Transporter Bridges are a legacy of the closing years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th, and served a brief but important need. The huge increase in road transport, however, quickly rendered them obsolete, and although many were planned, little more than twenty-one were ever completed across the world – five of which were in Britain. Just nine still stand in their original form and currently only five are currently still in use – one each in Spain and Germany, two in the UK, one in Argentina – unused since the 1960s, and only recently returned to service in 2018 after restoration – and the last surviving ‘pont transbordeur’ in France returned to service in 2019 after major works. The second of Germany’s surviving transporters is currently awaiting repair after a ship collided with it.
But is the transporter bridge about to undergo a surprising renaissance? Proposals exist for three new bridges, all in France – at Nantes, Marseille and Brest – to replace some of those lost during and after the Second World War.
The book is illustrated in colour throughout, using hundreds of photographs – the author’s own modern images and many historic photographs and postcards chronicling the construction and operation of these unusual structures.