Latest News from Hulmes Ferry.

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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.