Offer for delegates: Tour of the Humber Bridge

Dr Kevin Moore, Chief Executive of the Humber Bridge Board has kindly offered a tour of the Humber Bridge for delegates that are staying in the UK after the conference.

The Humber Bridge is located in the north-east of the UK, close to Kingston-upon-Hull, and approximately a 2hr 45 min drive from the conference venue. If you are interested in visiting the bridge, please contact Martin Davis to arrange a suitable time:

Tour and travel arrangements for the Humber Bridge are the responsibility of the individual to organise, although we are happy to offer advice during the conference about the best ways to get to the Humber Bridge.

About the Humber Bridge:http:

For a long time the Humber Estuary was a barrier to trade and development between the two banks and local interests campaigned for over 100 years for the construction of a bridge or tunnel across the estuary.

The first major crossing proposal was a tunnel scheme in 1872. This scheme was promoted by Hull merchants and businesses dissatisfied with the service provided by the New Holland ferry crossing. Over the next 100 years, a variety of proposals were put forward in an effort to bridge the Humber.

In 1928, a plan was drawn up by Hull City Council to build a multi-span truss bridge four miles west of Hull between Hessle on the north side and Barton-upon-Humber on the south. However, the scheme sank without a trace after being hit by the financial woes of the great depression of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.

The completed Hessle Anchorage

The completed Hessle Anchorage


Approval for the construction of a suspension bridge was granted in 1959 with the passing of the Humber Bridge Act and the creation of the Humber Bridge Board, although it was not until 1973 that work finally began.

The reasons why a suspension bridge was chosen were twofold. Firstly the Humber has a shifting bed and navigable channel along which a craft can travel is always changing; a suspension bridge with no support piers in mid-stream would not obstruct the estuary. Secondly, because of the geology and topography of the area, the cost of constructing a tunnel would have been excessive.

The Freeman Fox & Partners resident engineers, John Hyatt and Douglas Strachan are introduced to the QueenThe Freeman Fox & Partners resident engineers, John Hyatt and Douglas Strachan are introduced to the Queen, following the opening of the bridge


Work on the construction proceeded for eight years, during which time many thousands of tonnes of steel and concrete were used and upwards of one thousand workers and staff were employed at times of peak activity.

When traffic first crossed the bridge on 24th June 1981 many local dreams were fulfilled and similarly many people will have happy memories of the Bridge’s official opening on 17th July 1981 when H.M. the Queen performed the formal opening ceremony.

The Bridge “opened up” both socially and economically, two previously remote and insular areas of England, improving communication enabling the area to realise its potential in commercial, industrial and tourist development.

The Bridge has saved many millions of vehicle miles and many valuable hours of drivers’ and passengers’ time – an important factor not only for the drivers and operators of commercial vehicles but also for tourists and holidaymakers who would have had to travel around the estuary to reach destinations in the region.



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