Tim Farron has today attended the reopening of the new bridge in Staveley, crossing the bridge alongside pupils from Staveley Primary School. Tim said this is a time of relief and celebration for local residents, but said the government had let residents down in not fixing this sooner.
Old Gowan Bridge was damaged during Storm Desmond, which hit on the 5th December 2015. The damage was so extensive that the bridge needed to be rebuilt completely, at a cost of around half a million pounds. The new, single-span structure is designed to be more flood-resilient.
Tim had previously pushed the government to provide compensation to businesses that had been affected, but the government has refused.
Tim said: "I am delighted that the new bridge is finally open. Today is a time of relief and celebration for Staveley residents, as well as local businesses. I hope this will provide a welcome boost to the village as we head into the summer.
"However, this is also a reminder of the government's callous attitude towards our area. This bridge was down for a year and a half. If the Conservative government had wanted to, it could have fixed this bridge far sooner. It is local residents and businesses who have paid the price.
"I'd like to pay tribute to the tenacity of local residents and businesses who have got through this difficult time together.
"It was great to see villagers of all ages, from the youngest to the oldest, come together in the glorious summer sunshine to celebrate the reopening and mark this special occasion."
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