Picture: Bridgewater Place closed due to high winds

Deserted Bridgewater Place in Leeds. Photograph copyright www.theleedsguardian.com

Deserted Bridgewater Place in Leeds. Photograph copyright http://www.theleedsguardian.com

It’s a man made wind tunnel nicknamed ‘The Dalek’ – but our photo shows how the streets surrounding Bridgewater Place this week became like a deserted scene from a post apocalyptic sci-fi film following concern about high winds.

Dr Edward Slaney was crushed by a lorry that toppled over next to the  32-storey  Bridgewater Place two years ago. Following a lengthy inquest which examined the  367ft tower’s influence on wind conditions in the area, Leeds Deputy Coroner  Melanie Williamson this week said she was recommending the junction at its base should be shut to all road users when wind speeds reach 45mph.

And the busy roads around Bridgewater Place – including Water Lane, Victoria Road and Neville Street – were closed to all through traffic from 6.30am on Thursday.  The area was reopened by 4pm. Diversions for high-sided vehicles  remained until Friday morning.

The closures led to traffic congestion in the area.

Other chaos caused by winds in Leeds included:

  • Officers from Leeds City Council’s Building Control and Emergency Planning departments along with the fire service attended Bramley Shopping Centre, where a number of panels were coming off the roof. After a full inspection, it was not necessary for any residents to be evacuated.
  •  The Forestry Service received more than 100 incident notifications about falling tree and branches.
  • Building Control officers attended the Leeds Grand Mosque on Woodsley Road to help prevent damage to the building’s roof.
  • Council officers gave a helping hand to a number of people crossing Water Lane on Thursday morning.
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