Kingsferry Bridge

The Kingsferry Bridge is a combined road and railway vertical-lift bridge connecting the Isle of Sheppey to Kent in the South East England. It was designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson, and built by John Howard, with Dorman Long and Sir William Arrol. It comprises a reinforced concrete and structural steel deck, supported from portal-shaped reinforced concrete towers.

The first bridge on the site had been a railway bascule bridge built in 1860 as part of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. This was replaced in 1904 by a Scherzer-type bascule bridge, replaced in turn by the present bridge.

Swale railway station is at the southern end of the Kingsferry Bridge.

The Kingsferry bridge is powered by an electric motor found beneath the road where there is an engine room either side of the bridge which operates the wire rope and counter weights that lifts and lowers the bridge. The Kingsferry bridge has lifted currently over 100,000 times and every lift has to be recorded. The bridge can only be lifted when the Sittingbourne railway signalman gives authorization once a train travelling either way across the bridge has passed the relevant track section.

The maximum bridge lifting height is 84 feet and when reached a claxon sound is heard to confirm the bridge is at full height.

The Kingsferry Bridge is regarded to network rail as a "railway crossing".

The A249 was carried on the Kingsferry Bridge until the opening of a new fixed Sheppey crossing in 2006.

It was announced police have borrowed £73,000 from Swale Council to place an order for an automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR), which will be installed on both the Sheppey Crossing and the Kingsferry Bridge by the middle of April 2010.


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