High winds leave a trail of debris across Bradford district

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A tree blown down in Allerton Road, Bradford A tree blown down in Allerton Road, Bradford

Strong winds battered Bradford and left a trail of damage across the district, causing havoc on the road and rail network.

Police had to close off Undercliffe Road at the junction with Otley Road, in Bradford, after a sheet of steel fencing about 18ft x 10ft in size was torn from its fixings.

A quick-thinking motorist managed to pin it down by driving his 4x4 on top of it.

In Little Germany, part of a roof from a building was blown in to the yard of Belmont Business Centre in Burnett Street.

Lee Meadowcroft, who was working there, said luckily no one had been in its way when it landed but added: “It scared the pants off us!”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service received 186 wind-related calls between 7.30am and 3pm yesterday, involving dangerous structures, fallen trees and trampolines lifted by the wind.

Ian Bitcon, Area Manager for Fire Safety, said: “We have had an extremely busy day. However, crews have dealt professionally with these incidents and had the necessary resources to do so.”

Earlier in the day staff at New Coley Nurseries in Denholme had to man-handle a 20ft tree out of the way off Halifax/Keighley Road after it blew across it.

Staff, with help from a man from the housing development opposite, managed to heave the tree off the road, using a chainsaw to clear it from the pathway.

In Wilsden, the illuminated Christmas tree outside St Matthew's Church fell into a wall.

Other downed trees were reported in Toller Lane, at its junction with Leylands Lane, blocking traffic, and in Station Road, Steeton.

In Sutton-in-Craven, near Keighley, a tree across Sutton Lane was causing more problems as was a runaway trampoline, which created havoc on a road in the village.

Further north, fallen trees caused disruption in Brackenley Lane, Embsay, Raikes Road near the cemetery in Skipton and in Grassington Road, Skipton.

Earlier yesterday a tree fell on the single track near Apperley Lane suspending all train services between Ilkley and Leeds.

Northern Rail said the tree was removed and the route was back to normal within the hour.

Fierce winds had also disrupted Leeds-Bradford flights for a time. Among those that had to be cancelled were a Flybe service to Southampton, a BA flight to Heathrow and a KLM flight to Amsterdam.

In Keighley, Town Hall Square was closed as one of the flagpoles had bent over in the high winds.

Meanwhile, loose cladding on the roof of Asda Keighley led to part of the car park being closed for safety reasons.

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