Penrith and The Border MP Rory Stewart visited Pooley Bridge on Friday ahead of the official opening of the temporary bailey bridge installed by Story Construction. The original bridge was washed away by Storm Desmond in December and both residents and businesses have been badly affected by the road closure.

During his visit Rory met with representatives from the local community, as well as members of the Story team working on the construction of the temporary bridge to see and hear about how the project had been delivered. Speaking afterwards he said: “I am delighted that the bridge will now be open in time for the Easter bank holiday, reconnecting the village to the vital A592, and reopening the gates for the hundreds of visitors who come to this exceptional part of Cumbria each year.  It’s been quite a battle to get the bridge open in time. I’d like to pay particular tribute to the parish council and people of Pooley Bridge for their energy and focus, and their determination to reopen the bridge and road.

Tourism is the income on which our entire Cumbrian economy depends and I am pleased with the Governments pledge of £1 million for a PR campaign to encourage people to visit the region, as well as the additional £700 million for flood defences which was announced in last week’s budget. I’d like to thank all those who have been involved in this project for the long hours and very hard work that has gone into making this happen.”

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