Leading article: Building bridges

Last month's floods in Cumbria unleashed not only a surge of community spirit, but also, in some quarters, a mystifying pessimism about our ability to rebuild after such devastation.

The collapsed Northside Bridge in Workington, on which PC Bill Barker died, became a symbol of this curious "can't do" attitude. We were told that it would take months, perhaps even years, before towns such as Workington were united again.

Well, in the end, it took only a week for the Royal Engineers to knock up a footbridge to reconnect the residents of Workington on either side of the Derwent. It is true that Barker's Crossing, which opened yesterday, is only a temporary structure. And a temporary road bridge is still being planned.

But the efficiency of this effort does show what we can accomplish when we set our minds to it. Though waters may be troubled we still, thank goodness, have it in us to bridge them.