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


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.


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

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.