Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

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Ferry Road, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
01642 247563

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge Reviews

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502 reviews
Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge Jul 22, 2015
Middlesborough’s Transporter Bridge is the town’s best-known landmark. Like Middlesbrough itself, it is a relic from the glorious industrial times. It was built in 1911 to connect Middlesbrough to the industrial areas on the nothern bank of the Tees river at Port Clarence. Transport bridges like these saw only a short period of prosper. Their limited capacity and their susceptibility to adverse weather conditions gave traditional bridges and advantage over this new construction. They are rarely new built and make only sense where a high ramp can not be built. Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge is only one of seven worldwide in use.

The bridge is closed on Sundays, but runs otherwise every 15 minutes during daytime. There is an visitor's center (entry free) next to the bridge which offers guided tours (must be pre-booked) for 5 GBP (concessions apply). The visitor's centre also has an exhibition about the bridge and some about Middlesbrough’s history.

Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance until now to do the tour, but took a ride on the bridge itself for 60p one way and another 60p back in 2015. Port Clarence on the other side of the river is not interesting enough to spend a lot of time, so keep an eye on the running times of the bridge or prepare for a long bus ride to return to Middlesbrough.

For opening times, please check https://www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-footpaths/tees-transporter-bridge
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5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Congratulations on your feature!
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sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge Apr 20, 2013
The Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge was built in 1912 or so, as an attempt to provide a crossing for traffic on the Tees, more reliably than ferries, but without stopping large ships coming up the river. It is the last working bridge of its kind in the UK. Transporter bridges are essentially giant, ground level cable cars. A bridge platform is suspended from the superstructure and winched across the river by winding engines. When the platform is docked, ships can pass freely under the bridge. Traffic simply drives on at one end, waits, and drives off at the other. It is a really amazing work of engineering.

In the heyday of the Teesside docks, this was a thriving dock full of cargo vessels and the other side of the river was also bustling. Now, the docks are long gone. The bridge stands alone, a giant structure surrounded by wasteland, industrial ruins of various ages, and a small, closed visitor’s centre. It’s almost mournful. The surrounding area was obviously earmarked for regeneration; a set of hoardings advertising the grand plans for the area is almost as bleached as the sign that tells you that the isolated brick wall used to be a salt factory, although not as decrepit as the sign converting litres to gallons in the ruined petrol station. But the bridge is still in full use. Apart from people who (for no reason I could figure out) genuinely want to go to the other side of the river, there are industrial history nerds and tourists with interested small children crossing to see the last transporter bridge in action. It also has specific charity events on from time to time – you can bungie jump from it, or climb it for charity, and things like that. Pedestrians are charged 60p to cross (about $1), and cars about £1.30. There is a bemused bridgekeeper who is deeply puzzled by why anyone would want to see the bridge for fun.

I had a free train ticket and that’s how I came to visit Middlesbrough. Apart from football, I am not sure why anyone would happen to be passing. So unless you are a student of industrial heritage or engineering, or really, really like large bridges, I am not sure why you would end up here. But if you do, this is well worth the 60p to visit.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sarahelaine says:
There's a lot to be said for very large bridges. :)
Posted on: May 14, 2013
davidx says:
Yes to two of the requirements for going so I'd better go!
Posted on: May 14, 2013

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