Wetherby town centre wall “in danger of collapse”

Wetherby bridge has been closed both ways for fear of a large wall at Micklethwaite collapsing.s
Wetherby bridge has been closed both ways for fear of a large wall at Micklethwaite collapsing.s

A WALL by a road leading into the centre of Wetherby has been deemed ‘unsafe’ and ‘in danger of collapse’.

The area around the wall, which is believed to be more than 200 years old, on the A661 road on the High Street in Wetherby, was closed off by police last Thursday afternoon but later one lane was reopened with temporary traffic lights in place all week.

Head of Wetherby police, Insp Marcus Griffiths said police closed the road so debris could not fall into the road and onto oncoming vehicles.

Wetherby resident Roger Bealey said: “There were about five police cars and a lot of police and I just wondered what was going on. There were still big queues of traffic the next day leading into Wetherby causing a lot of disruption.”

It is not known how long the work will take to complete, say Leeds City Council and in the meantime, the road, which is the main entrance for people travelling into Wetherby Town Centre, will remain with temporary lights and one lane closed.

Wetherby ward councillor Gerald Wilkinson said: “The wall is dangerous in its present state and on the brink of collapse. It is causing a huge amount of traffic disruption to people and all sorts of problems on the road into and out of Wetherby, I know how bad it is as I have been stuck in it myself. We now need to find out what needs to be done to make the wall safe again and exactly how long that will take, which at present we still do not know.”

The 25-foot wall, which is privately-owned by the residents of the properties which back onto the Micklethwaite estate in Wetherby, is believed to have been built more than 200 years ago.

Duncan Builders of York confirmed they had put the framing around the wall, to stop falling debris, and the footpath has also been closed until further notice.

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “Cracks, which we believe were caused by severe winter frosts, have damaged the wall and the area was sealed off for the safety of the public.

“We are keen to get the roads moving as quickly as possible and hopefully we will see a reopening of the lanes by this weekend.”

The spokesperson added that temporary ‘props’ will be placed on the wall today and work will be carried out to reopen the closed road lane ‘as quickly as possible.’