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Injured BBC journalist warns cyclists not to ride over temporary bridges following fall in Cumbria

Cumbria has suffered a number of bridge closures as a result of flood damage

A BBC Radio Cumbria journalist has warned cyclists not to ride over temporary bridges after sustaining severe injuries in a fall. Martin Lewes has been hospitalised for a week and will be unable to work for six to eight weeks after he attempted to cycle across a temporary bridge between Kirkby Lonsdale and Sedbergh on Wednesday February 3.

Lewes, from Sedbergh, told the Westmorland Gazette that he was riding to Barbon when he tried to cycle over the Bailey bridge in Middleton.

"I was coming along towards the bridge so I slowed down for the temporary traffic lights and I was next to another cyclist. As you approach the bridge to go up the fairly steep ramp there are flat bits of metal and between those are slots. The wheel went into the slot and I went over the handlebars."

The other cyclist came to his aid and he was given a lift to Sedbergh health centre by a motorist. There he discovered that he had sustained a broken nose and damaged vertebrae as well as facial cuts and bruises.

Lewes will have to wear a neck brace for six to eight weeks and will be unable to drive or work during that time.

"In a sensible world I should have stopped and thought: 'I'll walk over that'.

"If I hadn't been wearing a helmet I could have been a lot more badly hurt. It hurts quite a lot every now and again but most of the time I've been no more than uncomfortable.

"If I'm doing this for a particular reason it’s so cyclists do not do what I did and cycle over temporary bridges."

Cumbria has been suffering a number of road and bridge closures as a result of flooding. Detailed information is available on the Cumbria County Council website.

Sustrans has also reported significant damage to the National Cycle Network with dramatic pictures from December showing the impact of Storm Desmond as a bridge on the C2C route was destroyed.

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