Storm Desmond: Cumbria bridges remain closed

Divers examine Appleby bridge
Image caption Divers have been carrying out underwater inspections

Twenty-two bridges in Cumbria remain closed after flooding caused by Storm Desmond, as engineers assess all 1,600 in the county for potential damage.

The council is considering a programme of repairs and replacements, including temporary crossings for crucial areas.

In addition, 40 roads are still shut due to damage to the carriageway or because of bridge closures.

However, the communities of Patterdale and Glenridding are no longer cut off after temporary repairs to the A592.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Pooley Bridge, which dates from 1764, was completely destroyed

Six of the closed bridges - which include important crossings in Carlisle, Penrith, and Cockermouth - are awaiting underwater inspections, which are being hampered by river levels and the speed of flow.

Hundreds of homes and businesses in the county were hit by devastating flooding following record levels of rainfall during the weekend of 5 December.

Image copyright Jonathan Cooper
Image caption The A591 remains closed, with no time frame for reopening

Keith Little, county council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: "There is a massive amount of work to do to get the network fully open and we are working flat out to get that work done.

"We absolutely understand the impact of this disruption to the public and businesses and it is an absolute priority in the county's recovery work."

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