Traffic alert: Delays of 40 minutes in Leeds city centre due to M1 incident

The scene on the roads in Leeds tonight is captured by one frustrated driver.
The scene on the roads in Leeds tonight is captured by one frustrated driver.

Traffic ground to a halt in much of Leeds city centre this evening due to an incident on the M1.

First Bus initially warned passengers to expect delays of 40 minutes and longer to services as traffic queues from the motorway stretched back into the centre shortly before 6pm.

It later said services were being delayed by as much as an hour and some would have to go 'out of service' if drivers came up to their legal driving hours limit.

West Yorkshire Metro said congestion was starting to ease, but bus services were still delayed.

The main cause of the problems was the recovery a coach which had caught fire on the motorway earlier.

Highways England said two lanes were closed on the southbound carriageway between junction 42 (Lofthouse) and junction 41 (Carr Gate), with delays back to junction 45 (Whitkirk).

Shortly before 8pm it issued an update, saying the operation was going well, the coach had nearly been recovered and teams were cleaning debris off the carriageway.

The delays on the southbound carriageway were compounded by a broken down lorry between junction 44 (Leeds South) and junction 43 (Belle Isle), where the M621 joins the motorway.

And now a broken down vehicle on the M1 exit slip road at J40 (Ossett).

Part of Water Lane is also closed around Bridgewater Place for the first day of work on a scheme to combat the wind tunnel effect around the landmark building.

Read more: Delays up ahead for Leeds motorists as Bridgewater Place work starts