Cumbria floods destroy bridge on C2C cycling route

Storms once again wreak havoc in north-west of England

A dramatic picture posted to Facebook shows the remains of a cycling and walking bridge on the popular cross-country C2C route, destroyed by flooding during this weekend's devastating Storm Desmond in Cumbria.

Uploaded to the social network by Tara Vallente, the picture shows the damage wrought on the bridge, which crosses the River Greta between Threlkeld and Keswick on a cycle route that follows a former railway line.

Ever cycled or walked from Threlkeld to Keswick? The bridge on the railway footpath has gone.

Posted by Tara Vallente Public Relations & Media on Sunday, 6 December 2015

The picture, shared more than 1,000 times, has attracted nearly 100 comments, many from people who have ridden the route.

Here's how the bridge used to look, in a picture posted to Geograph.org.uk by Oliver Dixon.

Keswick Railway Path bridge (CC BY SA 2.0 by Oliver Dixon on Geograph.org_.uk).jpg

It's the third time in a decade that floods have wreaked havoc in the county in the north west of England.

Storms wreaked havoc there in 2009, just four years after widespread damage had been caused by the weather, leading to flood defences being beefed up.

After the 2009 floods, then environment secretary Hilary Benn said that the measures introduced had been designed to withstand a "one in 100 year" event.

"What we dealt with last night was probably more like one in a thousand, so even the very best defences, if you have such quantities of rain in such a short space of time, can be over-topped," he added.

Those floods also affected cycling infrastructure in the area, including destroying the Navvies Bridge in Workington.

> Agreement to replace flood-wrecked Cumbrian bridge

The Cumbria Community Foundation has launched an appeal to help the flood-affected areas that has so far raised more than £100,000.

Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans Regional Director, told road.cc: "The North of England has been hard hit with flooding this weekend and we've had reports of a number of bridges being swept away by the force of water on the popular Sustrans Coast 2 Coast route outside of Keswick.

"At this moment our primary concern is for the publics safety, but in due course we will be working with the local authority to get the route reopened as soon as possible."

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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