Of the eight working transporter bridges, three are in the UK

Like many of us I’ve a fondness for oddities. Our country is packed with them. I’ll nor attempt to provide a list, as I’m sure you’ll be able to recall some that, in your experience, have surprised, and amused.

One of these oddities is Transporter bridges which were popular at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. Of the sixteeen built between 1893 and 1916, only eight remain, and of this eight three are in the UK. This type of bridge was built to cross rivers where the approach roads were low level, and would therefore be impractical to to construct a fixed bridge, and high enough to allow shipping to pass beneath. They are also cheaper to construct than fixed bridges.

Last year we used the Bizkaia Transporter Bridge, not too far north of Bilbao in northern Spain. The bridge provides a crossing of the River Nervión between Portugalete and Las Arenas, part of Getxo. It’s a world heritage site, being the world’s first transporter bridge.

Over the coming days, I’ll write about each one. I’m intending to visit the bridges in the UK, which should be fun.

Here’s the list of the eight working transporter bridges, with the UK ones listed first.

3 thoughts on “Of the eight working transporter bridges, three are in the UK

  1. I have just come across your blog and find it fascinating. However, I don’t believe the transporter bridge at Warrington is in working order. It is listed (2* I think) but is on the At Risk list.


  2. Hello Tim, You might be interested to know that my new book “Transporter bridges – an illustrated history” will be published early next year in hardback by Pen & Sword Transport Books. It tells the story of all those which were built, and all those which never got off the drawing board.


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