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Historically there were comparatively few road crossings of the Rivers Irwell and Mersey, and even today the same applies to the navigable replacement for the rivers, the Manchester Ship Canal; it is six miles between the high level M60 bridge at Barton and the high level Warburton Bridge. In 2021 the Canal can be crossed intermediately on foot or cycle at the Locks at Irlam, and there is a passenger ferry known as Hulme Bridge (or Hulmes or Hulme's Bridge), connecting Irlam and Flixton, though this latter only appears to operate in the summer months.
This is a collection of photos of past and present ferry crossings in this area taken in March 2021. For photos of the ferry across the Ship Canal at Thelwall, see these photos from May 2018.
In the days of the Mersey & Irwell Navigation (up to 1887 when it was bought out and later replaced by the Manchester Ship Canal) there was a lock and weir at Hulme Bridge in the navigable River Irwell, there was also a low level pedestrian footbridge. When the level of the River Irwell was too high for the footbridge, a ferry boat was provided.
The Irlam side of Hulme Bridge Ferry is at Boysnope Wharf, the start of two tramways carrying night soil onto Chat Moss.