Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bridgewater Place high-wind road closures could be scrapped

Bridgewater Place
Image caption A man was killed near the 32-storey building amid high winds in 2011

Road closures around Yorkshire's tallest building during high winds could be scrapped.

The move is recommended in a report for Leeds City Council into wind conditions around Bridgewater Place in the city.

The risk has been "sufficiently reduced to allow the traffic restrictions to be lifted", it said.

High winds around Bridgewater Place were blamed for the death of Dr Edward Slaney, who was killed when a lorry blew over in March 2011.

Streets near the building, which is 367ft (112m) high, have been plagued by high winds since it was built in 2007.

Specially-designed structures to block high winds have since been placed around the building and the work has been completed.

Theses works have significantly reduced wind speeds in the area around Victoria Road, Neville Street and Water Lane to "a safe level", the report said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The report's recommendations are to be discussed on Wednesday

Currently, when wind speeds exceed 35mph, high-sided vehicles are diverted from Victoria Road, Neville Street and Water Lane.

When wind speeds exceed 45mph, a full road closure is implemented and pedestrians are diverted to walk behind a screen on Victoria Road.

The report said guard railing, pedestrian screens and warning signs should be retained "for a further three to five years" to provide an "additional safeguard", the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

There also remained a residual risk "where a combination of scenarios could coincide and result in a safety risk and an accident", the report added.

The report is to be considered by the council's executive board on Wednesday.

Image copyright CPPI
Image caption The baffle boards were erected to deflect the wind

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