WHY am I not surprised that it is now going to take at least six years (Storm Desmond was in 2015) for a replacement footbridge to be built at Gooseholme in Kendal (Gazette, January 30, 'Delay in replacing old bridge').

South Lakeland District Council stirred all this up and let the genie out of the bottle when they used the common land argument to remove all town centre free parking. There was never a problem until they got greedy and forced all drivers to pay for the privilege of parking in Kendal town centre.

Previously no one had a problem. Everyone just got on with things. The council just could not leave it be. They must have had nightmares every time they drove by the cars parked for free on New Road. They probably couldn’t sleep, thinking of all the revenue from parking they were not getting. Now it has blown up in their faces and will massively delay the construction of a new footbridge.

The Chinese are building two new hospitals within a couple of weeks in Wuhan following the virus outbreak yet Cumbria County Council cannot rig up a replacement footbridge in six years.

Mr JP Wilson


EDITOR'S note: the Gazette contacted South Lakeland District Council after receiving Mr Wilson's letter, and here is its response:
“IN RELATION to your correspondent’s concerns regarding New Road Common, it should be clarified that the land was a designated common long before safety concerns led to the closure of the land to unlawful parking. 
“The subsequent landscaping work on the common was to make it more accessible for ‘air and recreation’ in line with its existing designation. The decision to close the common to parking and the landscaping work that has been carried out are unrelated to the issues that are now delaying the replacement bridge.  
“SLDC has also not benefitted from extra parking revenue as a result of the closure of the common to parking. In fact, the reduced ticket prices introduced to mitigate the impact of the closure of New Road to unlawful parking means Kendal now benefits from some of the cheapest all-day parking on any council-operated car parks in the North West.’’