applicant in the process of this application. “It has the potential to be nationally recognised.” And the Rev Canon Chris Byers, a board member of the Whitstable Society and Whitstable Improvement Trust, said a lot of people in the town were excited by the scheme. “The vast majority of people in Whitstable long for this route to be there,” he said. “I bear the wounds of the person who chaired the public meeting when the Green Lung first appeared with its cry that we were going to tarmac over the green lung of Whitstable. “It seemed nonsense and yet it was apparent the plans being brought forward then were awful and didn’t meet the needs of residents. Since then people have listened to one another and the business of building up trust has improved.

“We are in with a real chance of giving this lovely old line, which was crucial to Whitstable in the 19th century, the chance to play a part in a greener future.” David Young, Sustrans co-ordinator for the south east, said the scheme was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He admitted there were issues of overlooking to address but said a new application for the bridges providing the final link to the path would be prepared. Lawyer Janet Taylor dismissed claims the plans were not valid and councillors debated issues including the potential for increased crime and fears over cyclists and pedestrians sharing the path. Whitstable councillors argued the bridges – already granted planning permission that has now expired – should be in place before any work on the path extension started and suggested deferring the scheme to consider the bridges at the same time. But Cllr Nick Eden Green said: “There has been a huge amount of debate over this. If it was for 200 houses I could understand the heat generated. “It concerns me that people have got so worked up. Deferring would merely prolong what is an even longer agony. “Let’s keep in mind this has been a long-held ambition of KCC and CCC and is part of our cycling and health strategies.”

The plan was agreed by nine votes to three.

 

Why the planning application is good for the Green Lung

The landscape report and tree surveys (which form part of the planning application) highlight how the extension is GOOD for the Green Lung. Such positives include:

  • 13% of the present trees, shrubs and scrub are considered moderate quality only; the remaining 87% low quality or worse. 25% is dead or dying.
  • The area is unmanaged and becoming overrun by scrub and brambles; trees are being swamped by ivy and bindweed. If left, the natural decline in the trees plus man made damage will lead to the deterioration of the site and potentially its loss.
  • The proposed path will be managed by our Local Authorities with the vegetation maintained to promote healthy growth.
  • All vegetation lost to the path construction will be replaced and there will be in-filled planting to reduce overlooking. The proposal is to plant 257 heavy trees (maple, ash and oak), 487 light trees (birch, ash, holly, cherry, etc) plus 2,812 shrubs and bushes (dogwood, hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn, etc).
  • There is no evidence of roosting bats – but the line is important for bat foraging and commuting. The new path should not be detrimental to such activity. In fact, it may contribute to the diversity of habitat and increase flying insects and food for bats.
  • The reptile survey makes interesting, if specialist, reading. The proposed hibernaculum seems very reptile and insect friendly.
  • The path will not be floodlit. The plans propose low density lights, designed to minimise spill, with columns every 40 metres or so.

Further details can be found in the summary report by clicking here.

 

URGENT PLANNING APPLICATION

LAST DAY 5th JUNE


Dear friend of the Crab and Winkle Line,

Your urgent action is needed to extend the line in Whitstable

18 months ago, we submitted a planning application to the council to extend the route of the Crab and Winkle Line over the railway line and Teynham and Old Bridge Roads in Whitstable, down behind Clare and Station Roads, through to Harbour Street and the sea. Some local residents were concerned that the environment would be damaged, and the council asked us to survey the trees and plants, and the lizards, bats and other animals in the disused and overgrown land behind Clare Road.

We’ve now completed all these surveys, showing that:
• there’ll be no damage to existing wildlife;
• there’s no need to cut down any trees with preservation orders;
• there’ll be sympathetic, improved planting to screen houses and gardens.

Over 500 local people have signed our petition in support of the extended line. It will provide traffic-free, step-free access from one side of the railway line to another, helping children get to the Community College, and families walk their children to the primary schools on the sea-side of the railway. It will help all those with mobility problems get around town without a car, provide a community resource for everyone in the town to enjoy this green lung, and it will be the perfect way for visitors to enter the town.

The council is now consulting on the application, which you can see in council offices in Harbour Street, Whitstable during office hours. Last time there were a few dozen letters of opposition. It is ESSENTIAL that the council also hears from people who support the proposal too. PLEASE WRITE. Letters can be sent to Nicola Hughes, Planning Officer, Canterbury City Council, Military Road, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1YW. Please quote reference CA/07/01442/WHI. Please say how you think the line would benefit the community, whether you’d use it, who else would, and that you support the proposal. The council must receive your letter by 5th June.

Without your help – by writing a letter to the council in support – officers and councillors may only hear from those opposed to the plan. An extension of a popular and well-used footpath and cycle path through to the sea would be a massive asset to the town, and something that will last for and be enjoyed by many generations. We could all be proud of having helped make it happen. Without your help, it won’t.

Trustees would be happy to talk to you about what else you can do to support the Crab and Winkle Line Trust. You can contact us at cwlt_mail@crabandwinkle.org THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

Yours faithfully,


Marcial Boo, Chairman, and Trustees
The Crab and Winkle Line Trust

2008 News

April 2008

April update on the extension of the Crab and Winkle Line from Whitstable Station to the sea.

In 2006 we won planning approval for 2 bridges over the railway line at Whitstable and over Old Bridge Road and Teynham Road. In autumn 2007 we submitted a planning application to extend the line down behind Clare Road and Station Road to the sea. Many supported the application, but there were some who raised objections about the proposed planting and the width of the path. Following that consultation, we have been looking again at the proposals and discussing details with Kent County Council, Canterbury City Council and Sustrans and considering the points made by residents and others. KCC has asked their contractors to look at the topography and geology of the land as part of preparatory work in advance of handing in the revised application – tree surveys have also been completed as has some landscaping design; some ecological work, including a bat survey, is planned for April once the weather improves. And members of the Trust are meeting Sustrans and council officers to discuss how to raise the funds required to build the bridges and the footpath, if planning permission is granted. The plans are now being amended as a result of this work and we’re expecting the plans to go before the Council’s development control meeting in the summer.

 

March 2008

CRAB & WINKLE TUNNEL WINS LISTING FROM ENGLISH HERITAGE

The Victorian tunnel that runs on the old Crab and Winkle Line under the University of Kent has won a Grade II* listing from English Heritage, meaning that it is of particularly special architectural and historical interest and warrants every effort to preserve it.

The railway tunnel, which was built between 1826 and 1830, is 757 metres long and formed part of the world’s first regular passenger railway which opened between Canterbury and Whitstable on 3rd May 1830. The railway closed in 1953 and the tunnel under the university partially collapsed in 1973. In 1997, the Crab and Winkle Trust was formed to promote the history of the line and to bring the route back into public use. There is now a well-used footpath and cycle path along much of the original line which connects Canterbury and Whitstable and is part of National Cycle Route 1.

The Crab and Winkle Line Trust applied in 2007 to get the tunnel listed status and have now been told that the Secretary of State has awarded the tunnel the second-highest grade II* status. English Heritage said that they decided this because:
• “It is a substantially intact and very early structure from the pioneering days in the development of the passenger railway;
• “Although modest in their architectural form, the two distinct portals and distinct tunnel forms are a physical manifestation of experimentation in early railway tunnel construction;
• “Albeit by a narrow margin, it is the world’s first modern railway tunnel on the first passenger steam railway and as such merits listing in a higher grade for its more than special historic significance.”

English Heritage, in their recommendation, particularly notes the historic importance of this railway:
• “The Stockton and Darlington Railway of 1825 was the first public railway to be empowered by Parliament to convey goods and passengers …. However, the Canterbury & Whitstable can claim to be the first to have steam locomotive-hauled passenger trains, as the passenger service on the Stockton and Darlington at this time was still horse-drawn.
• “Tyler Hill tunnel can indeed claim to be the first modern railway tunnel in history … for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which also contained a tunnel at Edge Hill in Liverpool, opened to operation four months later in September 1830.”

John Burden, Trustee of the Crab and Winkle Line Trust, and local resident, said:
“We’re delighted that we’ve managed to get the tunnel listed. It’s not only an important part of local history, but Canterbury’s contribution to the Industrial Revolution which of course had global significance. Today the tunnel is blocked at its northern end and its southern portal is a roost for three species of bat. The Grade II* listing from English Heritage will ensure that this important historical asset gets the attention and preservation it deserves to safeguard it for future generations.”


Background

The world’s first regular passenger railway line, which became known as the Crab and Winkle Line, opened in 1830 between Canterbury and Whitstable, running till 1953. The world’s first season tickets were issued at the Canterbury station office to take regular travellers to the beach at Whitstable ‘for the summer season’.

A local charity was formed in 1997 to bring back the disused and overgrown railway into public use, as a footpath and cycle path. A route opened in 2000 along about 40% of the original line. A university, two secondary schools, half a dozen primary schools and a medical centre are along the route of the now much-used path.

English Heritage listed the tunnel, which runs under the University of Kent by St Stephen’s Hill, Canterbury, was listed by the Secretary of State as grade II* on 24th December 2007.

The full English Heritage report, with background, an assessment of the tunnel and its detailed recommendation, is available from the Crab and Winkle Line Trust.

2007 News

November 2007

Message from John Grimshaw, Founder and Chief Executive at Sustrans:-

Thanks to everyone who voted for Sustrans’ Connect2 in the People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway, and for your help in winning £50 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund for Sustrans to invest in walking and cycling UK-wide. This really is an amazing achievement for our charity and the many local authority and other partners with whom we will work on Connect2. We simply couldn’t have done it without you and your votes.

We start work on delivering Connect2 in January 2008. Our local authority partners are poised ready to go, and will be adding matched funding from their own transport and other budgets to the £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund. This is a five year project, and in total we have already identified nearly £100 million of local authority funding to support Connect2, and we are working hard to bring even more funding to the project so that we can ensure as many people as possible benefit from Connect2.

We will continue to update you on progress during 2008. In the meantime can I take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year and to thank you again for supporting Sustrans’ Connect2.

November 2007

News from the Connect2 Team:

Great news, Sustrans’ Connect2 Lottery bid entered the ultimate stage of the Big Lottery Fund’s: The People’s £50 Million contest. The final shortlist was announced last week and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and former minister Charles Clarke will lead the Sustrans bid to transform walking and cycling opportunities across the UK.

Four organisations, including ‘Sustrans’ Connect2 project, are competing for the £50 million grant to be decided by public vote on ITV1 in December. Each project will be the subject of a television programme on ITV1 in the week commencing 3 December. Sustrans’ Connect2 will be featured on Tuesday 4 December.

Online voting for The People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway will open at 9am on 26 November at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk. Telephone voting will be over the weekend 7-10 December*

*ITV1 reserve the right to reschedule

September 2007

WHITSTABLE BRIDGES UPDATE

Things continue to look promising on the bridges, with the active involvement of Sustrans and Canterbury City Council. First, we are submitting a planning application to construct a shared-use footpath and cycle path to connect the northern end of the proposed Teynham Road bridge to the sea, with the path running behind Clare Road and Station Road, with several access points along the way. The route will become a genuine asset to the community. Our planning application is available here. We have paid for an ecological survey of this stretch of land (available here) which has found no evidence of rare or endangered species. The survey did find 12 species of birds, including two robins and a chiffchaff, as well as pigeons, blackbirds and magpies. The survey also found 18 kinds of butterfly or moth (including 3 red admirals), 53 species of plants, 55 species of insects, and three types of spider. Bramley Associates, the professional firm that conducted the survey for us, concluded that a shared-use cycle and footpath would not affect the area’s biodiversity. Indeed, the construction of the route will preserve and enhance this ‘green lung’ in the heart of Whitstable for generations to come.

In terms of raising money to build the bridges and the paths, there are two immediate sources we are hoping to tap into. SEEDA, the South-East England Development Agency, may allocate £300.00 towards the project, as long as it can be spent before the end of the current financial year. Should we be successful in the planning application for the route down to the sea, then this money can be spent preparing the ground for that path, through clearance and earth works. The money can also be spent on more detailed planning and design in preparation for putting up the bridges themselves.

In the first week of December, the Crab & Winkle will form part of a wider Connect2 project, co-ordinated by Sustrans, that is being put forward to the Big Lottery Fund’s @Living Landmark® competition. The winner will be decided by a public TV vote at the end of the first week of December. If the Connect2 project wins popular support, we expect at least a further £300,000 to come our way, meaning that it will be almost certain that the bridges will become a reality. We will be publicising the detailed voting arrangements in November, but if you want to be kept informed, send us your email address via: cwlt_info@crabandwinkle.org. More information about the proposal can be found on the Sustrans’ Connect2 websitewww.sustransconnect2.org.uk or by filling in a membership form available at Canterbury West station, Whitstable station or Whitstable Tourist Information in the High Street.

If we carry on in this vein, the existing Crab & Winkle foot and cycle path will extend all the way to the harbour and the sea. This will connect the south side of the town, the supermarkets and the Community College, to the north side of the town, including the harbour, beach, primary school and medical centre on an entirely motor traffic free route. This will be of enormous benefit to all those who don’t want to use their cars for short trips around the town, and to those with pushchairs or mobility problems who want to get from one side of the railway line to the other.

POSSIBLE LISTED BUILDING STATUS -TYLER HILL TUNNEL

On the 22nd August 2007, a Heritage Protection Adviser and colleague from the South Territory of English Heritage met in Archbishop’s School grounds with Mr. Hogarth, the Headmaster, Mrs Shirley Thompson of the Kent Bat Group and John Burden of the Crab & Winkle Line Trust. The purpose of the meeting was to give English Heritage the opportunity to inspect the portals, enter the southern end of the tunnel and acrue evidence prior to preparing a report for consideration of ‘Listed Building’ status for the entire tunnel, which will be decided within a few months.

August 2007

The Crab and Winkle Line is voted one of the 10 top cycling routes for the bank holiday weekend (Saturday Telegraph 25/8/07).

August 2007

The latest Connect2 plans for the section to the coast can be found here.

July 2007

The Crab & Winkle stall - Committee members were manning the Trust’s stall at the final of the Tour de France in Canterbury and also at the Whitstable Harbour Day. A lot of interest and support was shown by members of the public in the Whitstable Bridges Project.

The Crab and Winkle Line Trust Stall at the Tour de France Day, Canterbury (July 2007)

Tour de France flies through Canterbury towards the Finish Line

May 2007

PRESS NOTICE: THE CRAB & WINKLE BRIDGES £5,000 DONATION AND CONNECT2 APPLICATION
Major steps forward have been taken towards the building of two new bridges in Whitstable – on the site of the world’s oldest railway bridge:

  • Swale Housing Trust have donated £5,000 towards the construction of a cycle path through their housing development at The Sidings.
  • The project is being considered for Sustrans’ ‘Connect2′ bid for the National Lottery’s ‘Living Landmark’ competition, where the winner will be decided by a public TV vote. Sustrans is the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity.
  • A quarter-mile section of land has been bought.

On 19th March, the £5,000 cheque from the Swale Housing Trust will be handed by Colleen Tickle, of the Swale Housing Trust, to Marcial Boo, chairman of the Crab and Winkle Line Trust on the original site of the old Canterbury to Whitstable railway that now runs through the Swale Housing Trust’s development of [6] houses in the Sidings, off Station Road in Whitstable. The 20th March will see the first meeting of the steering group established to raise awareness of the project in the district and to raise the matching funding necessary if Sustrans’ ‘Connect2′ bid is successful in the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks: The People’s Millions competition, later in the year.

These developments mark the latest progress in a long-standing campaign by the Crab and Winkle Trust which first led to the establishment in 1999 of the existing footpath and cycle path along the old Canterbury to Whitstable railway, and then in 2006 to a successful planning application for two new footbridges for use by pedestrians and cyclists on the route of the world’s oldest regular passenger railway line, between Canterbury to Whitstable. The bridges are to span Old Bridge Road, the railway and Teynham Road so that the existing Crab and Winkle footpath and cycle way can extend all the way to the harbour and the sea. This will connect the south side of the town, the supermarkets and the Community College to the north side of the town, with the harbour, the beach, the primary schools and the medical centre on an entirely traffic-free route. This will be of enormous benefit to all those who don’t want to use their cars for short trips around town, and to those with pushchairs or mobility problems who want to get from one side of the railway line to the other.

Now the Trust, with the support of Canterbury City Council and Sustrans, has bought the quarter-mile stretch of land behind Clare Road and Station Road. This land purchase now enables the foot path to be built.

The Crab and Winkle Line Trust have joined forces with Sustrans and others to raise the estimated £500,000 needed to build the bridges and the footpath down to the harbour. £60,000 has already been raised, which includes £25,000 provided by the Council following the redevelopment of Tesco.

To raise the rest, the Whitstable bridges project has been submitted as an application for funding from Sustrans’ Connect2 project. This nationwide community project aims to create a more active and positive future for us and our children by overcoming long-standing barriers such as busy roads, railways or rivers that are dividing communities and making it difficult for people to travel by foot or bike as part of their everyday lives.

Connect2 is one of the projects competing for a single multi-million-pound grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks: The People’s Millions competition. The winner will be decided by public TV vote in Winter 2007/08 and we hope that the Whitstable Connect2 project will be successful in going forward to this vote and, of course, in then winning the grant which will make the bridge a reality.

Before then, the Crab and Winkle Line Trust has invited prominent Whitstable residents to form a steering group to develop the scheme and gather support. Public support for the scheme is important, and will help ensure that this scheme forms part of Sustrans’ ‘Connect.2′ bid. Funding is needed too, as the Lottery requires projects to demonstrate that they have matched the lottery money from other sources.

Marcial Boo, Chairman of the Crab and Winkle Line, said:

“We are making great progress. I’m delighted that we have been able to buy the land behind Clare Road and Station Road so that we can tidy this up and, in time, build a footpath there for local residents. It’s great too, from our ecological survey, to see such biodiversity right here in the centre of town. By buying this land for a footpath, rather than for housing development, we can preserve this green lung for future Whitstable generations to enjoy.”

“We now need to raise the money to build the bridges. Our links with Sustrans and to the potential lottery money is massively important. We could raise £200,000 in one go – if people register their support for the Whitstable project on Sustrans’ website, atwww.sustransconnect2.org.uk and then vote for Sustrans’ Connect 2 project if and when it gets on TV!”

“But we also need to match the lottery funding with money of our own. People can send or pledge money via our website (www.crabandwinkle.org) or by filling in a membership form available at the railway station and in the tourist information shop on the high street.”

“This project is a great opportunity for Whitstable. The new bridges could transform the way people move within the town and have a positive impact on people’s health and the environment now and for generations to come.”

All those who live and work in Whitstable and in East Kent are invited to get involved by raising awareness of and interest in the project, and in raising funds.

 

2006 News

December 2006

Bridges Land Purchased – The Trust has been working closely with SUSTRANS and Canterbury City Council to secure the purchase of the land along the Teynham embankment in Whitstable. The purchase of the land has now been completed in the name of SUSTRANS. Consequently all the land on which the bridges will stand, and the approaches to the bridges is now owned by Sustrans and Canterbury City Council. The scene is now set for several funding applications to be made for the bridges themselves.

Ecological Scoping Survey – An ecological scoping survey has recently been commissioned on behalf of the Trust covering the embankment from Teynham Road to the Sidings in Whitstable. The survey details the animal, insect and vegetation species found along the former railway track bed. No endangered species were found, nor were any traces of badgers found. A further survey of bats and reptiles will be required before any work can start. The results of the survey will be required when we approach possible funders. Another part of the greater jig saw puzzle is now in place (full details of the ecological scoping survey can be downloaded here).

Clowes Wood – The Forestry Commission has been busy in Clowes Wood cutting back the vegetation alongside the Crab and Winkle Way. The vegetation was especially bad at the entrance to Clowes Wood from Amery Court. The vegetation has been cut back to ground level for approximately two meters on either side of the path.

Heritage open days – As part of the heritage open days weekend a talk illustrated with photos was given on behalf of the Trust in the Goods Shed, Canterbury. Approximately 10 members of the public were in attendance. The venue was appropriate as it adjacent to Canterbury West station where trains departed on their route to Whitstable along the Crab & Winkle line.

June 2006

Whitstable bridge plans approved!

Whitstable Gazette Thursday 1st June 2006:

Crab and Winkle bridges agreed

by Liz Crudginton

A FORMER railway line that made engineering history almost 200 years ago is set to do so again. The Crab and Winkle Line from Whitstable to Canterbury was the site of the world’s oldest railway bridge which will now be replaced by bridges linking the line’s historic past to its future as a cyclepath. Campaigners believe the bridges, which were finally given planning permission this week, could help get the site recognized as a world heritage site.

Funding

They will span Teynham Road and Old Bridge Road and will be the first step in reconnecting the Crab and Winkle line to the harbour. The decision means officials from the trust in charge of the former railway can start applying for funding for the project and chairman Marcial Boo said be was delighted. “The council members wouldn’t have come out in support if they didn’t think the people of Whitstable wanted it,” he said.

The decision was made at a heated meeting of the council’s planning committee attended by several supporters and objectors. Almost 40 letters both for and against the scheme were sent to the council and the Crab and Winkle Line Trust also submitted a petition of more than 200 names in support of the application.

Wildlife

But families in Clare Road, who held a public meeting to discuss their concerns, argued that the bridges would be out of character and would damage wildlife. “The Crab and Winkle seeks to tick some of the boxes we all need to tick, for cleaner air and not jumping in the car all the time”. Susan Westerman, of Clare Road, spoke on behalf of her neighbours and pleaded with councillors to refuse permission. She said: “We already experience problems of anti-social behaviour. Making the route behind Clare Road more accessible could open up a whole new area for these problems to go. “What is the value of this proposal to Whitstable and Tankerton?”

But the project won support from Beatrice Shire, vice-chairman of cycling organisation Spokes and an organiser of walks for disabled people.

Safe

She said the £400,000 bridges would help provide a safe and convenient car-free route for everyone. And Robin Townsend, secretary of the Crab and Winkle Line Trust, said they would bring many benefits. “The Crab and Winkle seeks to tick some of the boxes we all need to tick, for cleaner air and not jumping in the car all the time,” he said. “It is part of a wider scheme in pursuance with the aims of the trust in promoting the site as a whole.”

Whitstable Times Thursday 1st June 2006:

Crab and Winkle Bridges Victory

Report by Max Blain

THE first railway bridge in the world is to be replaced as part of the Crab and Winkle Line footpath. It was demolished by the former Whitstable council in 1969. The six-mile route which runs between Canterbury West station and Whitstable harbour follows the path of the world’s first passenger railway which was built by George and Robert Stevenson in 1830. It was the third railway line to be built anywhere in the world.

Now members of the Crab and Winkle Line Trust have been granted permission to build two bridges across Teynham Road and Old Bridge Road so visitors can walk the length of the historic route.

The project will be funded in part by £25,000 from Tesco as part of the supermarket chain’s agreement with the city council when it wanted to build a superstore in Millstrood Road. So far the trust has raised a further £35,000 but it is still well short of its £400,000 target. The trust is hoping to attract more investment including lottery funding now that planning permission for the two bridges has been obtained.

Trust chairman Marcial Boo, of C1ifton Road, Whitstable, said: “We have 220 signatures of support for this project. I think the majority of the town is in favour, “Having planning permission will ensure we are taken seriously when we apply for funding” But some Clare Road residents have already started a counter-petition in an attempt to stop the
bridges being built. They are worried about the impact on their neighbourhood. Mr Boo said: “I can understand why some people would be worried but we won’t be pouring concrete outside their houses tomorrow. “This will not happen for two or three years. That should give us time to address any concerns people have. “We are doing this for the good of the town. If the bridges are built we will renovate some of the wasteland near Station Road. “It will also provide a safe way into Whitstable for anyone who doesn’t drive, including students, school children and cyclists. It should also act as another way of attracting tourists into the town.”

Dr Bruno Tran of Clare Road, said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea and I’m very much in favour of it. “It’s a bit shortsighted to say building the bridges will cause problems. “There will be some disruption but then we will have the benefit of a pedestrian route into town and to Canterbury as well.” City councillors gave the go ahead on Tuesday night for a 10m bridge over Teynham Road and 38m bridge over Old Bridge Road. Public consultation officially ends this Saturday. Some residents have already complained that the new bridges could attract vandals and would be an eyesore.

Easter 2006

Bridges – With the help of Lee Evans, Architects of Canterbury, we have submitted a planning application for the construction of two bridges in Whitstable to re-bridge the route at the site of the oldest railway bridge in the world. By the time of our AGM on 28 April, we may know whether the application is likely to succeed or not. If it does, 2006 -07 is likely to be an exciting year!

The Harbour – We have spent some time working with the Whitstable Harbour Board and Canterbury Council on their plans for the old goods shed there. We wanted space for an exhibition about the harbour’s links to the old train line. The Whitstable Improvement Trust are leading the plans from now on and we are working with them.

Station Road -Trustees John Burden and Robin Townsend recently met officers from Amicus Housing Association who manage the development at the Sidings. We discussed how the route of the C & W goes through the site. The Road has studs 4′ – 8 1/2″ apart indicating the original line and C & W signs are in place. The presently vacant 44M long plot to the North of the site is, subject to consultation, the route that follows the line and eventually to the Harbour. Also at the South end adjacent to the Sidings the Residents Association of Clare Road have exciting plans to landscape and provide a play area.

The University -The new director of estates is interested to work with us on the section to the north of the tunnel. Details will appear on our website.

Archbishop’s School - The school recognise the importance of the history on their land and have kindly allowed us to host visits to the south side of the tunnel. The research on the bats in the tunnel by the Kent Bat Group is going well.

Canterbury West – Some wonderful bike rack sculptures have been put up by the Goods Shed there and our replica of the Invicta engine is still proudly on display inside.

2005 News

Christmas 2005

Our Chairman Marcial Boo won the Kent Volunteer of the Year award in the Environment category. This was presented to him by Barbara Sturgeon at a ceremony in Maidstone on the 29th November 2005.

Marcial Boo being presented with the award by Barbara Sturgeon

Six foot posters were put up in Whitstable and Canterbury West Stations in October, helping to get people into the route of the line.

Architects are working for the Trust to submit a planning application to re-build the bridges over the railway at Whitstable. Canterbury City Council is negotiating a small land purchase to make this happen. Once the planning application is approved, which we expect, we will begin a major fundraising drive to build our “bridges fund” from £50,000 today to the £400,000 we will need to make this happen.

We have submitted proposals to the Whitstable Harbour Board to redevelop the old Goods Shed there, using £200,000 given to the harbour by the developers of the off-shore wind farm.

T-shirts have been produced with our snazzy Peter Firmin designed logos, on sale to members for only £9 plus p&p.

Supported by CCC, residents of Clare Road, Whitstable conducted their second Big Clear Up of the land adjacent to the route of the Crab & Winkle Line. Two large tipper truck loads of rubbish were removed from the area.

Summer 2005

Heritage open day – The Trust once again participated in the Heritage Open Days with a talk given at The Goods Shed Canterbury. A summary of the history of the line was given followed by an update on the Whitstable bridges project. Seventeen members of the public turned up for the talk. Our thanks to the Goods Shed for allowing us to use their premises for the presentation.

Robin Townsend (The Trust Secretary) explaining the history of the Crab and Winkle Line in 2005