Latest News from Hulmes Ferry.

3rd May, 2018.

The ferry is now open for 2018 and the new path is a success

Thank you to all those who posted the 2018 ferry times on social media. We opened with a chilly start but still recorded 34 passengers which is a good start to the season.

Early reports are that the path is a success amongst ferry users who in the past have had to endure an ancle deep drainage ditch to get to the ferry. One cyclist cycled the whole length of it.

new fencing The start of the new path appears to be adjacent to the crane hire entrance.

new fencing The new path has been raised to prevent flooding from the crane yard outbuildings and peels warehouse embankment.

new fencing It extends all thye way to boysnope jetty.

new fencing However its hard to see its there from the road.

Thank you to all who helped campaign for the new path. It is a great improvement on what we had.
However it looks like the council ran out of money to finish it as:--

1) You now have to walk down the crane hire road to get to the entrance.

2) The length of Path to the crane hire yard is unfinished,

3) Whilst lorry trailers have been removed the entrance is still obliterated by vehicals.

4) No parking places exist unless you ask Barton Sheds if you can use their car park.

5) Signs asked for over decade ago and promised over 2 years ago still havnot materialized. The council are obliged to provide these.

6) Crossing the A57 without traffic lights is still a majpr concern.

7) The ferry which is becoming a tourist attraction. for all intent purppses still remains hidden away.

Hopefully the next ferry person will pick up the ball when I drop it. There is much left to do to get the access finished with a safe road crossing, adequate signage, entrance finished and car parking together with linked cycle paths as well as getting Peel to honour their obligation under the act of parliament to run the ferry 24/7 thus alowing people to use it to get to work.

I personally have now an ambitious project to take care of in order to circumnavigate the globe in a small catamaran. So will have little time to continue the efforts to enhance the ferry service but these three years have been a blast! and I have been pleased to meet all of you that have used the service and who have ensured its continuation.

18th January, 2018.

Work is well underway for the new 'Hulmes Bridge Ferry Way'

Work begun on the new 'Hulmes Bridge Ferry Way' before christmas with a parrallel fence seperating our public right of way from the industrial estate.
Whilst it is a bit ugly the path will no longer be obscured and obliterated with discarded lorry trailers.

new fencing new fencing2

Its a massive leap forwards by ( I assume )our Labour council under pressure from 2000 ferry users and public knowledge of the councils £10,000 windfall.
Lets hope they raise the path level to prevent flooding as flooding has returned to the north end of the path.

new fencing new fencing2

Hopefully we will get traffic lights to make a safe crossing to the pathway and proper signs so people know the ferry exists and its location.

Please continue to use this FREE ferry service in 2018.
Its growing public usage that has spawned works to the access path and prevented further disintegration of this historic service on YOUR right of way.

Maybe one day, if we show the demand exists. we will see a return to 24/7 365 day operation as it used to be and as specified by law, including disabled access.
20th November, 2017.

The 2018 timetable has been agreed

See timetable for details
1st November, 2017.

Final report for 2017

Its been another record year with 1,978 pasengers recorded( 252 up on last year ).
Thanks to all who used the service and have thereby helped keep this historic service in place.
The promotion via facebook, word of mouth, local newspapers and leafleting has been instrumental in helping many people find the ferry, some for the very first time even after living in the area for a couple of decades.

I suspect that the figures would have been substantially higher had it not been for the access path being constantly flooded throughout the year.
Sadly the council we vote for, have, for decades neglected all their responsibilities to your public rights of way that runs accross council owned land.
Peel who knew full well about their obligations towards your rights of way when they bought the canal in 1987 have also neglected their responsibilities to the point that the ferryman had to abandon the ferry house and the service was illegaly closed when he passed away.
Peel are still getting away with a much reduced service against the 1887 act of parliament and the council who are falling over themselves to profiteer from Peel developements and take in their bribe money such as the £10,000 Peel gave Urban Vision for the Access Path shortly after Urban Vision closed our other rights of way and seem to be doing their utmost to uphold peels policies.
Hamilton house say we have to prove the council owned path belongs to the council before they will put up signs. Signs and waymarkings which the council where obliged to put up anyways over 3 decades ago but suspiciously failed to comply despite years of complaints.
Urban vision are also denying the money donated for the access path is for the Access Path.
After months of complaints from me and the general public the council revert back to the statement 'We are aware of the problems on the Access Path and are working to find a resolution' whilst actually doing nothing whatsoever as they have done for three decades now.
In desparation, when I alleviated the flooding the councils PROW officer resorted in threatening legal action against me using 'bent' version of the law to stop me.
Its so frustrating when only a couple of hours work with a machine and a couple of hundred pounds worth of hardcore would have fixed the problems for this year.
100s of thousands must have been spent amd planning accepted to raise the land levels adjacent to the path and and fill in the old drainage ditch next to the path with full knowledge that this would flood your path and local businesses.

It has been another great year with record numbers again and its been wonderfull meeting all the people who have used the service but sadly I have no solutions as yet to overcome the above problems that may well extend into future seasons.
22nd September, 2017.

Our ferry is known worldwide

As well as Thailand, California and New Zealand, visitors from the hurricane torn Carribean are now on their way to see our ferry.
Evidently they have ferries between each of their islands.
... One wonders what they will make of our Salford Council torn up rights of way.

Even local people are now becoming aware of the ferry too due to word of mouth, leafleting, facebook and newspaper advertizing.
5th September, 2017.

The council have finaly responded ... YAY!:-

Dear Mr Smith,

Thank you for your email and informing me of the unauthorised works that you have undertaken.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that under section 131A Highways Act 1980, it's an offence to without lawful authority or excuse disturb the surface of a footpath. Therefore, I would request that you do no further works to the surface of footpath 1 Eccles until such time as you have received permission from the highway authority.


John Lindsay
BSc (Hons). MSc. MSc. MIPROW. MCMA
Public Rights of Way Officer
Urban Vision Partnership Ltd
Tel: 0161 779 6029
Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton, Salford, M27 5AS

Registration Number: 5292634. Registered in England.

... Great move John, you dont get all those letters after your name for nuthin huh!.


A) I dont know what 'footpath 1 Eccles' means but i assume it to mean the Hulmes Bridge Ferry Access Path.
B) 131A is a 1990 amendment to the 1980 act which itself carries a penalty not exceeding 20 pounds for a 1st offence and 50 pounds for a 2nd offence.
C) I already contacted the Highway Authority months back trying to find where the unmarked unsigned hidden away PROW was and the Highway Authority denied all responsibility for it. According to them they are only responsible for excess water from the motorway bridge so not much hope of getting permission off them me thinks unless the water in the drainage ditch was coming from the motorway bridge?
D) Theres a slight bit omitted off the end of the offence as quoted in the email up there that says ... 'as to render it inconvenient for the exercise of the public right of way.'

Here is the full ammendment of section 131 in question:-

131A Disturbance of surface of certain highways.

(1)A person who, without lawful authority or excuse, so disturbs the surface of-

(a)a footpath,
(b)a bridleway, or
(c)any other highway which consists of or comprises a carriageway other than a made-up carriageway,

as to render it inconvenient for the exercise of the public right of way is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(2)Proceedings for an offence under this section shall be brought only by the highway authority or the council of the non-metropolitan district, parish or community in which the offence is committed; and, without prejudice to section 130 (protection of public rights) above, it is the duty of the highway authority to ensure that where desirable in the public interest such proceedings are brought.

If my actions which I take full and sole responsibility for, have made you the publics, right of way, less convenient for you by alleviating the flooding then feel free to contact John Lindsay Send Mail to Mr John and I will freely admit to my wrongdoing.

Please give your support for Mr Johns campaign, there may be people who enjoy paddling in the drainage ditch and I went and took that away from them ... so sorry folks.

Lets see if we can bag john another 10,000 from Peel for 'mitigating the building works'.

22nd August, 2017.

The flooding has now been alleviated.

I was reluctant to do anything with the path due to it being the councils responsibility, councils land and they have recieved 10,000 pounds specifically for the path.

However they have never fulfilled any of their responsibilities and it looks very doubtfull that they ever will.

I cant just sit back and watch the elderly and the very young struggling to get through.


The embankent has been caved in with a shovel and the dip filled in so you can now get through with dry feet and is now far less slippery.
Its a little rough but better than the flooding.

Fly tipped rubbish has been shifted from the entrance and they stopped slamming into the metal barriers and into the path with dumper trucks.
So its now reasonably safe to use for the time being.
15th August, 2017.

153 passengers recorded last weekend!

Despite the worsening conditions 153 ferry users where recorded over the weekend from newborn babies to the elderly.
The numbers are 300 up on the same time last year as we head up towards 2000.
A big thank you goes out to all who have spread the word and continue to make this attraction more popular.
And an apology from me for the conditions you had to endure to get there.
8th August, 2017.

Access to the ferry worsens! Despite useless Council experts assessing the drainage ditch access path.

lorry trailers lorry trailers Discarded lorry trailers still cover the path and its entrance.

lorry trailers Fly tipped rubbish still blocks the entrance

lorry trailers lorry trailers lorry trailers

Pathway width reduced to nothing as dumper trucks slide down the embankment smashing into the mangled barriers.

lorry trailers lorry trailers lorry trailers

Pathway flooded slippery and impassable

Ferry users are using the alternative routes:-
A) Through the old rail tunnels in the golf course( where the real public right of way ran or

B) Accross the Bypass just accross from the new petrol station then behind the recycling place.

Both these routes are safer ways to get there.

Bilway who provide the ferry service are also looking into opening up alternative routes to the ferry.
18th July, 2017.

141 passengers recorded last weekend!

Despite the attrocious condition of the drainage ditch / access path, I recorded 141 passengers and it would be substantially more had the council done their job.

Well done to all those that

a) Braved the A57 crossing.
b) Found the hidden path behind the dumped lorry trailors.
c) Traversed the 18 inch wide dumper truck run past the growling guard dogs.
d) Carried small children through the slippery swamp and finally made it to the boysnope jetty.

Your numbers have been counted!

You have a right to cross the canal 24/7 where the ferry is and have had that right even before they built the canal. Peel have cut that down and almost succeeded in shutting it down!
You had a right to walk through the part used by the golf course as a shooting range. They took it away and the council ignored it!
You had a right to walk through land being developed for a container base. They took it away!
You hve a right to walk up Barton moss public footpath to chat moss. Greater Manchester Peelers arrested people for doing so to alow their founders company to illegaly run lorrys through it!

Dont let them take this away too! You have a right to it!
14th July, 2017.

Neglect from the council of its Access path hits a new low

In 1895 No work building work was allowwed to take place untill the Hulmes Bridge Ferry Service was in place and
the act of parliament specified a 24/7 ferry service in order to continue YOUR public right of way!

After 3 years I finaly located the historic public right of way or rather where it was. The short cut i posted that ran through the golf course shooting range and up through the old railway tunnels( which is the safe way to cross the dual carriageway ) WAS YOUR public right of way. The owners of the golf course lied and said it was private land and that people have no right to go through.
This could explain why YOUR council have never fulfilled their responsibilities to put up signs and waymarkings for it in decades.
It looks like they have now got away with rerouting it to the laughable drainage ditch / access path you are now suposed to walk down.

A team from the council has viewed the access path and has seen the flooding, slippery, thinned out path obscured by lorry trailers and hard to cross busy A57 that YOU are suposed to accept.
Even after transversing the now dangerous path there is no link to other paths cycle lanes that lie only yards away.
Together with a reduced service that prevents ppl using it to get to work that YOU are suposed to accept and be gratefull for.

I dont hold my breath for any response. The complaints have been there for 10 years and council teams have full knowledge of this and they bury their heads in the sand!

It was a inevitable that injuries would occur from the pathway and 2 have already occured with a young girl coming back with scuffed knees from falling on the path and an elderly gentlemen coming back with a bleeding elbow after falling on the path.
The temporary leaning over barriers are so close to each other you can no longer get a pram down the path.
These sometimes totally cut the path off.

After thinking things could not possibly get worse a dumper truck running adjacent to the path smashed its way through the barriers leaving mangled mesh barriers all over the path.
It is only by pure luck that no-one was killed or seriously injured.
This is INSANE!!!!!

Our own team have been deployed to do the councils job for them and at least make it walkabble, albeit with great caution, again.
The council have been given £10,000( not promised as the council try to make out ) by Peel and this is specifically for the path ( not for something else as the council try to make out ).

I reiterate that this could be a vital attraction and historic site for local people as well tourists and a greener way to travel saving miles of road travel.

However the powers that be, appear to do everything in their power to stop you from finding it or using it.

I gather 'greener' only means 'greener' if there are vast amounts of money to be made out of it.

One of our Mayers priorities is A greener and cleaner city that is safe for everyone( LMAO ).

Make him honour his words:-

18th May, 2017.

The Ferry Service continues despite Irlam access problems!

Two weekends into the service and a great start with 114 passengers in the first weekend and 80+ in the second despite the atrocious access path.

Confusion and continued neglect still exists over access to the ferry and I no longer know what to advise people.

These are the obligations from Salford councils own website:-

Council responsibilities:

  • To maintain and keep under review the definitive map of rights of way
  • To display the definitive map in council offices
  • To maintain the surface of rights of way including the control of natural vegetation growing on them
  • To assist farmers and landowners with maintenance of approved stiles and gates
  • To signpost footpaths, bridleways and byways where they leave a metalled road, and to carry out way-marking where necessary to help the public find their way
  • To maintain most bridges crossed by rights of way
  • To receive complaints and take appropriate action
  • To assert and protect the rights of the public to use and enjoy rights of way
As regards the ferry the council appear to have fulfilled hardly any of the above for a decade, despite many complaints.
Trying to locate the Public Right Of Way was not possible as no signs, no waymarkings and very little on the ground to tell where it is or was and info was hard to come by as most local people didnt know it existed or gave confusing indications of where it is or was.
Pre opening time I tried and partially cleared the Irlam locks pathway and was subsequently told to leave it.
We where promised signs via Hamilton House last year but this year they claim we have to prove the council path is owned by the council before they will do anything.

Peel donated £10,000 pounds to the council via Urban Vision for 'damage to access paths due to building works' and fenced off the canal walk on the barton side where the Public Right of way exists or existed.
Routes through the Golf Course and safe A57 crossing under the old railway tunnels have been fenced off.

Nothing has been spent on the access path that has been left to continually flood as there is no way for the water to escape the path and it now floods the crane yard as well.

As well as flooding. Leaking barrels, Diesil oil, Detergents, water from a leaking pipe from the Crane Hire place is compounding the problem and making it very slippery.
Ive slipped on it. My boss has Slipped on it. Children are falling on it and I have complained to the council and the Mayer Of Salford but have had no response.

In the past I have done my best to keep access open but its now well beyond my powers and all I can do is offer my apologies to ferry users for the embarrasing state of access to the ferry from Irlam.
I am surprised that passengers, some with very young children and prams are still managing to get through the drainage ditch we have been left with and somehow managing to cross the busy A57 without a crossing.

It appears that the barton side path has suddenly been unfenced and partly hardcored now, but I dont have a clue why, or whats going on, it IS still located on ordinance survey maps.

I am currently leafleting households in the area, few of whom are aware of the ferries existance.
The ferry could potentially be a massive attraction and bring revenue to both sides of the canal but unfortunately the powers that be dont seem to see it that way.
12th February, 2017.

We are 4th most popular free ferry in the world!

I googled 'free ferry' This is the result:-

1) Woolwich Ferry, London.
2) Isle of White.
3) Staten Isle Ferry, New York
And biting at the heels of New York in position number 4 our very own gemstone of Irlam ... The Hulmes Bridge Free Ferry.

Now known worldwide by people as far afield as Leeds, Sheffield, Thialand, California and New Zealand!!!
Yet hardly any local people in Irlam know it exists!

Not suprising really when its hidden away behind an ex scrap yard and scrap lorry trailers with never any signs or waymarkings put up, Nothing to indicate where the right of way is and the only (unlit)access path now flooded and with no drainage in sight.
Growling guard dogs at the approach. No safe way of crossing the busy main A57.
It really is a wonder that anyone ever finds it or is brave enough to traverse the route to it but 1700+ somehow made it through last year.
Well done all those who made the journey and help keep the ferry alive!
7th February, 2017.

The Access Path is currently flooded due to adjecent building works.

lorry trailers land levels raised well above the path with nowhere for water to run apart from down the Access Path.
lorry trailers Entrance to the access path. Now way below land level and waiting flooding with only my hand painted signs( hidden away behind lorry trailers )
entrance Slippery bog land previously agreed to be filled with hardcore as recommended by the team from hamilton house.
drainageditch Old drainage ditch now filled in and above the path level ready to seep into the path.
pumps Pumps used to pump out water from the building site side and when the building finishes I assume taken away to let the path act as a drain.
flooded Flooded access path and cranehire yard.
Flooded with waste water and very slippery diesel oil.

Note: We are currently attempting to get this resolved.
6th February, 2017.

The Events Page is now open on this website.

The Events page as promised is now available for FREE advertizing for any events organizers of events on either side of the canal.
This replaces the Forum page that was little used.
6th February, 2017.

Status of the Access Path.

In preparation for the upcoming season I went out to clear the access path. Still no Brown information sign and no hardcore as was promised.
Instead some building is taking place adjacent to the path which has raised the ground level, filled the adjacent drainage ditch and flooded over onto the pathway and onto the crane hire place.
I did plan to dig through the mound to take away some of the excess water but its now not possible.
With nowhere now for the water to go which is now incidentally contaminated with diesel oil and very slippery, the pathway will potentially be flooded, year round.
The Highway Authority disclaim any responsibility and have pointed me to Salford City Council.
I asked them for help, they said yes they will help.
They are responsible for signs and waymarkings and access to public pathways
And they deliver No signs. No waymarkings and a hidden away behind the scrap lorry trailers, an impassable drainage ditch to walk down!
Roger Jones has been contacted and the Mayer of Salford.
3rd December, 2016.

The new timetable for 2017 has now been agreed.

The popular 'Bollin' ferryboat will be back in service once again from April the 28th and we have gained an extra hour through October. See timetable for full details.
6th November, 2016.

After an outstanding year with 1,737 crossings recorded,
the ferry service is now sadly closed for the winter period till April 2017.

Final Report of 2016 as we look forwards to 2017:-

A big thank you to all who have used the service and especially those who helped with the awareness campaign through word of mouth, facebook, twitter, websites etc. Hope to see you all again in April.

With all your help more people are gaining the knowledge of their ferry and right of way that the ferry facilitates.
It has resulted in my target of 1500 crossings which did seem, even to me, very ambitious, being well and truly smashed!

There is still lots work to do on the awareness side though. Even on the very last two days people who have lived in the area for years where still finding the ferry for the first time.

My target next year is 3000 crossings and I propose to do a leaflet drop to help achieve this before the start of next season. I want this ferry service really buzzing as it should be.
With the numbers of crossings achieved this year there is no going back to scully boats.

Problems with the Irlam side access path are still ongoing. Back in July the council agreed, after many years of neglected responsibility, to add some hardcore to the path using volunteers from Hamilton House and to erect a brown information sign but so far nothing practical has happened.
They did tell me that money had to be taken from the devulged council budget to get the volunteers out there so I am guessing they cant afford the petrol for their van even.

In the mean time the path has been continuously waterlogged, obscured by discarded lorry trailors. The crossing of the A57 is non existant ( one able bodied young man without a pram took 25 minutes to cross the road ). Weeds continually threaten to obliterate it and it becomes slippery, we suspect due to detergents used to clean the cranes.
No waymakings or signs exist for the real public right of way and I see no evidence of where it is. Nowhere for people to park and no continuation of the access path where it leads into the industrial estate security fence( guarded by growling guard dogs ). No continuation of the cycle paths.
I did contact the Highway Authority who are supposed to be responsible for Public Rights of Way but they deny reasponsibility for this, pointing me in the direction of Salford Council.

I naively thought the council where going to help us and I did convey to them the fact that the 1500 people may use the path this year, many now with prams and newborn babies as well as senior citizens who have to wade ankle deep through water every time it rains, risk life and limb crossing the busy A57, and negotiate the discarded lorry trailers to get through. But I guess I should have taken note that hardly anything has been done in perhaps over a decade regarding your Right Of Way despite the well known problems. I find this sad as in my opinion this is potentially the best attraction that Irlam has to offer and i'm not alone with that thought.

During the winter period I hope to do some work on the pathways to make things better but with a hardly any budget, little time and only hand tools it might not be as good as it should be.

The water on the path appears to be trapped behind the mound probably formed when the golf course shooting range was leveled and the drainage ditch on the other side was dug out. The path side has no drainage and the water has nowhere to go thus forming its own lake over the access path. I am told that the real Public Right of Way runs up through the golf course shooting range but that is yet to be confirmed.

I am also hoping to add an events page to this site with free advertizing for any events on either side of the canal. Any interested, bona-fide events organizers may contact me via email supplying your contact details and email and I will give you access for events postings when the events listings page has been created.

Because many crossings where still being made through october we are applying to extend the times by one hour through october.
Although this is a positive move in the right direction it is still nowhere near the times the service should be run.
As one person said in November "What are people supposed to do till April ... swim accross? ... Peel Holdings are getting away with it very lightly! After all it used to be run 24/7 year round to cover our rights and without that they wouldn't have a canal there."

I do wish Peel Holdings success with their brave and ambitious project to take on a failed canal and breathe new life into it. It does deserve support, but not at any expense and to override anything and everything on the way to turning a profit.
Peel are dependant on central government support who inturn are dependant on peoples vote to remain in power. The only saving grace the ferry has is the Act of Parliament that protects your rights.
You the people have a say in this.

15th August, 2016.

155!! Its new record for the number of passengers in a weekend! 1100+ so far this year!

New Ferry Numbers where spurred on this weekend by the Trafford Ramblers followed up by an ever increasing number of people finding the ferry for the first time through word of mouth via facebook, twitter or verbally.

With all your help more people are gaining the knowledge of their right of way that the ferry facilitates. It will be hard to get away with letting this historic site silently slip away again in the future!
17th July, 2016.

700 passengers so far this year!

Despite poor weather and no Air Show event we just exeeded 700 passengers within the first 2 1/2 months compared to 560 for the whole of 2015. 2015 being a record year in itself.

Thank you all the people who are enjoying the service and helping to promote it by sharing your experience with others who may not know that this service exists.
We are still only scratching the surface as many out there still havn't heard of this service so please keep up the good work and spread the word.

16th July, 2016.

Improvements to the Boysnope Access Path has been agreed.

After doing a great job of clearing the access path of debris once again Roger Jones, Labour councilor and the team from hamilton house has speedily stepped in to help our community.

The team have now agreed to purchase hardcore to save people wading ankle deep in water along the access path and have also agreed to purchase a proper sign to the ferry.

Whilst access is still far from the ideal this is a great step forwards in current times with cash strapped councils under a great strain and this is a great gesture considering the access path isn't even the real Public Right Of Way.

We will next be campaigning for better access and parking where the current pathway ends as the exit to the path is now overrun with trailers to the extent that the access path is not easily visible. I am told they shouldn't be there anyways. The Path should also visibly extend to the A57 where a safe way of crossing should be made and we will be campaigning for this also.
In the mean time there is an alternate ( unofficial ) route ... HERE

Lack of wheelchair access has been noted and at some point in time this will need to be addressed too as wheel chair users do have a right to this service, however for the time being we currently don't have the funds to provide proper access for this and are stretching funds and resourses we do have as far as possible to ensure that this historic right of way remains open.
11th July, 2016.

Colapsed Barton Lift Bridge, updated report.

Today monday 11th July a lifting pontoon towed by a large tug passed hulmes ferry and is now moored at Barton locks awaiting instructions from the insurance company to go ahead and lift the colapsed bridge out.

An unofficial report indicates that the cause of the colapse was due to one of the counter balance weights getting jammed in the concrete pillars causing the bridge to tilt and eventually colapse.
The thoughts are that two pillars may have to be scrapped but this is unconfirmed.
The bridge will be lifted, turned and deposited on the banks of the canal.

It is fortunate that there was no loss of life with this incident but unfortunate for all concerned with the set backs to this ambitious Peel Holdings project.

Hopefully the canal will resume normal operations soon and lessons learned so that such a disaster doesn't occur again.

Whilst shipping on the canal has been stopped the Hulmes Bridge Ferry services have been unafected and your Public Right Of Way remains open.
It is a shame that the Ferry service that has been provided for 130 years by a dedicated team from the Manchester Ship Canal company in order to uphold your Public Right Of Way doesn't get the support it deserves.
After all the Canal couldn't be built in the first place if the public right of way hadn't been respected by the owners of the canal with the compromise of providing a ferry service and thats why an act of parliament was put in place to ensure your Public Right Of Way was preserved.
1st June, 2016.

138!! Its new record for the number of passengers in a weekend!

A big thankyou! to all who are enjoying the service and spreading the word by word of mouth, facebook posts and twitter posts.

Many people are now seeing the service for the first time, some who have lived in the area for many years and didn't know that the ferry existed. Many who do know of its existence still haven't realized that it has been running again for 4 years and has been modernized.

You have a right of way to cross over where the ferry service is as you would have if the footbridge was still there, which the ferry service replaced.
Its the canal cuts through your right of way and not the ferry that obstructs the canal. The ferry is just a compromise that allows the canal to function and it is backed by an act of parliament.

The more people realize this the less chance of it being allowed to silently slip away again.
The official hours where 6am to 10pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and this is the way it was run with an on-call ferryman living in the adjacent house.
Although current hours due to lack of funding from Peel who as owners of the canal are obliged to fund this service are 12 Noon to 5.30pm, Friday to Monday, April to October.

There is still a lot of work ahead to fully re-instate this service as it should be run but so far so good its back on the map again!
A big thank you also goes out to Trafford Ramblers without whom the service may have been forgotten about completely with 130 years history lost!

As a point of interest the right of way appears to run right through the new proposed container base that is now under construction.A second branch also runs along the Makro side of the dual carriageway but is not currently signposted as is the ferry service section. There also doesn't appear to be any appearance of a path along Makro side linking to the ferry. The Council owned, Irlam side dirt path comes to an abrupt end where the lorry trailer graveyard begins with nothing beyond but the busy dual carraigeway. This leaves people to weave around the trailers then cross the dual carriageway without a proper crossing, some with newborn babies in prams, toddlers and senior citizens alike. Let alone wheelchair users who currently have no access to the ferry.

The Highway Authority is responsible for this and I will be taking this up with them in due course.
10th May, 2016.

The new ferry now in service.

New Ferry The new ferry boat is now in full service and we recorded 114 crossings with it during its second weekend of the season, attributable to the greater confidence in the more stable vessel. This is a resounding success over previous years and testimony that the service is still in demand.

Roger Jones of Irlam council also stepped in at short notice deploying a team from hamilton house who braved the bad weather to clear trailer loads of debris from the Boysnope access path in advance of the ferry opening.
We now await further action on the planned surface treatment to the path and the erection of better signs than my hand painted ones.

Whilst we have made a great start to 2016 there is still a lot of work ahead. Whilst the awareness campaign is making headway a vast amount of people either dont know of the ferries existance or are still unaware that it has restarted so it still isn't reaching its full capacity.
1st April, 2016.

The Ferry Service to resume in 2016

The ferry service will resume on 29th April, 2016 at 12 Noon.

Preparation has began for the new ferry. The old jetty steps have been removed as the new ferry boat should be flush with the jetties making it a walk on / walk off service which is a marked improvement for the less agile.
Also, the new ferry will be capable of carrying bicycles and has night time capability.

A great deal of expense and effort by Bilway Ltd has gone into ensuring that the service continues and remains a free service.
Its up to you the public now to use it and demand your right to have this service in place.
In theory the service should be run 6am to 10pm, 7 days a week and for free, if there is no demand for that then it may once again be allowed to dwindle into dissuse.
10th October, 2015.

Vulcan Bomber flies over Hulmes Ferry on its final flight.

Mountain View Vulcan bombers last flight as it circles barton airfield( 30 min walk from the Irlam Jetty ), could be seen surging over the treetops and over the ship canal from hulmes ferry.

Vulcan Bombers where first introduced in 1956, capable of carrying a nuclear payload and last saw action in the falklands war in 1982 but since have been discontinued due to high maintinence costs. The XH558 Vulcan, named "The Spirit of Great Britain" was restored for use in display flights but sadly today marked its final flight.
23th September, 2015.
The new ferry boat is expected to be in full operation at the start of the 2016 season ( start of 2016 season to be confirmed but expected in May ). Alterations to the Flixton jetty and removal of a dead tree from the Irlam jetty will take place throughought October in preparation for this.
17th September, 2015.

The new ferry boat is on its way !!

Mountain View The voice of the people has been heard and thanks to Steve of Bilway Ltd who has campaigned ceaslessly to retain and improve the service, a new ferry boat is on its way which was provided at steve's own expense ( Peel holdings being reluctant to sponsor the new boat despite surveyors reports ).
More stable, more passenger carrying capability and easier to board makes this a vast improvement and represents a landmark in the ferry services 130 year history which has seen it transformed from scully boats to rowing boats to a dingy with an outboard motor and now we have a real passenger carrying ferry.

It is up to the people now to take advantage of this service that continues to run free of charge linking the Flixton and Irlam communities.

This is the last surviving ferry service accross the canal and needs to be used to prevent it slipping into dissuse.
5th July, 2015.

The Manchester Airshow

An unprecedented number of people used the ferry service for show day and I gather from first hand information that all services where stretched to breaking point on the day due to the unexpected number of people arriving for the show. I would like to thank all the people who showed great patience with our service and great resilience in the unexpected storm that followed on their return journey. We made in excess of 130 canal crossings on the day from 9.30 am and I only got to the end of the queue by 1pm ( 1 hour after the displays had begun ). I am sure it would have exceeded this number of people if I was able to take more people across and reduce the lengthy queue which many gave up on when they realized we could only ferry one person at a time in the small boat. On a positive note I am pleased we got everyone back home safely if not a little dishevelled from the storm.

The number of people highlighted a problem that has long since been known. As one young child observed "He needs a bigger boat". One lady pointed out that this service replaces a footbridge and a footbridge would have easily taken the number of people and so should the ferry service. I am also told that a surveyor has looked at the boat and proclaimed it inadequate even before the Airshow due to instability and the number of people it can carry but as yet funding has not come forwards for a larger vessel.