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Bridges and retaining walls

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Cumbria Highways is responsible for approximately 1,700 highway bridges throughout the county, as well as numerous cattle grids, footbridges and retaining walls which are adjacent to county highways. The bridge types vary from small single-span masonry arches to large multi-span concrete structures.

Footbridges within the Lake District National Park are inspected and maintained by the Lake District National Park Authority, on behalf of Cumbria County Council.  

The majority of the bridges under our responsibility are inspected every two years and where defects are identified these are prioritised and repaired as soon as possible within budgetary restraints. The inspections and the maintenance work identified are carried out by Cumbria Highways. 

A new inspection system is currently being developed and implemented and this involves a method of scoring each bridge which should assist in more accurate and detailed information being available in the formulation of future maintenance programmes.  

Which bridges is Cumbria Highways not responsible for?

Bridges on the motorway and trunk roads are the responsibility of the Highways Agency.  

We are not responsible for bridges which are owned by Network Rail, British Rail Board, Sustrans, British Waterways and other private owners. 

Reporting a problem with a bridge

If you wish to report a defect on a bridge, please use the Cumbria Highways Hotline. Contact details are shown below.

Retaining walls

Generally, the walls and fences that surround property and fields are erected and maintained by the land owner. They are erected to provide security, privacy and to mark boundaries between different landowners. 

  • The county council, as local highway authority, is usually liable to maintain the walls which are beneath the level of the highway and are necessary to support the highway, as part of its general duty to keep the highway in good repair.  The usual exemption would be where a wall has been built for the benefit of the adjoining landowners.              

  • However, if a highway can be supported by stable side slope within the width of the wallís structure then the wall is redundant as a retaining wall; it is simply a boundary wall and thus the liability of the adjacent landowner.   

If you want to report a wall or fence in a state of disrepair please use the Cumbria Highways hotline.

Cumbria Highways Hotline: 0845 609 6609


Cumbria highways online reporting form