The closure of all roads links between south and north Workington following the floods of November 2009 produced an unusual travel situation. Provision of a frequent and free train service and the erection of a footbridge brought good access between both parts of the town by foot, cycle and train, but a heavily congested 18 mile detour by road. This paper describes the findings of a survey of over 400 Workington residents about how they adapted and how that has affected the way they travel now that road connections have been restored. Adaptations included changing mode, time of travel and changing destinations. Many respondents report personal hardships, including loss of job, health impacts, reduced family visits to relations and the stress caused by extra travelling time. The paper also describes adaptations by organisations and authorities such as providing feeder bus services, opening a temporary supermarket and offering different worksites or changed hours to help their employees. The paper considers how the severing of connections required services to be rethought. The discussion questions whether the findings are relevant to more predictable changes such as rising fuel prices and climate change mitigation measures.