A FERRY crossing across the Manchester Ship canal has resumed almost three years after ceasing to operate.

The Hulme Bridge Ferry last took passengers across the canal between Davyhulme and Eccles in 2009 when the former pilot John McDermott died suddenly and the service was never reinstated by the Manchester Ship Canal Company.

But after a campaign by members of the Trafford branch of the Ramblers Association the free passenger ferry service - introduced when a bridge over the River Irwell was removed during the original canalisation works in the 1890s - resumed operations on Friday.

Under current arrangements the service will be available on Fridays and at weekends until July when Mondays will be incorporated in to the schedule, between 10am until 4pm. Dog walkers can take their pets on board and a larger ferry will be available on Saturdays and Sundays which will accommodate cyclists as well.

The local Ramblers’ Association has been working with the Ship Canal management to bring about the return of the ferry and Dr Angela Hilton, Chair of the Ramblers Trafford Group said: “This is a very welcome addition to the walking facilities in and around Trafford. The free ferry enables walkers to enjoy a circular route taking in the footpaths in the woodland bordering both sides of the ship canal.”