Cumbria

Cumbria's flood-hit A591 reopens for schoolchildren

Pupils make their way along a temporary path on the A591
Image caption The first youngsters made their way along the new path at about 08:00 GMT

A key Cumbrian road partly washed away by Storm Desmond has reopened for school pupils.

The A591 is closed to general traffic between Dunmail Raise, north of Grasmere, and Thirlmere.

However, youngsters are now being transported by shuttle bus before being escorted along a new path and onto a second vehicle for school.

Simon Jackson, headteacher of Keswick School, said it was "an important step".

He added: "The closure has caused a great deal of disruption. This has been a really difficult time.

"The community has been rallying round and trying to get back to normality as quickly as possible.

The A591 is the only major route through the central Lake District.

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Media captionChildren take two bus shuttles to beat flood damage

The service has been enabled by upgrading a forest road which is wide enough for a small bus but not general traffic.

Heavy rainfall caused landslips from Helvellyn while flood waters undercut the A591.

Cumbria County Council leader Stewart Young said: "Large sections have virtually disappeared. All in all, the road is in pretty poor shape."

Nick Raymond, of the council's highways department, said the full reopening of the road was a "priority" for the authority.

However, he warned: "We're coming into the wettest, coldest part of the year. It's continuing to deteriorate and erode, and landslips are providing continuous danger."

Image caption A large section of the A591 was washed away during Storm Desmond, leaving a stretch closed to traffic

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