A TEMPORARY footbridge will be open to the public at Pooley Bridge from today. 

The footbridge across the River Eamont is vital to the community in order to keep the village connected while the new road bridge is being constructed, this is part of Cumbria County Council's £5 project to build a replacement road bridge. 

Local residents Mr John Beer and his wife Mrs Eva Beer will open the footbridge at 12 noon today. 

The council’s Pooley Bridge project team considered a number of possible locations for the footbridge but none of the possible options offered the advantage of a direct link across the river at the most desired location.

However with the help of both Mr and Mrs Beer, together with Mr Stephen Bate and Mrs Natasha Bate, who have both kindly allowed the project to use their land on either side of the river, the council has been able to site a pedestrian footbridge next to the new road bridge site. This will help keep Pooley Bridge connected for both local residents and visitors.

The footbridge, which is available for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists, will be in place until the new road bridge is open in Spring 2020.

The temporary road bridge across the river was successfully removed on Wednesday by contractors using a specialist 1,000 tonne crane.

During the construction phase of the replacement bridge project, from September 2019 to Spring 2020, there will be no vehicle access over the River Eamont at Pooley Bridge while the new bridge is being built. Pooley Bridge will remain open for business throughout the construction period.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m pleased the temporary footbridge is now in place and I’d like to thank both Mr and Mrs Beer, and Mr and Mrs Bate, for helping to make this possible by allowing the use of their land.

"The county council is investing £5m to create an iconic new structure in Pooley Bridge. The footbridge will keep the community connected while the new bridge is built, and will be an attraction in its own right for people wanting to view progress on this exciting project. I hope people will continue to visit Pooley Bridge while construction work is taking place.”