PEEL PORTS /HOLDINGS.... Restore Historical Barton Road Bridge before it is too late!

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Barton Swing Bridge is GRADE 2 listed, and is being left to rot away by Owner Peel Ports Holdings.

This petition is to try and grab Peels' attention and get them to act now and restore it, before it is too late!.

It is now in severe need of re-painting and rot treatment, as it is literally crumbling away.

History of the bridge:

Barton swing bridge was built during the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal. It was designed by the project's engineer, Edward Leader Williams, and constructed by Andrew Handyside and Company. Williams' design was chosen as the best of three possible plans by James Abernethy, who subsequently became the scheme's consulting engineer. The bridge opened to traffic on 1 January 1894. The total span is 59.3 metres (195 ft) and it carries a 5.6 metres (18 ft) roadway.

By the 1930s, the bridge had become a significant bottleneck for workers in Trafford Park, who commuted over the bridge on foot or cycle, particularly during peak hours. It also became an important route for goods vehicles, both heading to Trafford Park and crossing Lancashire, and for parishioners in Eccles travelling to Mass at the All Saints Church on the canal's south side.

In 1946, concern was expressed in Parliament over the closing of the bridge to road traffic at peak times. The following year, the Manchester Ship Canal Company agreed that the bridge would generally stay open for road traffic during rush hour, though this could not be guaranteed. A cargo vessel struck the bridge on 28 December 1948, restricting the bridge to single-line working and a two-ton weight limit until repairs had been completed.In 1953, traffic was banned from turning right off the bridge into Barton Road.

By the 1950s, the bridge had become part of a de facto outer ring road as it formed part of a main road, the A575, from Stretford to Bolton, avoiding both Manchester and Salford. A traffic survey in 1954 revealed 9,600 vehicles were using the bridge daily and it closed 7,000 times a year. A replacement bridge was considered vitally important to the local economy, particularly that of Trafford Park. William Proctor, MP for Eccles, said "I cannot think of any other project in the North of England which should have higher priority than the Barton Bridge scheme." Construction of the replacement Barton High Level Bridge started in 1957; the bridge opened to traffic in October 1960 and has been referred to informally as the "Barton Bridge". Traffic on the swing bridge has also been reduced by the construction of Centenary Bridge located upstream towards Salford.



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