Coast to Coast (C2C) cycle route between Keswick and Threlkeld reopened
5th December 2020
Its exactly 5 years to the day that Storm Desmond hit The Lake District and destroyed the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway trail. It has now reopened as part of a £7.9 million project to reconnect this part of the Coast 2 Coast (C2C) cycle route.
In 2015 Storm Desmond brought the worst floods The Lake District and surrounding area has seen, with around 180 mm of rain falling in Keswick. As a result, two of the original Victorian railway bridges that cross the River Greta and around 200 metres of path were completely washed away, Rawsomes Bridge was deemed unsafe and the well-used route between Keswick and Threlkeld was completely cut off.
As much as possible the Lake District National Park found some alternative routes but through feedback it was clear how important the route was to the communities of Keswick and Threlkeld, visitors to the area and to local businesses. As part of the design stage, a survey showed that the reconnection of the trail could be worth around £2 million to the local economy.
The extensive reconnection project has included:
- Rebuilding and repairing 5 km of the trail
- Re-opening and extending of the Bobbin Mill railway tunnel
- Construction of two new bridges
- Extensive repair of a third bridge
- Creation of 200 metres of brand new path
- Work completed to stabilise the riverbank along the way
- Entire route being made more resilient to future flooding
A £7.9 million package was agreed to enable the project to go ahead and consisted of funding from the European Structural Investment Funds which supports innovation, businesses, low carbon activity to improve local growth and create jobs. Funding was also received from Highways England, who are believed to have contributed nearly half of the total cost, as part of a National project to improve safe route access to cyclists, pedestrians and other users. Other contributors included Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and the Lake District Foundation.