A REPLACEMENT for a flood-damaged Kendal footbridge which was due to be opened this autumn has been delayed until next year.

In April, Cumbria County Council said work to replace the walkway between Gooseholme and New Road was expected to begin by the end of September.

However, a requirement from the Environment Agency (EA) not to work in the River Kent during the autumn and winter months means this can no longer happen.

CCC member for Kendal Nether, Cllr Shirley Evans, told The Westmorland Gazette it was a shame residents would have to carry on waiting for a new bridge.

“It is a vital link in the town, it’s incredibly important,” she said.

“Gooseholme is a little gem in Kendal and people like sitting there and it’s nice for them to be able to cross the river. It’s a lovely part of town.

“Unfortunately though, people won’t take the extra steps to get around for whatever reason.

“Then there’s the fact that there’s residents there that need to cross the river to get to work or get into town.

“I will be putting every pressure on the council to get it done as soon as possible.”

The bridge was one of more than 400 structures to be damaged during Storm Desmond in December 2015.

So far, CCC has completed repairs on approximately 300 of those.

The design for the new bridge, when complete, will provide access for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users.

A CCC spokesperson said “unfortunately” there had been a delay but that it was “trying to bring forward the programme of delivery to meet an intended instalment and re-opening date of summer 2018”.

The spokesperson added: “The council’s Infrastructure Repair Programme team have made significant progress with the design and is working towards achieving EA consent for working over the river by devising a scaffold platform that will be supported by the piers above the normal water levels.

“Subject to satisfactory environmental conditions and final approvals for environmental consents and bridge design, it is our intention to deliver the bridge prior to the summer period of 2018.”