20 October 2011
Merseyside Bridges: 5. Stanley Dock Bascule Bridge, Liverpool
My Merseyside journey continued south from Bootle into the centre of Liverpool. Travelling along Regent Road, I crossed the entrance to Stanley Dock via this bridge. It's of the Scherzer Rolling Lift type, a patented design where the bridge deck rocks back onto a roller girder in order to raise it to allow vessels to pass through. It's a little like a rocking-chair, pulled back by mechanical arms.
I've previously reported on a twin-leaf example of the genre, Queensferry Bridge, although that is no longer able to open. The bridge at Stanley Dock has only recently been refurbished, at the cost of £600,000. It was originally built in 1932, and allowed to run into disrepair by the owners, Peel Ports, leading eventually to its closure in May 2008. In 2010, repairs were carried out, the machine house re-roofed, and everything given a lick of new paint. The work won a Historic Bridge and Infrastructure Award earlier this year.
The bridge isn't unique, even locally, as there's a very similar span, Egerton Bridge, on the other side of the Mersey at Birkenhead, although I didn't get to visit it on this trip. Examples elsewhere in the UK include those at Barrow-in-Furness, Inchinnan, Keadby and Poole.