Roads and shops closed as high winds cause chaos

Doncaster's French Gate, which was closed yesterday
Doncaster's French Gate, which was closed yesterday
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A South Yorkshire road was closed today as the area was gripped by gales - and yesterday businesses were forced to close with at least one person injured.

Doncaster faced more traffic chaos today as a section of Trafford Way was closed to vehicles and drivers were warned to expect delays.

HOW DID TODAY’S TRAFFIC JAMS AND HIGH WINDS EFFECT YOU? JOIN THE DEBATE BY ADDING YOUR COMMENT BELOW.

Due to high winds, part of Trafford Way from the Southern Bus Station roundabout to its junction with St Sepulchre Gate West towards St George’s Bridge was closed yesterday evening - around 100 metres of road.

This is due to safety concerns about the construction of a nearby new medical centre building.

Traffic was diverted along the A18 Carr House Road, Leger Way, Thorne Road and Wheatley Hall Road to St George’s Bridge.

Access to the railway station was via Cleveland Street, Duke Street and West Laithe Gate.

The first sign of a problem yesterday was when part of the Frenchgate Centre began to fall away because of gusts buffeting the shopping precinct.

The incident forced shops all along the street to close, as their entrances were no longer accessible to the public.

A spokesman for the Frenchgate Centre said concerns were first raised at 11am when a manager of a store on St Sepulchre Gate reported seeing movement on the roof above the Panasonic store at the centre.

Shops on St Sepulchre Gate were evacuated as a precaution.

The Jarvis building next to the Frenchgate was also inspected by fire crews and concerns were raised over some air conditioning units which were moving. As a result the Jarvis building was also evacuated.

The Frenchgate’s rooftop car park was also closed, leaving some motorists unable to pick up their vehicles.

Amanda Phillips, manager of the Frenchgate Centre, said: “We have acted on the advice of the fire brigade as the safety of the public is our greatest concern.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused but we believe public safety is the most important factor.”

The closure had a knock-on effect on Doncaster Market, where traders whose stalls open on Mondays had to close up early as custom dried up.

Market trader Andy Summers, one of the last to close, said: “They shut the town off at about 1pm. Trade pretty much dried up after that because they had closed the main thoroughfare.

“After they closed that off, we had no footfall.

“It means we’ve lost half a day’s takings.

“I’ve been here on the market for 33 years and it is the first time we’ve had something like this happen because of wind. Last time we were hit by weather was the snow last year.”

At the Asda store on Bawtry, one customer went to hospital for a check-up after being struck by a falling tile inside the main entrance to the store.

A spokeswoman for the store said she suffered slight injuries after the tile became dislodged from a suspended ceiling.

Wind had lifted the top of the canopy on the main atrium at the store entrance, which had in turn lifted the tiles and dislodged them.

She said: “In terms of injuries, one person was hit by debris as the tiles came down. She was checked out at the store, and took herself off to the hospital to be checked out there.”

Elsewhere in the borough, Church Road in Barnby Dun was closed between Madam Lane and The Grove, because of a tree which had been blown down.

At Town Moor, the fire service received a call about a tree felled by the wind at Goldsborough Road, in Town Moor.

And bosses at Robin Hood Airport reported gusts of 55mph. The runway was used for diverted flights from Leeds Bradford Airport which had been forced to change their plans due to the wind.