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  1. Thursday 18 May 2017
  2. Storm-hit bridge reopens after 18 months
  3. United prepare for play-off second leg
  4. Hospital visitor warning over norovirus

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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As it happened: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, a regular weather forecast, and other items of interest from around the county, for today.

If you can wait, we will bring you the result and the rest of the news from 08:00 tomorrow.

If you've anything that you'd like to share, such as a news story or photo, you can tweet @bbc_cumbria, email, or get in touch via our Facebook page.

Have a very good evening.

Your pictures: Bridges looking good in the sunshine

Today seems to be a day for bridges, and some memories; Pat Jones sent us this of the Bridge at Whitewater near Newby Bridge, commenting that it was hard to believe that twice in recent years flood waters have overtopped the parapets.

Whitewater Bridge
Pat Jones

And Steve Uglow sent us this of Grange Bridge, reopened ahead of schedule after a bus took out one of the parapets two weeks ago. The diversion for local people was around 12 miles while it was repaired, and you can see the fresh stonework.

Grange Bridge
Steve Uglow

Thanks to both; If you've a photo to share, you can tweet @bbc_cumbria, email, or get in touch via our Facebook page.

Carlisle United just 90 minutes from promotion

Carlisle fans have been arriving in Exeter for tonight's second leg of the promotion play-offs.

View more on twitter

At St James' Park (Exeter's ground shares a name with Newcastle's) the mowers have been busy.

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You can listen to the match live on BBC Radio Cumbria, with the build-up starting from 19:00. Let's inspect the pitch!

Cumbria's weather: Clear spells, rain later

BBC Weather

Any isolated showers should clear and there'll be a few clear spells tonight.

Outbreaks of rain will spread from the south later, with temperatures falling to 7C (45F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are, here.

Listen: Farmer and city conservationist debate Lake District future

The United Nations is expected to confirm in July that the Lake District it to become a World Heritage Site.

If so, it will be on a list which includes the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and the Great Barrier Reef.

Lake District view

The Lake District is being defined as a "cultural landscape", created by centuries-old farming methods and in turn inspiring poetry and art.

But the writer George Monbiot believes this is a huge mistake, celebrating the area when the impact of farming on the hills should be reduced and if possible, reversed.

Today Kevin Fernihough invited George onto the airwaves to debate his views with a leading hill farmer, Will Cockbain.

If you missed it, listen here.

BMX youngsters in world championships fund-raising drive

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

Two youngsters from Millom are racing to raise £3,000 to get to the USA this summer, and compete in the world championships

Jayden and Emie Seward
Suzanne McHugh

Jayden Seward, 11, and his seven-year-old-sister Emie from Millom race every weekend and train every week in Preston, and have already competed at national and European levels.

The world championships are in Rock Hill in South Carolina in July.

Annual county meeting adjourned because of election

Cumbria County Council remains without formal political leadership until after the General Election in June, after a meeting this morning.

Elections earlier this month left none of the political parties with the 43 seats necessary to control the authority, but the Conservatives had swapped places with Labour as the largest single party.

County council sign

Normally, talks would have resulted in a coalition agreement by now, and it would have been rubber-stamped at the council's annual general meeting today.

But the three parties announced they couldn't reach agreement until the results of the General Election were known, and the meeting was adjourned until 29 June.

They said in a statement that all services would continue to run as usual.

Flags fly as Staveley celebrates bridge opening

John Bowness

BBC Radio Cumbria reporter

People in Staveley have had to travel the long way to Kendal from their village since December 2015.

The direct route was closed after the raging waters of Storm Desmond swept the footings out from beneath Old Gowan Bridge.

Crowd on bridge

Today they came out in numbers to see it opened after reconstruction. It was inaugurated by the village's youngest and oldest residents.

Vehicles line up to cross bridge

The first motor vehicles across the new span included the local retained fire brigade crew and an open-topped bus that has by-passed the village on its regular runs through the Lake District.

Cathedral scaffold climb youths reprimanded by police

Three youths had to be helped by fire fighters after they climbed up scaffolding on Carlisle Cathedral last night and couldn't find a safe way down.

Cathedral scaffolding

The emergency services were called when the three boys were spotted on the roof. A fire service spokeswoman said ladders were used to help bring them down.

A police spokesman said they were apologetic, but were warned because the incident tied up fire and police staff and might have delayed a response to emergencies elsewhere.

Visitors warned after sickness bug hits hospital wards

Wards at hospitals in Carlisle and Whitehaven have been hit by an outbreak of the norovirus bug.

Also known as the winter sickness bug, it is easily spread from person to person.

The North Cumbria hospital trust is asking visitors to stay away from the Willow C ward in Carlisle and ward 4B at the West Cumberland, unless ward staff say a visit is essential.

It also said anyone who's suffered a stomach upset in the past two days, shouldn't visit patients in any ward at either of the two hospitals.

Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary
30mph limit sign

A court hears how the woman hit speeds of up to 80mph in a 30mph limit while pursued by an unmarked car.

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Cumbria's weather: Sunny spells and the chance of a shower

BBC Weather

There will be further sunny spells and isolated showers across Cumbria this afternoon, with the odd shower, which could turn heavy. Temperatures could reach 15C (59F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are, here.

And as final checks are made at Staveley's Gowan Bridge...

Highways engineers have been making the final checks at the new Old Gowan Bridge in Staveley near Kendal, which was so badly damaged in the Storm Desmond floods that it had to be completely rebuilt.

Men in hi viz jackets on closed bridge.

And meanwhile, at the other end of the Lake District...

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Carlisle's Curle: Unbeaten record gives us the edge

BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

Exeter City and Carlisle United meet tonight in Devon for the second leg of their Play-Off Semi-Final tie with the teams level at 3-3 following Sunday's first leg.

Exeter have failed to beat United in three meetings so far this season - and manager Keith Curle believes that could give his side a crucial psychological advantage

Keith Curle
Getty Images

They've given us their best shot and we've always come up with an answer."

Keith CurleCarlisle United manager

It's another wrap: Now Lib Dems front local paper

The Cumbrian weekly at the centre of a row two weeks ago after it was published in a four-page "wrapper" advertising the Conservative Party, has appeared this week in the same way for the Liberal Democrats.

The party's leader, Tim Farron, is defending the Westmorland and Lonsdale seat.

Photo of part of Gazette wrap.

Maryport lighthouse facelift is welcomed

The results of a £50,000 facelift to one of Cumbria's most historic lighthouses will be celebrated today.

Maryport lighthouse, which is no longer operational, is unusually built partly from steel panels, which had suffered corrosion.

Maryport Lighthouse
Ged Mills

It's one of the oldest of the sort in the world and appears in paintings by the artist, LS Lowry.

A special service will be held this morning, involving school children and members of the local lifeboat crew.

Timelapse footage shows Stavelely Bridge being rebuilt

The bunting is flying in Staveley, between Kendal and Windermere, and a parade is planned to cross the new Old Gowan bridge when it reopens this lunchtime after complete rebuilding.

The bridge was seriously undermined 18 months ago by Storm Desmond's floods. It's one of only two roads into the village and businesses say they lost up to a quarter of their trade.

The new span was completed a month behind schedule, but 18 months ahead of the original plan, and the contractors sent us this video of how they did it.

Timelapse shows bridge rebuilding after floods

Weather on the fell tops: Benign

Temperatures at 3,000ft: 6C.

Winds: Southerly becoming southwesterly 10-15mph.

Cloud: Patchy at 1,500ft overnight and into the morning, then none expected.

Visibility: Mostly very good away from any hill fog caused by patchy low cloud.

Freezing level: Above the tops.

Severe accident: A590 Cumbria westbound

BBC News Travel

A590 Cumbria westbound severe accident, at B5281 Queen Street.

A590 Cumbria - A590 County Road in Ulverston blocked and queuing traffic westbound at the B5281 Queen Street junction, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Cumbria's weather: A chilly start, plenty of sunshine

BBC Weather

It will be a chilly but dry start to the day across Cumbria, with plenty of sunshine this morning.

Temperatures in the warmest areas will be as high as 15C (59F)

Weather graphic

You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are here.

Staveley celebrates opening of flood-damaged Old Gowan Bridge

One of the two bridges linking the village of Stavelely to the main road from Kendal to Windermere will finally reopen this morning, well over a year after it was dangerously undermined by Storm Desmond and closed.

Gowan Bridge under construction
Thos Armstrong/Cumbria County Council

Businesses said they lost passing trade, with takings down by a quarter.

Cumbria County Council says the new bridge cost £500,000, and to allow more floodwater to pass beneath it, has only a single span.

It's a month late from what they promised, but it's nine months earlier than what they originally envisaged, and we're really thrilled."

David BrockbankStavelely Mill Yard

Cumbria County Council says 130 bridges were repaired last year, but 327 still need some work. Six, including the Staveley bridge, remain closed as of this morning.

Good morning and welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We'll bring you the news, a regular weather forecast, travel reports and an occasional excursion to lighter matters, through to 18:00.

If you've anything that you'd like to share, such as a news story or photo, you can tweet @bbc_cumbria, email, or get in touch via our Facebook page.