Engineering Design Consultants

Mersey Ferry Pontoon Gangways

Tony Gee and Partners have been working with civil contractor Balfour Beatty to design and supply a new floating pontoon and link span for the famous Mersey ferries in Liverpool. The project has involved the design of a brand new pontoon and link span, including all of the associated buildings and facilities for running one of the main transport links for the city of Liverpool.

As part of the pontoon design, Tony Gee and Partners had to develop a new gangway design to provide the link between the pontoon deck and ferry. Eadon Consulting were used as a specialist subcontractor to advise on the integration of the structure with the required hydraulic and electrical control systems, as well as to develop the detailed design of these systems.

The gangways operate approximately twice per hour, 365 days a year, and it is essential they are reliable – as they are the only means by which passengers embark and disembark. It is quite common for the gangways to need to move vertically by a metre owing to the design of the ferries, local river conditions and the wave motion acting on the ferries. A special design for the hydraulic circuit had to be developed such that the gangway ramp could be raised and lowered safely, whilst ensuring that it was possible for the hydraulics to allow the ramp to move freely when in contact with a vessel. The electrical system was developed to ensure that the hydraulics operated safely, with sensing and interlocks being carefully specified. Due to the safety critical nature of the system and its interaction with the public, an initial SIL assessment was carried out.

The project is currently under construction and due for completion later in the year.

For more information regarding our movable structures design services or to discuss your requirements, please telephone 0114 399 0400 or email us.

Key Facts
  • Location:
    Liverpool
  • Client:
    Tony Gee and Partners