Warrington Transporter Bridge, also known as Bank Quay Transporter Bridge is in by far the worst condition of any of the bridges; it’s been properly neglected ever since closure in approximately 1964.
It was built in 1915 to connect the two parts of the large chemical and soap works of Joseph Crosfield and Sons. It is one of three transporter bridges constructed over the Mersey; another was built just to the north of this one along with the Widnes-Runcorn bridge mentioned above.
The bridge has a span of 200ft (61m), is 30ft (9.1m) wide and 76ft (23m) above high water level. Its overall length is 339ft (103m) and a total height of 89ft (27m), which also makes it the smallest of the three.
It’s listed on the National Heritage list as being grade II* listed, as well as the Heritage at Risk register due to it’s appalling condition. It’s currently owned by Warrington City Council.
A local group called ‘Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge’ (FoWTB) was formed in April 2015 to act as the independent voice of the bridge. The group is liaising with other interest groups to safeguard the future of the bridge and its industrial heritage status. FoWTB have been featured on the local BBC News programme North West Tonight and have set up a website for the bridge along with Facebook and Twitter pages. In 2016, the bridge was nominated for the Institution of Civil Engineers North West Heritage Award.
We’d had a busy day, with a good half of it spent on the road. Warrington was only a quick stop off, but we all wanted to see it and tick it off the list. Parking nearby in a place so dodgy that I’m surprised a window wasn’t put through, we crept around the outskirts of the industrial estate it sits in the heart of. Over a bastard fence at the bottom then up. Easy stuff but it felt more bait than it was as its in such an open area with so many floodlights. You know the score!
We didn’t go all the way to the other side as the bridge felt like it would actually collapse in some parts. It was too cold for a swim so stuck to the more solid areas and the frame on the side we climbed up on!