Pooley Bridge collapse: Traders' fears over business

Pooley Bridge in Ullswater, Cumbria Image copyright PA
Image caption The three arch bridge was built in 1764

Business owners in a Cumbrian village have spoken of their trading fears over access problems caused by a collapsed bridge.

The structure in Pooley Bridge was washed away by flood water during Storm Desmond in December, effectively cutting off the village from the south.

Traders have said that they are left in limbo, with no timetable for repairs.

Cumbria County Council said discussions were under way with Highways England about the best way forward.

Andrew Laverick, who runs an outdoor clothing store, said that until the bridge was repaired there would be no visitors.

'Just demoralising'

"Do I bring my stock in for half term?" he said. "Do I start putting adverts in to get my summer staff? If the bridge isn't open, I won't need any."

Mandy Watson, postmistress at the Pooley Bridge Post Office, said: "There's nobody here; not even the locals are coming in. It's just demoralising.

"I'm not getting any money in. I don't know how long we'll last."

In a statement the county council said: "We understand the urgency to reopen Pooley Bridge.

"Serious discussions about the best way forward for these routes are ongoing with Highways England and a new plan should be in place soon."

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