Leeds Liverpool Canal swing bridges – They can be troublesome

As the Leeds Liverpool canal winds its way through the south and east of Sefton Borough a number of swing bridges are encountered.

Barge at Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull

Barge at Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull

They were constructed in this way to save money; the alternative being far more expensive stone bridges. Thinking of the stretch of the canal through Sefton’s East Parishes communities there are swing bridges for example at the following locations:-

Wango Lane, Hall lane, Shop lane, Green Lane, Bells Lane

It is not unusual for the bridges to be out of service due to mechanical breakdowns which can cause frustrations for boaters and vehicle drivers alike. One of the problems is that some vehicles are driven over the swing bridges that are too heavy. Indeed, I once saw a massive tractor being driven across the Green Lane swing bridge (otherwise known as Methodist Turnbridge – which was allegedly blown up by the IRA on one occasion) with only about an inch to spare on either side between it and the bridge sides. Clearly the vehicle should not have been anywhere near the bridge and surprise surprise it was soon out of action. Drivers of heavy vehicles will know they should not cross these bridges if they are too heavy but I assume they don’t care and do it anyway.

But this is not a new problem, just look at this photo of a Leeds Liverpool Canal notice (in cast iron) which I saw at the national Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port:-


Click on the photo to enlarge it

The second photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-


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