Gooseholme Bridge replacement project

Kendal Bridge

Demolition of the footbridge was completed in September 2019 by Story Contracting, one week ahead of schedule. This is key to allowing work to start as early as possible on the replacement bridge in 2020. 

We have salvaged as much material from the demolition as possible. Timbers and handrails have been provided to the Public Rights of Way team for use in footpath bridges around the county and stonework has been saved for reuse locally as part of the flood defence scheme.

Currently the design team are developing the detailed design. This addresses incorporation of flood defence walls, structural steelwork design, landscaping including stonework cladding, handrail details and much, much more. This is being carried out in partnership with the Environment Agency and South Lakeland District Council, whilst taking into account the feedback from the public engagement period in July 2019. 

As well as detailed design, there is a necessity for applications to be submitted to the Environment Agency for work around the River Kent and the Planning Inspectorate to approve construction upon Common Land.

Following the completion of the public engagement period In July 2019 the following responses to the Frequently Asked Questions has been collated:

The bridge was damaged during Storm Desmond in Dec 2015. At that time over hundreds of bridges, footpaths and roads were significantly damaged. This meant that the council had to prioritise and agree a programme for repair and/or replacement. Assets with a greater social economic impact were prioritised. This included Gowan bridge in Staveley, Ford Burneside bridge and many others across the highway network. To date over 500 bridges have now been repaired. The council is delighted that work can now start on Gooseholme Bridge.

Design works started in May 2018, and the council has worked with the Environment Agency to ensure that the bridge design is flood resilient and compliments the EA's flood defence scheme. 

Cumbria County Council is investing £ 1.65m on Gooseholme Bridge.

Gooseholme footbridge has connected two pieces of Common land for over 140 years. This proposal will ensure that this link remains well into the future. 

The bridge is being designed specifically for combined pedestrian and cycle use. The intent is that the bridge will form a popular crossing point for cycle routes through the town including the National Cycle Route 6.

The initial design of the bridge was chosen by Cumbria County Council's Local Committee Members back in 2018. This design was then shared with the public through a programme of consultation and engagement.

Of the 60+ comments that we have had, 14% of responses raised concerns about the aesthetics of the proposed bridge (superstructure). 40% were positively in favour of the proposed structure and the remaining 46% of comments were neutral In terms of the structural choice. 

We are now refining the design, taking on board comments and suggestions made during the engagement, however the design remains broadly the same as the majority of people who commented were either in favour or had no opinion.

Yes it is.

The ramps and bridge are 3.5m wide between the parapets. The 180 degree turn therefore is easily manageable within the current arrangement without needing to curve the ramp. 

Following feedback, our designers are currently reviewing this as an option.

Yes, we will ensure that this is incorporated into any stepped arrangement. 

The bridge will have a steel deck plate coated with an anti-slip surface. We will ensure that these comments are integrated to the ramp designs. 

EA and SLDC are working closely with CCC, to look at joining together existing cycle and walking routes and provide some new footpaths across Kendal. The intent is that the projects will be delivered as soon as possible with the bridge forming the centre of improved cycle routes through Kendal which are referred to as the 'Kendal X'.

The Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme, which is being delivered by the Environments Agency, will provide a total of 3km of footpath improvements, including a new cycle way and new riverside path up Aynam Road between Miller Bridge and Jennings Yard Bridge.   The project is also looking at possible footpath improvements around Jubilee Fields and Sandy Bottoms, improving the connectively between the west and east of the river Kent.   The Environments Agency are expecting to start work in April 2020 and be delivered this work in phases over the next two to three years.  For full details of the scheme please visit or see the plans in the Fell Tarn Shop in Westmorland Shopping Centre.  You can contact the EA about the Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme directly by emailing     

Other sections of the network are in development by CCC and information is available or will be released via our website

Apart from a 2 metre section of hedge on the Gooseholme side of the bridge, which will need to be removed to construct the wider abutment, there is no proposed removal of trees. In fact the scheme will add vegetation to the area with planters and landscaping around the ramp arrangements.

There is no intent to install lighting on the proposed structure due to the impact this would have in the conservation area and upon the river. We are ensuring that there will be enough ambient lighting from both sides of the river for that crossing at night. 

Records indicate that a bridge has crossed between New Road and Gooseholme since 1875. The historic bridges have been impacted by flooding on a number of occasions with the original steel truss bridge being washed away in 1898. 

The steel structure was subsequently replaced by a concrete reinforced deck in 1913 before being re-decked with timber in 1982. Reviewing historic records it is evident that Gooseholme Bridge has been impacted by flooding and that keeping a structure at the same height as the existing is not sufficient to ensure the structure is not damaged in future.

New road bridge 1875 Iron Bridge Design Drawings

New Road Bridge (Exact date unknown, but structure matches the pre Iron Bridge arrangement)

1875 Iron Bridge

The Iron Bridge was installed following floods that washed away the previous structure shown top left. The piers were amended to accommodate the new structure with the height of the bridge raised above the Oct 1874 flood level.

1875 Iron Bridge 

1894 Flood with the Fair set up on the river gravels 


Gooseholme Iron Bridge washed away by flooding in 1898

1913 Reinforced Concrete Deck

In 1913 the pier arrangement appears to have been amended from the previous structure as the spans on the 1875 drawing and 1913 drawings don't match. A concrete reinforced deck was installed.

1913 Concrete Reinforced Deck Design 

1913 Concrete Reinforced Deck Design

1980 Gooseholme Bridge Looking Upstream 

1980 Goosholme Bridge Looking Upstream

1982 Timber Deck

By 1982 the concrete reinforced deck had degraded to a point the it needed replacing. The deck was replaced with timber and the span adjacent to Gooseholme Park was increased. The iron railings were reused from the previous structure.

1982 Deck Replacement 1982 Timber Deck 1982 Timber Deck 2 1982 Timber Deck 3 

1982 Deck Replacement

Please note that the visualisations are an artistic impression and specific details may vary. The focus of the visualisations is the bridge and we have only shown an indicative arrangement / detailing for the EA flood scheme. Many thanks to Jamie from SourcePotMedia who produced the visuals.

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