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HOMEPAGE Cleveland Scenes1. The Transporter Bridge over the River Tees at Middlesbrough

The classic icon of Teesside! and now, as ever, a tourist attraction!

Scenes of Middlesbrough, Cleveland, North East England

re-edit 23/04/2023

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Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough, Teesside, Cleveland, Northern England

The transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough, Teesside, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, one of the engineering wonders of Northern England. The cars are carried on the yellow painted carriage which is suspended via steel cables, and the whole carriage and cables are pulled to a fro across the River Tees.

The cars are carried in the yellow carriage (see also above picture)

The Teesside Transporter Bridge was originally conceived and designed by Charles Smith in 1872, but construction did not begin until 1910. The bridge was built to help transport workers across the River Tees, which had become a major industrial center for the region.

The bridge was designed by Sir William Arrol and Company and was completed in 1911. It is the longest transporter bridge in the world and was a technological marvel at the time of its construction.

During World War II, the bridge played an important role in transporting troops and supplies across the Tees. It also served as a lookout post for German planes during the war.

In the 1970s, the bridge was at risk of being demolished as it no longer served a vital role in the area's transportation infrastructure. However, locals campaigned to save the bridge, and in 1980, it was designated as a Grade II* listed structure.

Today, the Teesside Transporter Bridge is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. Visitors can take a trip across the bridge on the gondola, which can transport up to 200 people at a time. The bridge also hosts a museum with exhibits on the history of the bridge and the surrounding area.

The transporter bridge over the River Tees, not far from the centre of Middlesbrough,  was opened in 1911 and is 850 feet long and 225 feet high at the tallest point.

The transporter bridge over the River Tees, not far from the centre of Middlesbrough,  was opened in 1911 and is 850 feet long and 225 feet high at the tallest point.


It is largest working transporter bridge of its kind in the world but bridge has to be closed if the wind speed exceeds 45 mph.

It is largest working transporter bridge of its kind in the world but the bridge has to be closed if the wind speed exceeds 45 mph.


It can carry 6-7 cars or 200 people! The suspended 'platform' carrying the cars-people (yellow structure above) is pulled across by two cables.

It can carry 6-7 cars or 200 people! The suspended 'platform' carrying the cars-people (yellow structure above) is pulled across by two cables.


The transporter bridge dominates the landscape of Teesside but the horse would prefer a carrot on a cold March day!

The transporter bridge dominates the landscape of Teesside but the horse would prefer a carrot on a cold March day!



Tees Transporter Bridge
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coordinates 54.5845°N 1.2279°Coordinates: 54.5845°N 1.2279°W
Carries Motor vehicles
A178 road
Crosses River Tees
Locale Middlesbrough, England
Official name Tees Transporter Bridge
Preceded by Tees Newport Bridge
Followed by North Sea
Design Transporter Bridge
Material steel, concrete
Longest span 851 ft (259 m)
Clearance below 160 ft (49 m)
Constructed by Sir William Arrol & Co.
Opened 17 October 1911
Toll Vehicles (<3 tons): £1.30 (1 bay) Pedestrians and Cyclists: 60p

The bridge seen from downstream, left bank
The Tees Transporter Bridge, often referred to as the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge is the furthest downstream bridge across the River Tees, England. It connects Middlesbrough, on the south bank, to Port Clarence, on the north bank. It is a transporter bridge, carrying a travelling 'car', or 'gondola', suspended from the bridge, across the river in 90 seconds. The gondola can carry 200 people, 9 cars, or 6 cars and one minibus. It carries the A178 Middlesbrough to Hartlepool road. Locally the bridge is often referred to simply as 'the Transporter'.

The idea of a transporter bridge across the River Tees was first mooted in 1872 when Charles Smith, Manager of the Hartlepool Iron Works, submitted a scheme to Middlesbrough Corporation. However the scheme was not pursued and it would not be until the new century that the idea of a transporter bridge across the river would again be revisited. Following a 1907 Act of Parliament the Bridge was built at a cost of £68,026 6s 8d (equivalent to £6,600,000 in 2016 values), Tees Transporter Bridge 1 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge by Sir William Arrol & Co. of Glasgow between 1910 and 1911 to replace the 'Hugh Bell' and 'Erimus' steam ferry services. Tees Transporter Bridge 2 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge A transporter bridge was chosen because Parliament ruled that the new scheme of crossing the river had to avoid affecting the river navigation. The foundation stones, made of Aberdeen granite, were laid by Mayor of Middlesbrough Thomas Gibson-Poole and Alderman Joseph McLauchlan, the initiator of the transporter bridge scheme.

The opening ceremony on 17 October 1911 was performed by Prince Arthur of Connaught. During World War II the superstructure of the bridge was hit by a bomb. In 1953, the gondola got stuck half-way. While it was stuck, gale force winds lashed water to within inches of it. However, despite this the gondola and The Transporter Bridge are still running in perfect order.

In 1974, the comedy actor Terry Scott, travelling between his hotel in Middlesbrough and a performance at the Billingham Forum, mistook the bridge for a regular toll crossing and drove his Jaguar off the end of the roadway, landing in the safety netting beneath. Tees Transporter Bridge 3 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

In December 1993, the bridge was awarded the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' highest honour, The Heritage Plaque, for engineering excellence, in recognition of the Council's efforts in keeping the bridge in good working order. Its historical importance was also recognised in 1985 by its listing as a Grade II* Listed Building and its prominence as a local landmark was further enhanced in 1993 by the installation of flood lights that operate during the winter months.

It has featured in films and TV programmes including Boys from the Blackstuff, Billy Elliot, The Fast Show, Spender and Steel River Blues. In the millennium celebrations of 2000, fireworks were fired from its length. The storyline of the third series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, saw the bridge dismantled to be sold to and re-erected in the USA. The local council received calls from people worried that the bridge was really being pulled down, Tees Transporter Bridge 4 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge with the BBC adding a disclaimer on the end of the final episode of the series stating that 'The Transporter Bridge is still in Middlesbrough'.

Facts and figures
The Tees Transporter Bridge has an overall length (including cantilevers) of 851 feet (259 m), leaving a span between the centres of the towers of 590 feet (180 m), the beam of the bridge being carried at a height of 160 feet (49 m) above the road. The bridge is the longest remaining transporter bridge in the world.

Transporter Bridge - April 2018
The bridge is currently owned by Middlesbrough Council and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. Middlesbrough Council has control of the day-to-day operations and maintenance. In 2011 the Tees Transporter Bridge received a £2.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund award for improvement and renovation work to mark the Bridge's centenary. The improvement works include the installation of a glass viewing lift to the landmark's upper walkway and renovation of the gondola. The bridge was closed on 27 August 2013 for 40 days repainting. It was then discovered that repairs were needed. The bridge was re-opened for traffic on 6 April 2015 but improvement work are continued with the bridge still in daily use. These were completed in September 2015 after more than £4 million had been spent on the structure. Tees Transporter Bridge 5 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge Tees Transporter Bridge 6 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

The bridge is a Grade II* Listed Building, and other elements, such as its Winch House, piers, railings and gates are Grade II listed. Tees Transporter Bridge 7 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge Tees Transporter Bridge 8 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge Tees Transporter Bridge 9 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

On 5 March 2015 the Royal Mail issued a set of 10 First Class postage stamps featuring iconic British bridges including the Tees Transporter Bridge.

Vintage bus running day

Daimler Fleetline JDC544L at the Transporter Bridge
The bridge is also host to an annual vintage bus running day, organised by The 500 Group. Tees Transporter Bridge 10 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge On this one day per year, usually a Sunday in April, vintage buses take people on free rides around Teesside. As part of the 2006 and 2007 events the bridge made a special trip carrying a former Teesside Municipal Transport Daimler Fleetline, the first time a double-decker bus had used the bridge in 30 years. Tees Transporter Bridge 11 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

Tees Transporter Bridge Anniversary Award
In 2013, the Tees Transporter Bridge Anniversary Award was inaugurated as part of the Transporter Bridge's Heritage Lottery Fund-supported Visitor Experience Project in partnership with the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) and Teesside University. The inaugural award winner was Stephen Brown in autumn 2013, with Jason Dunnett receiving the accolade in autumn 2014. Tees Transporter Bridge 12 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

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