Runcorn Transporter Bridge

A Broader Outlook: NarrowBoat, Summer 2007

Hugh Potter

In our Picturing the Past feature on Runcorn in the Spring 2006 Issue of Narrowboat, it was mentioned that the bridge from which the dramatic centrespread photograph was taken was built just two years earlier in 1961. Before that, all vehicular traffic had to cross the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal by the 1905 Transporter Bridge pictured here. Pedestrians had been able to cross since the construction of the railway bridge in 1869, which had a footway alongside. The transporter bridge allowed a clearance of 75ft for ships on the canal, although the bottom of the suspended platform was just 12ft above water level. The platform was 55ft long and 24ft wide taking a maximum of twelve vehicles across the almost 1000ft ‘gap’ in 4 minutes. By the 1950s this was becoming inadequate for the traffic of the area, and the transporter bridge was demolished when the new bridge opened. The new bridge in turn is now inadequate and is to be supplemented by a second – with the…

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Runcorn Transporter Bridge featured image