The monks of Birkenhead Priory had been granted a charter establishing ferry rights to Liverpool, which was confirmed by Edward III in about 1330. These rights reverted to the Crown in 1536, upon the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII.
There followed a period of private ownership by local landowners of the numerous ferry services on the Wirral bank of the River Mersey, including at Woodside. By the 18th century, an increase in stage coach traffic from Chester spurred the growth of the transportation of passengers and goods across the river. With the rapid development of Birkenhead from the 1820s, facilities at Woodside would eventually need expanding. By 1842, the ferry service had been taken over by the Birkenhead Commissioners. A stone pier with two slipways and a small lighthouse at the pier head were constructed. There followed another period of major rebuilding, which included land reclamation up to the end of the pier. Construction of a floating landing stage in 1861 allowed for combined usage by the ferries and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. Improvements were made to the ferry's fleet at Woodside in 1890, with the replacement of paddle steamers for twin screw steamers.
A dedicated luggage boat service, which ferried goods and vehicles across the river, had begun by 1879. The opening of the Birkenhead to Liverpool Queensway road tunnel on 18 July 1934 hastened the demise of Woodside's luggage boats, the service ending on 21 July 1941.
On 29 August 1860, Britain's first street tramway was established, running from Woodside to Birkenhead Park. The idea of flamboyant American George Francis Train, the tramway was initially horse drawn. Electrified in 1901, tram services were discontinued in Birkenhead on 17 July 1937. A preserved Edwardian era tram is on display in the Woodside Ferry booking hall.
Originally built by the Great Western Railway in the 1870s, Birkenhead Woodside railway station was a mainline terminus, with services direct to London Paddington. The station closed on 5 November 1967 and was demolished within a couple of years.