MEETINGS OTHER PLACES – North-Eastern Railway Bill. Bridge Across River Tees.
Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea 28/04/1871 Gazette.
THE NORTH-EASTERN RAILWAY BILL
BRIDGE ACROSS RIVER TEES
This measure, which has been for the last few days under the consideration of a Parliamentary committee, of which Mr Cross, the member for S. W. Lancashire, is the chairman, was presented by the company in order to obtain powers to construct various short lines and a bridge across the Tees near to Middlesbrough, thus affording a direct communication between Newcastle, the Caulfield of S. E. Durham, and the Cleveland iron district. The only part of the bill objected to was that in which it was proposed to unite the North and South banks of the Tees by means of a swing bridge, which it was contended would almost totally destroyed the trade of the places higher up the river stop the opponents were the corporation, merchants, shipbuilders, &c., of the town of Stockton, whose plea was that the structure would put an impediment to the navigation the river; and the Middlesbrough are corporation who desired to have a roadway in connection with the bridge. The specifications stated that the bridge was to be constructed on the principle of the one at Goole, and was to have the centre opening 130 feet in width, but to accommodate the Stopped and traders, it had been increased to 160 feet, with headway of 30 feet. It was proposed to work it by hydraulic machinery, capable of opening it in a minute and a half stop Mr T. E. Harrison, the engineer to the company, Mr Hawkesley, Mr Fowler, Mr Abernethy, Mr Randall, and other eminent engineers, were examined, and all concurred in stating that the contemplation structures would not effect navigation for ships could be seen when half a mile off, and the bridge opened in time, but that for most of the vessels plying on the river. It would not need opening. It will shown that the only direct means of communication at present existing between the Durham coal field and the Cleveland iron district was by means of the all bridge at Stockton; and if anything should happen to that, the trade of the locality must necessarily be seriously injured, as it would be almost impossible to convey the minerals round by other routes, because of the steep gradients and sharp curves. MessrsI. Lothian Bell, H. W. F. Bolckow, J. G. Swan, W. R. I. Hopkins, and other influential members of the Cleveland iron trade, gave evidence as to the absolute necessity for additional and more direct communication; after hearing which the chairman, said the committee were quite satisfied as to the need of a connection, but wished to confine their attention to the depositions as to the impediment that would be placed in the way of the navigation. Mr Harrison on the part of the company, agreed that the demand of the Middlesbrough Corporation relative to the footway should be acceded to; and their petition, which had only been filed in order to secure what they had thus obtained, was withdrawn stop Mr Dixon, shipbuilder, Middlesbrough, supported the measure, though his firm often sent large vessels to Stockton to the engined; and he made it appear that if the trade of Stockton were injured that of Middlesbrough would be similarly affected, and the prestige of the river would be damaged. Several pilots and ship-owners spoke in favour of the bill stop for the opposition Stockton Corporation said that the bridge would cause a serious decline in the trade of their port, and that if one accident happened there, the ship-owners would leave the place, as the rates of insurance would be so heavy stop if the centre pier were built as proposed, in the middle of the river, a strong current would be formed, and it would be difficult to steer a large ship through in safety, particularly if the wind was unfavourable stop. They made it appear that a tunnel, which would be no obstruction to the navigation, could be made for £50,000, whilst the bridge would cost constantly more. The company, however, stated that if a small tunnel was constructed. They could not in the short distance between the mainline and the right bank of the river get a game on a level with the former, so as to make it useful. Mr Jos. Dodds, M. P., Mr G. N. Duck, Mr Lockwood, Mr Anderson, and others spoke as to the danger of the direction; and several pilots and ship-owners from Goole showed that the trade above the bridge had materially decreased in consequence of the accidents that had happened. On Wednesday, the committee decided that the bridge scheme would not be approved; but it is understood that if the company should undertake to make a tunnel, according to suitable plans, no opposition would be put in the way by the corporation or traders of Stockton. The Tees Conservancy Commissioners will also agree to the proposition, but it has been stated that the company cannot under any circumstances accept the alternative of a tunnel.