Posted by Editor on 27th July 2012 at 02:41 PM
Video: Irlam Hulme's Bridge Ferry still overgrown & unknown
by Roger Lightup, Community Reporter
Video by Tom Rodgers
We reported last year on a secret ferry replacing a bridge on the Salford/Davyhulme border - a rambler's paradise to allow walkers and day-trippers to explore the glorious greenery on both sides of the Manchester Ship Canal.
It's one year on and sadly, little has changed. On the Trafford side the path leading to this historic ferry is well-signed, the path cut properly.
By contrast, on the Salford side it's like trying to walk through a chest-high jungle of nettles and weeds, with no signs at all to say where or even what is down this muddy path.
In 2009 the ferry stopped, when former ferryman John McDermott died suddenly.
The service was reinstated by the Manchester Ship Canal Company after campaigners on both sides of the canal complained.
If you head down the A57 from the M60 motorway roundabout towards Irlam, you'll soon come into greenery on both sides. It is this which Salford should be famous for - massive, beautiful landscapes just minutes out of the town centre.
But, here at least, they're not being properly marketed.
June Mabon from Trafford Ramblers has been lobbying Salford council to clear up the path to the ferry but it seems she's having little luck. This could be a nice and unusual tourist attraction if the council could see its potential.
By an ancient Act of Parliament, the owners of the Manchester Ship Canal, Peel Ports, are duty bound to run this ferry linking Eccles and Irlam with the Davyhulme Nature Reserve and the Urmston side of the Canal.
We've been promised a more stable boat in the coming weeks, for trail bikers to take their cycles on board. If there's a group of you, you can even book ahead to a time that suits you, and the Hulme's Bridge Ferry will appear, free of charge as always.
The ferry is currently running Thursday to Sunday from 12 noon till 5.30pm, so it's perfect for weekend walkers.
If you want to help publicise the ferry, take your own photos and videos down on the banks of the Ship Canal, lobby your local councillor for better access, and contact SalfordOnline.com to tell us all about it.
Watch last year's exclusive video here
Access on the Eccles/Irlam side is through the industrial estate as you turn off the A57 just past Boysnope Golf Club. Keep left through the site and there is a gap in the hedge which is the access to the footpath, taking you down to the jetty
Comment by Guest 5th August 2012
I totally agree with everything Bill, Roger, June and Maurice have said about the poor state of the public path to the ferry on the Irlam side. My son, two grandsons and I were the last and only passengers on the ferry on Saturday the 4th. August. My attached photos show, once again, how badly maintained the path on the Irlam side is. To my annoyance on this last trip to the ferry I discovered that the scrap yard owners have put a barrier across the opening which comes down when the yard is closed. They are well within their rights to do this but in doing so they have cut off access to the public right of way. You can go under the barrier or squeeze around the posts at either end but you feel as though you are trespassing in doing so because it is private land. The public right of way beyond this barrier has been filled in with building rubble and I wonder if this is to become a car parking area.
Salford City council should get to grips with the whole issue of this public right of way. This right of way goes all the way down from the A57 Liverpool Road to the Ship Canal and is clearly marked on Ordinance Survey maps. However, quite a long stretch of this public right of way has been ploughed over and obliterated from its start on Liverpool Road to well past the fenceing of the scrapyard by the company who excavated the field for breeze-block clinker some years ago. The path was never returned to its former state. Roger, in the video, suggests a possible siting for the ferry sign. Unfortunately this will be beyond the barrier, on private land and you will have to pass the barking guard dogs behind the fencing to your right. The sign should be at the original start of the path on the A57 Liverpool Road. The various video clips/photos show where the signage is placed on the Flixton side. It is all on Council owned land. Salford Council could learn from going to see it.
As said in the video and by others, the path on the Salford side is in an appalling state. In the area that is heavily overgrown lies a further danger underfoot. A hidden drainage channel. It is quite easy to step into this channel and twist or possibly break an ankle. It was a good idea to have such a channel when we have so much rain but when you cannot see it because of the vegitation it is a death-trap.
The small ferry boat is really only suitable for passengers and not bikes. It is difficult to make the bikes stable and to sit down oneself at the same time. The big boat used last year was most suitable for this task but was taken off due to running costs.
Salford has its fair share of "scallies" and come of them are given Community Service for their "sins"! It is not possible for the Council to put these "crims" to work clearing the pathway to the ferry? They did a brilliant job when they cleared the vegetation from the old river pathways in Irlam last year.
Comment by Moss Byrnes ( member ) 27th July 2012
Very good story
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