VIDEO: High winds close roads around Bridgewater Place and flights diverted from airports
Diversions are in place around Leeds City Centre today after roads around Bridgewater Place were closed.
Highways chiefs have warned on social media that roads around the city’s tallest building will be closed until at least 9pm today because of strong winds.
Buses are also not serving Bridgewater Place and diversions will be in place for all vehicles throughout the day.
There are also reports that a number of flights due into Leeds Bradford Airport today have been diverted to Manchester and Liverpool because of the high winds.
Flooding was also reported on Aire Street in Leeds City Centre this morning.
Concerns over safety at the site have repeatedly forced city council bosses to shut streets at Bridgewater Place.
The area around the base of the 112 metre-high building south of the city centre can be gripped by the wind tunnel effect during stormy weather.
Pedestrian Edward Slaney, from Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, was crushed to death by a truck that was blown off its wheels close to the building in 2011.
The YEP reported in September that the start date for a scheme designed to ease the dangerous ‘wind tunnel’ effect remained unclear – even though work was at one stage due to begin in August.
Site owner CPPI Bridgewater Place Limited Partnership announced earlier this year that construction of a series of large-scale barriers and screens at the landmark building was scheduled to get under way in late summer.
Meanwhile members of the public are being warned that a number of roads have been closed in Bradford town centre following high winds.
A section of roof has come off a building in Tyrell Street resulting in that road being closed. A piece of roof has also fallen on the top of a police car in Thornton Road and that road has been closed at Sugden Street.
The public are urged to avoid the area at this time and to report any further wind-related incidents in the city or concerns to police via 101
Britain will be battered by severe gales today as the newly-named Storm Clodagh crashes into its coastline from the Atlantic.
Gusts of up to 70mph are expected around exposed coastal areas in the west, with winds in inland areas reaching between 50-60 mph, particularly in northern England, but Ireland will bear the brunt of the storm’s impact.
Network Rail have issued speed restrictions between Doncaster and Leeds and have warned delays of up to 60 minutes are expected to journeys through Northern England and Scotland.
The blustery weather has led a number of towns across the UK to cancel their Christmas lights switch-on events over the weekend.
The Met Office has issued weather warnings for this evening, covering the whole of England and Wales, though some parts of eastern Scotland and Orkney and Shetland will escape the worst of the weather.
Wintry showers are also expected over much of Scotland, with snow falling throughout the morning and leaving dustings of up to 15cm (6in) on higher ground, and a possibility that snow could fall on the hills in northern England.
Heavy rain was also expected in the morning and early afternoon, particularly in north east England, and while rainfall is not expected to be more than 25mm (1in), already-high river levels mean the rain could lead to some localised flooding.
The Environment Agency has issued a number of flood warnings for much of England and Wales, particularly the north west and south west.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: “Although rainfall accumulations are not expected to be particularly large, rivers remain high from previous rainfall and are expected to respond, leading to the risk of flooding.”
He added: “The strongest winds are expected to reach Northern Ireland around dawn on Sunday, and most areas by the end of the morning, before gradually subsiding from the west during the afternoon and evening.”
Bognor Regis, Portsmouth and parts of Ayrshire were among areas that have suspended their festive plans in light of the bad weather.
Local authorities across Scotland have cancelled their switch-on celebrations - including Irvine in North Ayrshire, which was expecting an appearance from The Only Way Is Essex Star James Lock - as the country faces snow on higher ground.