Page last updated at 18:57 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Flood bridge opens to pedestrians

Cumbrian bridges
The bridge spans the River Derwent

A bridge closed by flooding in Cumbria last month has been declared safe to reopen to pedestrians.

The Gote Bridge in Cockermouth was shut due to safety fears after unprecedented downpours caused the River Derwent to flood on 20 November.

Strong river flows prevented inspection by divers, but it was finally passed fit for pedestrians on Wednesday.

It will remain closed to traffic until repairs to the foundations and supports are carried out in the new year.

The bridge links the town with a housing estate on the north side of the river, the village of Papcastle and the A594 and A595.

Andrew Butler, Cumbria County Council's area engineer for the Allerdale area, said: "I'm delighted we've been able to reopen the bridge for pedestrians and re-establish this important link across the River Derwent.

"We're now working hard on putting together a work programme for the repairs that will be needed before the bridge can be fully opened to traffic again."

The Southwaite Bridge, near Cockermouth, was reopened to traffic on Tuesday.

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