Visiting the Last Aerial Transport Ropeway in Britain Which Uses Only Gravity to Move Shale From a Quarry

The ever-curious Tom Scott (previously) visited the site of Forterra Brickworks in Lancashire to learn more about the trade and to remark upon the last aerial ropeway that is still in use within the entirety of Britain.

This very efficient way of transporting materials, which requires no fuel or electricity, uses only gravity to move 300 tonnes of shale from a quarry each day. Over the years these aerial ropeways went through a steep decline until there was only one left. This one was built in the 1920s and by 2036, the quarrying will come to an end. Sadly, the ropeway will have to come down at that time as well due to safety reasons.

This is the last aerial ropeway in Britain. It’s nearly a hundred years old. It needs no fuel and no electricity to run. And in 15 years’ time, it’ll be gone. …This isn’t like an old railway line where, if it’s left unmaintained, it’ll just slowly, steadily decay. It could be actively dangerous if the ropes and towers start to fall apart, particularly when they run over a road, just there.

Here’s a full unedited video from a camera attached to a bucket riding on the Claughton Aerial Ropeway.