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Workington: a case study in coordination and communication

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Arthur Affleck, Dr Jane Gibbon



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This study was carried out to identify the social impact of losing transport links within a community and the practices of coordination and communication during and after an extreme event. In November 2009, Workington, Cumbria had most of its bridges either damaged or destroyed during a major flood. The effects of the disaster were immediate, whilst the subsequent planning and recovery process took time. Over three years Cumbria County Council (CCC) went through a coordinated process of installing temporary infrastructure, building and repairing Workington’s bridges. A desk based investigation of the disaster and the recovery process using websites and the local press demonstrates a coordinated approach to replace Workington’s infrastructure and the importance of communication in the town’s recovery. CCC through a series of practical measures reduced disruption within the community in stages. The reconstruction of the town’s bridges involved constant communication and consulting the town about the new infrastructure. The CCC explained the design, financial and engineering elements of the bridges to the public with some success. The research found that the loss of each bridge had significant social impacts and CCC coordinated actions and communication helped the community understand and importantly accept that reconstruction would not be instant.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Affleck A, Gibbon J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the ICE - Municipal Engineer

Year: 2016

Volume: 169

Issue: 2

Pages: 109-117

Print publication date: 01/06/2016

Online publication date: 01/09/2015

Acceptance date: 22/07/2015

Date deposited: 04/12/2015

ISSN (print): 0965-0903

ISSN (electronic): 1751-7699

Publisher: ICE Publishing


DOI: 10.1680/jmuen.15.00004

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