Portland Year Book


Portland Year Book 1905

After the great gale of 1824 the first ferry bridge was erected in persuance of an Act passed in 1835 (5 and 6 King William IV.) The bridge was maintained and repaired by a body of " Bridge Commissioners," who were empowered to take certain tolls. By special provision in the Act the bridge was not made a County bridge, repairable by the County. In 1851 the Bridge Commissioners leased from the Hon. Hugh Arbuthnot the road on the east side of the bridge. Under the Portland Breakwater Act (1850) 4,000, part, of 20,000 paid by the Commissioners of Woods, etc., for the purchase of commonable lands at Portland, was invested in trust for the reduction or extinction of the Bridge tolls. The passenger tolls were in time abolished and the other tolls fixed by the 1835 Act reduced. In 1894 the Bridge Commissioners held invested funds amounting; to 6,016 ; the Commissioners of Works, 2,168 ; and the Bridge Committee, 3,650. An agreement was entered into between the Dorset County Council, the Bridge Commissioners, and the Bridge Committee for the transfer of the bridge to the County Council on the understanding that the latter authority rebuilt the structure (the old bridge being in a dilapidated state), and maintained the bridge and its approaches free of toll for ever. The Bridge Committee contributed 3,000 out of their separate fund towards the re-construction of the bridge, the balance of property and liabilities being transferred to the Portland Urban District Council. The balance of the Bridge Commissioners fund was transferred to the County Council. This arrangement was embodied in a Provisional Order of the Local Government Board, and confirmed by Act of Parliament. The Ferry Bridge was rebuilt from plans by Sir John Coode. The first half of the Bridge was opened for traffic on Sept. 12, 1895 and the Bridge as completed was opened for traffic as from March 2 1896.

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