The iconic symbol of “the Boro”, the transporter bridge has been closed for refurbishment for the past 18 months and this week it has finally started to operate again. As it is free for the next month we decided today, we would take the opportunity to take a ride on the lowest bridge crossing of the Tees. Cyclists will be charged 60p for crossing which takes about 4 minutes.
So we set off from home in a biting ENE wind at about 6C but it felt much colder as we cycled down Linthorpe Road and arrived at the bridge a short while before the first trip. On a Saturday it begins operating at 9.30am until 12 noon and then is closed for an hour before recommencing at 1-3pm. During the week the first crossing is at 7.15am until 6.15pm with an hour closed for lunch.
It is closed entirely on a Sunday so not so useful for cyclists wishing to cross.
There were a couple of cars waiting and 2 lads on bikes waiting to cross. The bridge now has enclosed but glazed areas for pedestrians and cyclists and its easy to see down the river as the gondola crosses the water.
Some years ago, there was an outcry when a TV serial was supposed to show the bridge being taken down and sold to the US for a casino to be built. People actually went down to see if it had been taken away !!
On the north side of the river, a new short stretch of cycle path has been laid.
As you can see it is called the Ivy House and was built in 1680 and repaired in 1995. We didn’t linger long as it was too cold. A couple of ladies were just mounting their horses and we were careful as we rode past. Its better to give then a wide berth and not spook them.
We cycled along to an unfamiliar part of Billingham because out usual route was too boggy due to the recent rain. However, we had an idea of the direction we needed to go and were soon on our way to the Norton crossing of the A19. We called into a supermarket and picked up a few items before cycling back down and along the river to Newport where we crossed the Tees again. Then it was a quick ride back through the town and home.
We soon had toasted crumpets and a warm drink which were needed to warm us up. Only 17.5 mls today. This link may work to look at the route.