A project designed to boost transport access and attract more visitors to Pooley Bridge has been delivered by Cumbria County Council.
The works have included improving the bus and coach parking facilities in Pooley Bridge and revamping a seating and viewing area close to the steamer jetty at the north end of Ullswater.
The improvements will help to extend the tourism season in the local area, by offering a convenient choice for regional and national coach operators throughout the year to stop, drop off and pick up visitors at Pooley Bridge and Ullswater.
A new bus stop in the village centre will also provide improved access to bus services for locals and visitors alike.
With the county council’s £5m replacement bridge project in Pooley Bridge progressing well, an increased number of visitors are expected to use local attractions and businesses later this year. These include Ullswater Steamers where the revamped seating area will provide a place to enjoy the lake whilst waiting for the next ferry or simply as part of one of the local walks or cycle rides around Pooley Bridge.
The £180,000 project has been funded by the Rural Development Programme for England and Cumbria County Council. In addition, contributions from the Lake District National Park Authority and Lake District Estates (owners of Ullswater Steamers) have helped to deliver the project. Project works were constructed by Metcalfe Plant Hire.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m delighted the county council has delivered these improvements to help promote sustainable transport and enhance our visitor offer in Pooley Bridge. These works will help attract more bus and coach visitors to Pooley Bridge and Ullswater, and should also encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more locally. This project is a good example of the council’s commitment to ensuring places in Cumbria are well connected and thriving, with a growing economy.”
Cllr Neil Hughes, Cumbria County Council Local Member for Eden Lakes, said: “I’m very pleased these improvements have been completed. They will help make Pooley Bridge and the local area even more attractive to visitors and help support local businesses, especially once the new bridge is completed.”
Miles MacInnes, Chairman of Barton and Pooley Bridge Parish Council, said: “The viewing area is a very popular view point so it’s great to see it in its much improved condition. The new bus stop in the village and the coach parking area will certainly ease the parking problems we have in the village.”
Mark Horton, General Manager, Ullswater Steamers, said: “We are delighted with the improvements in presentation for our group visitors and we are looking forward to using these new facilities when the new bridge is open and when welcoming coach parties to our Pier at Pooley Bridge. The coach parking layby should also increase the opportunities for our groups to dwell for longer allowing them to use the shops, cafes and pubs in the village before continuing their tours.”
Pooley Bridge is open for business throughout the construction of the replacement road bridge. Access across the River Eamont is available via a footbridge which will remain in place throughout this period.