Adur Toll Bridge
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Former Toll Bridge across the River Adur at Shoreham-by-Sea.

This wooden structure was built under an Act of 1781 to a similar design to that of today, which is as rebuilt in 1916. 
It was bought by the LBSCR railway company in 1861, when they built the branch line from Shoreham to Steyning and onto Horsham. The various railway companies, finally British Rail, continued to collect the tolls until it was replaced by the modern flyover, opened in 1970. 

Contractors McAlpines commenced construction of the new bridge (the flyover as it has become known) on 1 February 1968. 
It was one of the early box girder bridge design that had problems caused by the particular need to support the structure during construction. Subsequent strengthening was thought necessary, although the problem had arisen during and not after construction of another bridge. 

The by-pass and flyover opened to through traffic in 1970. The first unofficial crossing by car was on 19 March 1970, the first traffic east to west from 14 May 1970 and both ways on 21 May 1970, although the slip roads did not open until July 1970. 
The Toll Bridge closed to motorised traffic on 7 December 1970. 
See: Adur Flyover for details

It was then taken over by West Sussex County Council, who downgraded it to foot and cycle traffic. It used to carry the busy A27, and with the old Norfolk bridge on the A259 restricted in width and height by its design, as traffic became heavier HGV's were diverted up the valley to go through Upper Beeding, over the hump back bridge (it's flatter now) into Bramber and over the old railway bridges sited where the bypass roundabout is now. Then through Steyning High Street. 
This route through the towns and villages has now been replaced by the bypass which is partly on the track bed of the railway. It is difficult to imagine the massive lorries which used the race through these now quite villages.

Listed at Grade II* in 1984 and despite some work in the 1980's and 1993/4 an inspection in 1997 lead to parts of the structure being  deemed unsafe and metal fencing was erected. This was largely due to the years of budget restrictions on the owners WSCC,  The intention was to demolish or merely allow the bridge to rot away, with no replacement for what is a very heavily used route for cycles and pedestrians. When it was found that this policy was in place action by the Shoreham Society lead to the formation of the 'Friends of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge' 

To save this last remaining example of this type of bridge there is a major appeal for funds to help in its Restoration.


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Updated 17/12/2006
NOTE: Views expressed on this web site are personal to the respective authors and may not reflect the official views of the 'Friends of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge'