A new survey has revealed Britain’s top 10 favourite bridges.
And it’s no surprise that three of the bridges featured are from the North East. In fact, the number one bridge is very familiar to all of us.
The survey was carried out by LeaseCar.uk. A spokesman for the company said: “The humble bridge is often overlooked, but they’ve aided British trade and communities for centuries, so we think they deserve some recognition.
“Many of these structures are steeped in history and are now Grade I and Grade II listed, whilst others are simply so massive, they had to be included for their size alone.”
1. Tyne Bridge
The much-loved symbol of our region and famous around the world, the Tyne Bridge stretches 1,276 ft to link Newcastle and Gateshead. The bridge was officially opened on October 10, 1928 by King George V, amid much fanfare as thousands looked on and the factories and ships of the Tyne noisily sounded their horns in celebration.
One of the reasons for the construction of the bridge was not only to provide a much-needed new crossing point between Newcastle and Gateshead, but also to provide work for shipyard workers and keep their skills alive during times of recession and mass unemployment.
Standing 194 ft high. Its towers are built from Cornish granite and were designed by a local architect as warehouses with five storeys. But, the inner floors of the warehouses were never completed and, as a result, the storage areas were never used.
2. Humber Bridge
For centuries the Humber Estuary was a barrier to trade and development between the two banks, until the approval for the construction of a suspension bridge was granted in 1959 – although it was not until 1972 that work finally began.
Work on the construction took eight years and traffic first crossed the bridge on June 24, 1981, before Her Majesty the Queen performed the formal opening ceremony on July 17. At 4,626 ft, the Humber Bridge is the UK’s longest single-span suspension bridge and the eighth longest in the world.
3. Infinity Bridge
Built at a cost of £15m, the Infinity Bridge is a 787ft public pedestrian and cycle footbridge across the River Tees at Stockton. The bridge had the project title North Shore Footbridge before being given its official name Infinity Bridge, chosen by a panel using named suggested by the public. The name derives from the infinity symbol formed by the bridge and its reflection.
4. Clifton Suspension Bridge
Described by the legendary engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel as ‘my first love, my darling’ and originally designed to cater for horse-drawn traffic in 1864, Clifton Suspension Bridge today serves as a crossing for more than four million vehicles every year – but note you have to pay a £1 to cross it. The bridge weighs 1,500 tonnes, spans 703 ft, and sits 245 ft above the water below at high tide.
5. Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge was built over 125 years ago to ease road traffic while maintaining river access to the busy London docks. Built with giant moveable roadways that lift up for passing ships, it is to the day considered an engineering marvel and is arguably one of the most famous and instantly recognisable structures in the world. It took eight years, five major contractors and the relentless labour of 432 construction workers each day to build Tower Bridge, which crosses the River Thames at a total length of 801 ft.
6. Menai Suspension Bridge
Carrying road traffic between the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales, the Menai Suspension Bridge was completed in 1826 and is now a Grade I listed structure. Before the bridge was completed in 1826, Anglesey had no fixed connection to the mainland, and travelling between the island and the mainland was often hazardous.
7. Severn Bridge
The Severn Bridge is a motorway suspension bridge that spans the River Severn and River Wye between Aust, South Gloucestershire and Chepstow, Monmouthshire. It’s the original Severn road crossing between England and Wales and opened in September 1966, replacing the Aust Ferry which had been in operation since 1926.
8. Queensferry Crossing
Construction of the Queensferry Crossing ended in August 2017, making it the newest bridge on this list. It was built alongside the existing Forth Road Bridge and carries the M90 motorway across the Firth of Forth between Edinburgh, at South Queensferry, and Fife, at North Queensferry. It’s also one of the longest bridges on the list, stretching 8,858 ft.
9. Tees Transporter Bridge
Also known as a ferry bridge or aerial transfer bridge, the Tees Transporter is a type of movable bridge that carries a travelling ‘car’ or ‘gondola’, suspended from the bridge, across the river in just 90 seconds. The gondola can carry 200 people, 9 cars, or 6 cars and one minibus. In the ‘Boro, the bridge is often referred to simply as ‘the Transporter’.
10. The Iron Bridge, Shropshire
The Iron Bridge is a cast-iron arch construction that crosses the River Severn in Shropshire. Opened in 1781, it was the first major bridge in the world to be made of cast iron, and was greatly celebrated after construction owing to its use of the new material.