Major roads through Wharfedale were closed and cars ended up under water as heavy rain brought serious flooding to many parts of the area this week.

Main roads out of Ilkley and Burley-in-Wharfedale were closed, leading to congestion on smaller routes as the fast-flowing River Wharfe broke its banks on Tuesday.

Parts of East Holmes Field in Ilkley were also under several feet of water, and water flooded across a nearby cricket ground as the town bore the brunt of persistent heavy rain through out the day.

Water levels are now receding and the weather is forecast to improve this weekend.

The disruption began on Tuesday morning. Routes between Ilkley and Otley were hit first, with the closure of the A660 between Otley and Burley-in-Wharfedale and the A65 at Manor Park Bends, between Burley and Ilkley. North of the river, Denton Road in Ilkley was closed.

The A660 remained closed yesterday, between Otley’s Bradford Road roundabout and the Burley bypass, because of a long stretch covered in water at Maple Grange Bends.

The A659 Pool Road, between Otley and Pool-in-Wharfedale, was also closed yesterday. Several vehicles were left abandoned on the road and became submerged.

Flooding was also affecting traffic at the A659 Otley Road junction with the A61 near Harewood.

The river level at Pool Bridge, which came close to reaching the highest recorded there – 3.77 metres – on Tuesday, began falling on Wednesday and was down to 3.25 metres by 8am.

Water thundered under Ilkley’s bridges and swept tree trunks downstream, while some residents living close to the river put out sandbags as a precaution.

It is not believed any homes were affected by the flooding.

On Tuesday, the volume of water hurtling under Otley Bridge was deemed serious enough to close Wharfemeadows Park, where it was spilling onto paths and reaching benches. Leeds City Council said its decision was a precaution, due to regular use by schoolchildren, while river levels remained high.

It remained closed yesterday, but the authority said it was monitoring river levels so it could be re-opened as soon as it was safe.

There were also delays to public transport in Wharfedale on Tuesday and yesterday. Some buses were unable to run to Ilkley on Tuesday.