Event Organiser: ICE

Lunch and Learn: The Tamar Crossings, webinar


  • Webinar
  • Watch online
  • 04 October 2018
  • 13:00 - 14:00 (UK time)
The Tamar Bridge & Royal Albert Bridge.

About this event

The Tamar is a river in South West England and forms most of the border between Devon and Cornwall. The area has been important for trade since before medieval times due to trade and military activity.

There are 24 crossings over the Tamar, with some of the road bridges dating back to the 13th century. Two of key crossings for this important river are the Torpoint Ferry (also known as a floating bridge) and the Tamar Bridge.

The original chain ferry at Torpoint was the brainchild of engineer James Meadows Rendel and it started service in 1834. It consisted of fixed chains on the riverbed along which a steam-powered ferry pulled itself along. Although the ferries are no longer steam-powered and have been replaced many times, the Torpoint Ferry is still to this day operating on the same principle and forms a vital link between Devon and Cornwall.

The Tamar Bridge is a key link between Devon and Cornwall carrying the A38 and when constructed was the longest bridge in the UK. Increasing traffic demands and delays on the old Saltash chain ferry (also designed by Rendel) led to a joint venture promoted by Plymouth City Council and Cornwall County Council. The bridge was constructed in just over 2 years and opened to traffic in 1961.

Between 1998 and 2001 the bridge was strengthened to cope with modern traffic loading and widened by adding cantilevers to both sides of the main deck, all while open to live traffic – a world first for a suspension bridge.


David List BSc MBA CEng FICE

General Manager, Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry

In post for 21 years, previously worked for Redditch Development Corporation and Hong Kong Government on range of infrastructure projects – buildings, bridges, roads, coastal protection and reclamation.

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If you experience any issues, please contact the event administrator: charlotte.pascoe@ice.org.uk.

For more information please contact:

Charlotte Pascoe

e: charlotte.pascoe@ice.org.uk