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MP demands answers over second closure of Victoria Bridge

August 20, 2019 7:18 PM

Kendal's MP Tim Farron has demanded answers from the county council over the closure of Victoria Bridge for the second time this month.

In a letter to Chief Executive Katherine Fairclough, Tim has asked the council for answers so that local residents and businesses can plan ahead with more certainty.

Tim says, "I fully accept that the problems aren't a result of delays after Storm Desmond, as the temporary fix at that point was supposed to last up to five years.

"However, it's clear that the council have taken a risk when it comes to replacing the temporary fix with a permanent one, and that hasn't come off.

"While it's difficult to blame the council for the amount of rain we've had in recent weeks, this is the Lake District and wet summers aren't unusual. Many residents and businesses have contacted me wanting more certainty about the prospects are for the coming weeks."

Tim has asked the council -

  • What risk assessments were undertaken which gave the council confidence to initially proceed with work despite the hazard of inclement weather and rising river levels?
  • What risk assessments were undertaken to determine the effect of a potential closure on traffic flow?
  • Why were no diversionary routes (like making Stramongate Bridge two way) seemingly planned in advance?
  • Given the council appears to be proceeding with the same temporary fix as was applied two weeks ago, what will stop a future third closure when water levels rise again?
  • What is the council's long-term plan to ensure the permanent fix can be applied?

Tim continued, "In the long term, this second closure adds more weight to our campaign for a northern relief road. It's great news that pressure from Lib Dem councillors has led to a formal bid from the council to Transport for the North - and I'll keep working in Parliament to press the case.

"But for now, local residents and businesses just deserve answers."