Makeover for Whitstable Traffic Free Path
Posted: 3rd February 2010 | Sustrans
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 says:
"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."