Preparing for the big day

May 8, 2008 at 15:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments


Walney Bridge is a hundred years old this year. Thirty years ago it was reckoned to have another twenty years of life left, but it’s a game old thing and still going despite traffic levels undreamed of by the Edwardians. Not only that, but it’s had a major repaint over the course of the last two years, so clearly there are no immediate plans for a replacement.

One narrow bridge isn’t really adequate for an island with 13,000 people living on it, not these days. To make matters worse it’s a bascule bridge, like Tower Bridge in London, and though there are no big ship launches in the Walney Channel any more it still needs to be raised now and again – notably for the annual round-the-island sailing race on the autumn spring tide. Recently the bridge was raised for tests, and was stuck for several hours. 13,000 people cut off from emergency services! There’s been talk of a second bridge for as long as I can remember, and although it’s been discussed again lately it’s still talk. Before the bridge there was a ferry, and at low tide it’s possible to walk across in some places (I’ve done it, though I had to wade for 10 metres or so), but that’s hardly much use in an emergency.



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  1. Well then don’t be planning on getting ill! Nice barreling!

  2. Maybe people could swim across?

  3. Kris: Yes, but they’d only be going through the motions 😉

    (Actually it’s a different Channel from the festering sewer of fifty years ago)

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