26 June 2012

Teesing it out: Middlesbrough's Transporter Bridge by bike

I was up in Middlesbrough the other day, to do its famous Transporter Bridge by bike.

Transporter Bridges are a curious solution to the problem of providing a crossing where bridges or tunnels are impossible: part bridge, part ferry, sliding an Edwardian five-a-side football court underneath a giant coat hanger (right).

Less then two dozen were built, all around the beginning of the 1900s, and only a handful survive today.

(The only other working one in Britain is at Newport, and featured in my 50QBR book.)

Bikes go in the two corridors at the side (right).

The single for pedestrians or cyclists is 70p, which will buy you two cups of vending machine coffee in the pleasant visitor centre on the south side, or 40 per cent of a pint at Wetherspoons half a mile away in the town centre.

Or the deposit on a terrace house.

There’s not much to do on the other side except cycle away from Middlesbrough, which isn’t a bad option; or return and head for the nearby train station, which isn’t a bad option either.

There’s a short (2 min) video of the Bridge on YouTube (embedded below).


  1. And see www.cyclestreets.net/location/35822/ and Nearby for the transporter bridge just outside Bilbao.

  2. That's really cool! I need this in my city!! My bike would love it! lol

  3. Interesting that there's nothing to stop you walking off a second or two too soon and falling into the water (a bit like a slam-door train). Seems admirably non-nonsense.

  4. I thought Jimmy Nail sold that bridge to the American Indians... :-)