I HAVE read with interest, over the past weeks, reports regarding the flooding problems at Backbarrow Bridge, and the suggestions and proposals of how to eliminate this problem.

I was very concerned to read that one business owner stated that he would use a JCB and pull the bridge parapet walls down. Is this bridge not listed? After the last disaster, old photographs had to be resourced, so the parapet walls could be re-built as near as original as possible.

Why has no-one looked at opening back up the flood relief tunnel that is already in place, which someone at sometime has decided to close up.

Probably some of the older residents of Backbarrow, will be able to shed some light on to who did it. This would have been built when the bridge was originally built, to try to deal with the high waters that at times come from Windermere lake.

Walk upstream from the bridge and keep looking at the eastern side retaining wall. After about 100m you can clearly see a perfectly built stone arch, that has been walled up, the original entrance.

Stand on the bridge and look downstream at the eastern side retaining wall, and underneath the hotel outside seating area, you will see a stone arch, which is open. This still runs water at times as it is the outlet to road drains from the A590 and also the outlet for a stream which runs through a culvert under the same road.

Walk into this arched outlet, which is about 2.5m high, and 10m in on the left, you will see a perfectly formed arched tunnel, which runs parallel upstream with the river. Walk up this tunnel and you come across a concrete wall, where someone at sometime, has blocked off this flood relief tunnel. The size of the tunnel, when open, would be able to deal with a large volume of water.

This tunnel was there to help take the increase in water past the bridge.

Where were the agencies at when the closing off of this tunnel took place and why did they let it happen? Someone must know.

T. H. Brass