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           Saving the Old Tram Bridge?

                                                     (Read the latest update at the end of this article)

No doubt many of our readers will know of the old Tramroad Bridge that crosses the River Ribble, linking Preston with the borough of South Ribble. Unfortunately the bridge has been closed since February 2019 due to it being certified as being in an ‘unsafe condition’.          The Tramroad Bridge has been a crossing point since the late 18th century and was originally constructed to carry coal waggons, pulled by horses, from the canal at Walton Summit into Preston. It was first built as a wooden trestle bridge but was rebuilt in the 1960’s in pre-cast concrete following the original very pleasing design.                                                         The bridge is a much-loved and well-used structure by residents from both sides of the river and such is the call for the bridge to be repaired and reopened that Michael Nye has started a Facebook campaign called ‘Friends of Old Tramroad Bridge’, which can be accessed by going to It has already attracted nearly 6,000 signatures and every extra person that signs gives it greater credibility for the issue to be actioned by the appropriate authority. Michael has also been responsible for organizing meetings with various local authorities but firm commitment to the refurbishment necessary has not been forthcoming as yet.                                                                        It cannot be denied that the repairs and renovation of Tram Bridge will be costly but again it will be money well spent. This is not a ‘Bridge to Far’. This is a bridge with a fantastic heritage that needs to be conserved for present and future residents to enjoy. We urge all our readers, particularly our growing band of ex-pats, to sign the petition, which can be accessed by going to

We at the BBB believe that those people who hold this iconic bridge close to their hearts will appreciate the little ditty written and sung by Graham Dixon. To hear it just go to

If the poignant sentiments contained in the lyrics do not stir your emotions then you know nothing of the well-loved bridge itself - Prepare to be moved!


                                            Saviour of the Bridge? - Mr Michael Nye


Latest update from Michael Nye - January 20th 2023

I was very pleased to hear that funding is now available for the restoration of the lost river crossing that was provided by the Old Tramroad bridge. There is always a 'but' though. That but is that we don't actually know what we are going to get, so I thought some ground rules may be worth posting for the people responsible for the bridge. First off, I think most people would want the same functionality for the bridge in terms of width and designed load carrying capacity as before. Second is the look of the thing which has to be appropriate for both its history and Avenham park (of which it was an important part). Avenham Park is a protected area so the council would have to tread carefully considering that the bridge was acquired by them to form the "Grand Southern Entrance" to the area. That said, the funds now available can provide all that is needed on that score. All that is needed is some forward thinking to create something much more desirable than some chrome plated monstrosity that many in this group may well now be fearing. It is a shame that nothing has been done over the past 4 years to restore the failing concrete and it may well now be a bit late to do so but it's worth a punt to see whether any can be saved and incorporated into something new and better. Who knows. It would be interesting to hear what people want and see any design ideas that people have so that they can be presented when a consultation eventually turns up. I would like to see Preston have an "Old" tramroad bridge of which we can all be proud and would fully support an appropriate design. Feel free to comment. (I think surveys etc will soon be appearing here to add a bit of clarity). Time is of the essence to let the councils concerned know what is needed and wanted now they have the cash to achieve it.

At Last - The proposed design for the new tram bridge!

The people of Preston and surrounding areas have waited a long time for this, but at last the final design has been unveiled for the bridge that will replace the former Old Tram Bridge over the River Ribble. As one critic remarked, 'It's fairly basic, but it has some character.' We believe that most people will agree with this statement and the sooner it is erected the better for all. A local councillor has stated 'The tram bridge is a key feature of this part of the River Ribble and the new bridge will restore an important active travel route between South Ribble and Preston city centre for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.'

We couldn't agree more.