Chaos as winds batter the area

This Is Lancashire: The fallen Christmas tree in Radcliffe The fallen Christmas tree in Radcliffe

HIGH winds battered the borough last week, causing chaos as roads were brought to a standstill and damage was caused to buildings and trees.

The storm swept across Greater Manchester on Thursday – with firefighters dealing with double their usual amount of calls.

Motorists around Ramsbottom endured severe hold-ups after an articulated lorry overturned on the M66 shortly after 1pm, sparking delays of more than two hours.

The motorway was closed northbound from Junction One at Ramsbottom to the A56 at Edenfield while firefighters freed the 60-year-old lorry driver from his vehicle and was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Diverted traffic from the incident had a knock-on effect – causing heavy congestion in Bury town centre and in Manchester Road, Whitefield.

Earlier on Thursday morning, one lane of the M66 had been blocked northbound between Ramsbottom and Heap Bridge after a tree fell on to the carriageway.

A fallen tree caused hold-ups after it blocked Ainsworth Road near the Black Bull Hotel in Bury, and there were reports of bird spikes blowing off buildings near The Rock.

In Radcliffe, the town’s Christmas tree was blown over and snapped in two and a replacement was put up by Bury Council earlier this week.

Elsewhere in Radcliffe, there was structural damage to the swimming pool and fitness suite in Green Street, which was closed after several windows were dislodged.

The gym, teaching pool and car park at the back of the building have now re-opened but main pool swimming lessons have been transferred to Castle Leisure Centre until further notice.

A garden wall was destroyed in a house in Newlands Drive in Prestwich after a tree fell in the garden and several trees were reported to fallen in Whitefield, one of which blocked a cycle path.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service received around 150 calls between 6am and 5pm – around half of which were weather-related.

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