I READ that a Cumbria County Council spokesperson explained that "...work had begun this summer to apply a 'permanent fix' [at Victoria Bridge, Kendal]. However, unseasonal heavy rain during the repairs caused further damage..." (Gazette, August 22, 'More frustration as bridge closes again').

It has just taken me less than three minutes to discover that average April and May rainfall is about 66mm, June is 77mm, July increases to about 80mm and August is 100mm, which is half as much again as April and May.

These are average precipitation figures and you can see August is quite a wet month and rainfall in August is not unseasonal.

Why did CCC wait until the average precipitation went up again before commencing work?

How many (dry) summers have passed since Storm Desmond?

David Rochell


  •  Editor's note: The Westmorland Gazette contacted Cumbria County Council after receiving Mr Rochell's letter and here is its response:

Cumbria’s summer months are, on average, the driest during the year. In addition, working within the River Kent in this location is only permitted between July 1 and September 30 due to environmental constraints.

This year’s August rainfall has been exceptional, with short periods of extremely heavy rainfall; August 9 and 10 alone saw 77mm of rain fall in Kendal and 95mm in the upper area of the Kent catchment (Kentmere), which is almost the month’s average rainfall in one day.

This has had a significant impact on river levels, in particular the River Kent through Kendal, and could not reasonably have been expected.

CCC has repaired or rebuilt more than 500 bridges since Storm Desmond. Work has been scheduled in order of risk to the bridge structures.