By 2011 traffic had decreased along the ship canal from its peak in 1958 of 18 million long tons (20 million short tons) of freight each year to about 7 million long tons (7.8 million short tons).
Ironically the canal which would have been used to transport textiles produced on lancashires cotton looms that had fueled manchesters boom was later used to export the same cotton looms to India where labour costs where cheaper hence textiles declined along with many other industries. Production of goods now appearing to have shifted to china who are currently leading the world in exported goods.
The canal is now privately owned by Peel Ports, whose ambitious plans include redevelopment, expansion, and an increase in shipping from 8000 containers a year to 100,000 by 2030, as part of their Atlantic Gateway project.
|Proposed Port Salford will be a critical part of the Atlantic Gateway Project costing £138 million with planning permission to develop the UK's first tri-modal (served by road, rail and short-sea shipping) inland port facility and distribution park.
|Manchester itself has had to re-invent itself from the Roman fort of Mamucium to an industrialized town always been a place of logistics whether a centerpoint for conveyancing roman soldiers, industrial products and currently re-aligning itself as a world leader for conveyancing globalized products utilizing its Rail, Canal and Road links.
|Leisure is also playing an important role in developement as Traditional Jobs become more automated and people have more leisure time. Manchester has been re-invigorated as a post-industrial city with multiple sporting, broadcasting, and educational institutions. The Popular Salford Reds Stadium and Boysnope Golf Course just beyond the ferry attesting to this.
Can this historical service run side by side with the second wave of the industrial revolution and globalization?
Can this free hulmes ferry service once again play an essential part in transporting the workforce directly to Port Salford with 3,858 gross permanent jobs to be created?
Can this site once again become an attraction for local people, ramblers and tourists alike?
Still in operation in 2015 as an Act of Parliament requires it. But what of its future?
© Keith Williamson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
|Manchesters key to its survival and its growth to becoming the UK's 3rd largest city has been its strategic position, ability to re-invent itself utilizing its surounding area and using logistics to trade.
|In the authors opinion this historic site may need to re-invent itself too in order to survive and thrive but it both can and should play its part, preserving its historic value, protecting the public right of way and yet simultaneously serving the both the leisure and transport industry.
Globalization has been happening for many years now with factories moving overseas where labour is cheaper. This is painfully evident in Irlam itself with all its factories closed. As communications accross the globe is enabled at the speed of light, people of the globe become closer and a level playing field is emerging.
|This modern world should be embraced but without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Last words from Gery Marsden
Note: I dont own the copyright for this video
and it is not hosted on this site.