Leeds City Council has said it is ‘aware’ of concerns over the safety of the Wyther Lane canal bridge, which was badly damaged when a car crashed into it earlier this week.
The authority says ‘significant funds’ for improvements are due to come as a result of planning conditions attached to a nearby housing development – but building work hasn’t started yet.
The comments come as a petition by Bramley resident Paul Chatterton to make the narrow bridge safer for traffic, cyclists and pedestrians nears the 500-signature mark.
A Leeds City Council spokesperson said:
“We are aware of the concerns of residents relating to the use of the bridge on Wyther Lane.
“As part of a nearby development and planning application, we have secured significant funds for a permanent traffic signal and footway widening scheme. These funds are required to be made available to us prior to construction work starting on the development site.
“We are contacting the developer to understand their latest plans for starting this work.”
The council says there has been one reported personal-injury collision in the vicinity of the bridge over the past five years.
The structure of the bridge is owned by the Canal and River Trust and it’s still unclear when formal repair work to the bridge will be carried out. A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said:
“We have worked closely with the owners of the structure, the Canal and River Trust, to respond to this incident and reopen the bridge under temporary traffic signals, and we will work closely with them to facilitate permanent repairs as soon as details are made available to us.”
WLD has contacted the Canal and River Trust for comment.
The petition calls for several measures to make the bridge safer for all. It says:
“The pavement isn’t wide enough for pedestrians, visibility is really poor especially when trying to cross on foot and bike, and the road isn’t wide enough for cars. New houses planned next to the bridge will create more traffic in the area.
“It’s no longer fit for purpose. Now is the time for real change. As part of rebuilding the bridge, we call for urgent action to make it safer.”
On Monday, 15 March, a car crashed into the bridge and destroyed some of it. A vehicle involved in the crash was found abandoned after the incident.
As previously reported, unrelated utility works by Northern Gas are due to start today (Friday), marking the first phase of works to install their new governor/substation in the canal car park on Wyther Lane.
To carry out the works safely, they will need to close the Wyther Lane at its junction with Broad Lane from 7.30pm, and will remain closed until the following Friday, with diversion signposted along Broad Lane and Raynville Road.
Phase two of the works will follow on straight after this and will require the weekend only closure of the Wyther Lane/Bridge Road junction from Friday, 26 March at 7.30pm to Monday, 29 March at 6am, with traffic diverted onto Leeds and Bradford Road.