Britain's Greatest Bridges

Building the Humber Bridge

Series 1 - Episode 6 Building the Humber Bridge



“You will have your Humber Bridge!” transport minister Barbara Castle promised the people of Hull on a visit in 1966… shortly before a by-election in the marginal seat of Hull North that Labour desperately needed to win.

This most brazen of electoral bribes took another 15 years to be delivered but the result was spectacular – the longest single-span suspension bridge ever built (at the time) and the kind of engineering feat that presenter Rob Bell loves getting his metaphorical wrench into.

He makes the story a proud and glorious tale of gambles, daring and ingenuity. It’s educational TV that’s more absorbing than any programme about sheet piles and hanger cables has any right to be.


For 17 years from 1981 to 1998, the Humber Bridge was the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world, and many consider it to be Britain's most beautiful. Rob Bell discovers the facts about its groundbreaking construction, why it took so long to build and how it changed the lives of the people of Hull and North Lincolnshire.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Rob Bell
Series Producer Ed Booth