Good news as the new Pooley Bridge has finally opened after the previous stone structure was destroyed in 2015 during storm Desmond.
The UK’s first stainless steel road bridge, open to traffic and pedestrians, was officially opened yesterday over the River Eamont.
The 128ft structure reconnects the Ullswater valley and replaces the 18th Century bridge.
Councillor Tony Markley, vice chairman of Cumbria County Council, officially opened it, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Cumbria County Council rebuilt the bridge as part of the council’s Infrastructure Recovery Programme, which has repaired damage inflicted by Storm Desmond to over 450 bridges as well as large sections of road and other highway infrastructure.
It is hoped it will boost the economy and transport links for local people in the Lake District beauty spot.
Diane Leesmith, who's front of house at the Crown Inn, said it's good for local people and those that work in the village as it reduces journey times, previously there was a 12 miles diversion for many people, and will encourage visitors because it gives them the ability to travel the all around the lake.
Miles MacInnes, chairman of Barton & Pooley Bridge Parish Council, said: “Our community was split in two when we lost our 251-year-old bridge to Storm Desmond, it was like losing a well-loved relative.
The bridge was designed as a single span structure to avoid the need for piers in the river, which helps reduce the flood risk and making the structure more flood resilient.
Councillor Keith Little, county council cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Pooley Bridge’s new bridge is officially open to the public.
“The council has been working hard to repair the widespread damage to our highways.
“Now we have an iconic new bridge to be proud - which will attract many visitors.”