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Kingsferry Bridge denied English Heritage listed status after bid by Iwade Parish Council

By Andy Gray

The Kingsferry Bridge has been denied English Heritage status.

It follows an application by Iwade Parish Council to have the landmark crossing listed.

Members made the request after unsubstantiated reports the bridge’s concrete might be eroding.

Ship passing under the Kingsferry Bridge
Ship passing under the Kingsferry Bridge

In turning down the bid, an English Heritage spokesman said the 55-year-old crossing did not fall into the categories used to determine sites most in need of protection.

James Hunt, the council’s chairman, said: “It’s a shame they haven’t taken the decision to list it, but I completely understand.

“Hopefully, as a parish council, we will continue to see what can be done locally to protect the bridge for future generations.”

According to the Heritage spokesman, Kingsferry Bridge needed to satisfy three categories used by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to earn listed status.

It was noted that the bridge was not “under serious threat of demolition or major alteration”.

The Kingsferry Bridge under constructuion in 1959
The Kingsferry Bridge under constructuion in 1959

“The threshold for listing buildings and structures dating from or after 1945 is particularly high,” the spokesman said.

She also said the bridge did not have “evident significance” to make it worthy of inclusion on the list.

Mr Hunt said the council would continue to investigate claims of the bridge’s erosion as part of a continued push for its recognition.

“The Kingsferry Bridge is a major landmark, not just for the Island and surrounding areas, but Swale as a whole,” he said. “It’s part of the history of the borough.”

James Hunt, Iwade resident and chairman of the village parish council
James Hunt, Iwade resident and chairman of the village parish council

The Kingsferry Bridge was opened in 1960. It replaced a cantilever structure which was regularly hit boats, many of which were pulp vessels heading for Ridham Dock.

The collisions meant the Island was cut off from the mainland for days – sometimes longer.

Delays had a serious impact on Sheppey’s finances, preventing urgent food supplies and patients could not be transported to hospital.

Trains were cancelled and children attending mainland schools had to remain at home.

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