Saturday, 10 November 2012

Princes Bridge & the Ordsall Chord

Princes Bridge, the traffic free route which links Salford and Manchester, is soon to become the site of a massive building project.The new rail line to link Manchester Picadilly with Salford Central and Manchester Victoria stations, called the "Ordsal Chord" will involve building a new railway viaduct which will pass close to or right through Princes Bridge.

Plans are at an early stage, and it is not clear yet whether the existing bridge will remain or be demolished and replaced by a new cycle/pedestrian bridge, and where that new route will go, but the latest maps show the viaduct cutting straight through Princes Bridge.

Also what is quite certain is that this massive building project will have a severe impact on the people who cycle and walk across the bridge. It is possibly the busiest bridge in Manchester for cycle traffic. Construction traffic is planned to run along Regent Road and onto the inner ring road, bringing increased lorry traffic into the junction with the cycle route.

The main construction base is probably going to be on this car park, to the north of the bridge.


Surveying work is already taking place, and I saw a cycle count being carried out on the 9th October, but as far as I know they only sampled the bike traffic on that one day.

Network Rail will be undertaking a programme of public consultation to provide residents and interested stakeholders with an opportunity to view the plans and submit feedback.

Visit one of the exhibitions at the following times and venues:

Tuesday 20 November, 4pm – 8pm, Museum of Science & Industry
Wednesday 21 November,12pm-8pm, Museum of Science & Industry
Friday 23 November, 12pm – 8pm, Creative Media Centre, Salford
Saturday 24 November, 1pm – 5pm, Museum of Science & Industry
Monday 26 November, 4pm – 8pm, Salford Central Station
Tuesday 27 November, 10am – 5pm, Manchester Town Hall
Wednesday 28 November, 4pm – 8pm, Manchester Piccadilly Station

For more information or to register your views, e-mail

This is important as we don't want a replacement bridge as bad as these examples further along NCN6!



And, there is also the prospect of construction traffic and changes affecting routes in this area with the proposed Middlewood Locks development, just to the west.


  1. Ironic that in its present location it is already relocated and reopened to traffic on August 1905. The original location was on Regents Road and crossed the Irwell to the South of the original L&M line I'm wondering why it was originally relocated about 1Km upstream from the original position. The structure in the new location seems a bit too modern for an 1830 bridge and it was built by the same engineer as the contemporary railway (was it accommodation works for the L&M? - Ironic if it now needs another move to accommodate a railway nearly 200 years later).

    Perhaps the bridge can be lowered in the same place, and the rail bridge can pass overhead, as actually moving it after over 100 years presents some major issues.

    The original bridge location appears on a map from 1846 available as a download.

  2. I'm just looking at the Network Rail Environment Information document (from here: ).

    It says "Existing railway lines within the site are shown on Figure 2. The Ordsall Chord Bridge (a bridge across the Irwell for pedestrians and cyclists) and replacement with a new footbridge."

    Maybe it's just me but I can't make sense of that second sentence. Are they saying they will replace a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists with one for pedestrians (only)? That doesn't sound good? And either way I think we can be pretty sure of disruptions.

  3. Found the following, looks to show that some major changes to Princes Bridge will need to be made: