Middlesborough Transporter Bridge, Tees

Middlesborough Transporter Bridge, otherwise known as the Tees Transporter Bridge is the longest of the three transporter bridges left in the United Kingdom.

It was built between 1909 and 1911 to replace the Hugh Bell and Erimus steam ferry services. It opened on 17th October 1911. The full span of the bridge is 851ft (259m), including the cantilevers, making it the longest remaining transporter bridge in the world!

Still in operation, it carries motor vehicles and pedestrians between Middlesborough on the south bank and Port Clarence on the north bank. The road it carries is the A178 Middlesborough to Hartlepool road, and is owned by Middlesborough Council and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. The former has the control of day-to-day activities and maintenance.

The whole bridge was repainted in August 2013, closing it for 40 days.

This isn’t actually the only bridge of interest in Middlesborough – there’s also the Tees Newport Bridge – a lift bridge upstream of Middlesborough. It’s confusing as people sometimes get it mixed up with Newport Transporter bridge. Will upload pics of it one day I’m sure.

Story time: Our visit to this bridge didn’t go entirely to plan. Well it did.. until the final few minutes. We’d parked in the car park opposite, a short walk across to the steps up to the top. Six of us were present – five in my car and Callum on his bike. After being on the bridge for a good hour, we packed up and began to head down. As we started climbing down, an ear piercing alarm started from the direction of our convoy. Some of the local chavs were trying to steal Cal’s Triumph, and from what we could tell they were seconds away from putting the back window of the car in too. We all began yelling from the staircase to them, which of course they did not see coming. Cal pushed us out the way and bolted down six steps at a time and sprinted towards them in a rage. They then got spooked and jumped into a car that came flying out of nowhere. My car was untouched, but the wiring on the bike was a mess – they’d probably been trying to stop the alarm. Within minutes of us making the call, the 5-0 had turned up and we gave our statements about what happened. Whilst this was going on, two people wearing balaclavas came tearing down the road on some kind of golf cart type thing, slowed down next to us and the police, then sped off. The officers turned to each other and said ‘shit lads, they’re ballied up!’. They umped in the car and tore after them. That’s actually where the tag line on my account comes from in case anyone actually cares. We never heard anything from it, so assumed they were never caught, but as @Gabe put well: FUCK MIDDLESBOROUGH. Oh, and the bike still has bodged wiring even to this day :p

We headed back to our hotel in Hartlepool (eek) and quickly got back on the road the following morning after a quick brekkie in the local spoons.

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