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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Thank you for joining us today

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

That's it for regular updates from us for today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday. 

In the meantime you can scroll down through the page to read all the days news... any big updates will be posted here overnight and over the weekend.

These are our big stories of the day:

Nick Dempsey in action in Rio
Getty Images

In the meantime keep an eye out for Nick Dempsey who's due on the water this evening in the RS:X windsurfing class. He leads going into day three. Don't forget that gymnast Louis Smith is also in action over the weekend in Rio. Follow it all here.

We'd like to hear from you, too.

View more on twitter

Level crossing latest: Pictures from the scene

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

We've been bringing you news of a collision on a level crossing near Stretham, in which a man sustained serious head injuries. He was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital earlier this afternoon.

Image of rail accident

A total of 115 passengers were on board a King's Cross-bound service, but were safely disembarked from the train around 17:00.

Rail crash scene

It's understood the man's injuries are not life-threatening and rail services will remain disrupted for the rest of the evening.

View more on twitter

Our live coverage for Friday

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it for the time being. Regular update from the Local Live team for Beds, Herts and Bucks have now stopped.

We'll be back on Monday morning at 08:00, hopefully reporting on more medals for Three Counties Olympians.

You can read all the stories we've covered today by scrolling through the news feed. 

Here's a roundup: 

  • Tributes are paid from the football club where a teenager killed on the A43 along with his mother and brother played. 
  • Strikes are planned for Virgin trains that run through Hertfordshire, but the company says services won't be affected. 
  • Taxis in Milton Keynes are safer than ever before, according to the councillor in charge of licensing. 

Our live coverage across the day

Martin Heath

BBC Radio Northampton

That's it for our regular updates for today. Any major new stories will be posted here over the weekend.

We'll be back at 08:00 on Monday with more news, sport, travel and weather from the county.

Have a good evening.

Raunds man leads fights against the 'inglorious 12th'

Martin Heath

BBC Radio Northampton

A man from Raunds who started a petition to ban grouse shooting says it's almost got enough signatures to force a Parliamentary debate.

The "Glorious 12th" of August is traditionally the start of the shooting season and the Countryside Alliance says the sport is good for conservation and the economy.

But Dr Mark Avery, who used to work for the RSPB, says it's contributing to a rapid fall in the number of hen harriers, an endangered species of raptors.

He also claims practices such as the burning of vegetation on grouse moors are damaging the environment.

The petition he started with the TV presenter Chris Packham now has 92,000 signatures and only needs another 8,000 to get the issue on the Parliamentary agenda.

Man with dog shooting grouse
Getty Images

Grouse moors don't work for nature and they don't work in terms of environmental sustainability. That's why we're asking the government to ban grouse shooting."

Dr Mark AveryCampaigner

Also in the news today

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Let's take a look at some other local stories today:

  • There's to be a floral tribute for Capability Brown in Fenstanton. The famed landscape architect was once Lord of the Manor of Fenstanton and Hilton, reports the Hunts Post.
  • The Wisbech Standard reports on the recovery of the man crushed by a hearse near March last week.
  • In the Cambridge News today, a medic says how appalled he is by the state of some public toilets in the city.
  • A dramatic railway crash in 1955 is remembered in today's Peterborough Telegraph

And the Ely Standard celebrates the town's rollerskating stars.

View more on twitter

Rio 2016: Local athletes to cheer for

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

As reported earlier, we already know that MK's Greg Rutherford is going in the long jump tonight, but we have a whole host of other athletes from the Three Counties who are taking part in the Rio Olympics..

Hertfordshire's very won Laura Trott already has a world record to her name but she could also get a medal in the women's team pursuit. You can see her at 14:00 on Saturday. 

Laura Trott
Getty Images

Then on Sunday could Hemel's Max Whitlock add to his medal haul as he goes in the pommel horse final at 17:50?

Max Whitlock
Getty Images

Also keep an eye on Bedford's Phelan Hill going for gold in the Men's Eight rowing final and Amber Hill, who practises at the Churchill Shooting Club in High Wycombe, and is trying to get into the shooting final. 

Phelan Hill

Owen Smith: 'Jeremy is not the only socialist in the Labour Party'

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

The Labour leadership candidate, Owen Smith, has been in Corby this afternoon on the day judges ruled that more than 100,000 members can be excluded from the election.

The party's ruling body, the NEC, won its Appeal Court battle to stop people who have joined since mid-January from deciding between Mr Smith and Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Smith went to Corby's Urgent Care Centre and met local party members during today's visit.

He told me: "Jeremy is not the only guardian of Labour values; there are many of us who want a radical left-wing Labour government. I'm still confident I can persuade enough members, young and old, to vote for me."

Three Labour constituency parties in the county have voted to endorse Mr Corbyn, but their vote doesn't count towards the final result.

Special football tribute planned for teenager killed on A43

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A special tribute is being planned for one of the victims who died on the A43 in Berkshire on Tuesday

Named locally as Ethan Houghton, the 13-year-old played for Dunstable Town FC U14s. He died along with his mother Tracy Houghton, 11-year-old brother Joshua and another 11-year-old. 

Duntable Town Football Club
Dunstable Town Football Club

The club says it's "deeply shocked" by the news and are planning to pay tribute to Ethan at the next first team home match on 20 August by wearing black arm bands, putting a picture of Ethan on the front page of the programme and getting all his under-14 team mates to walk out with the first team players onto the pitch. 

It says Ethan was "a very popular lad who will be sorely missed".

Look to the skies...

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

There's another chance tonight to see the spectacular Perseid meteor shower.

Hundreds of meteors will streak across the sky in the beautiful natural firework show, visible around the world.         

Mark Gallaway from the School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics at the University of Hertfordshire says viewing could be better than last night and the shower could peak by tomorrow night. 

University of Herfordshire

What you can see is a photo taken by the "allsky" camera on the roof of the Bayfordbury Observatory in Hertfordshire.   

Kettering cemetery to be closed earlier to 'stop people camping'

Northamptonshire Telegraph

Officials in Kettering have introduced new restrictions following reports of people camping overnight at the cemetery.

View more on twitter

Seventy years of Towcester history comes to an end

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

Payne's Nurseries has been a familiar sight for anyone travelling into Towcester from the north since 1945.

Originally, it concentrated on supplying tomatoes and cucumbers for local markets, but its flowers became more popular over the years, eventually becoming the most important part of its business.

The nursery hit the headlines in 1998, when it ended up under 3ft (1m) feet of floodwater during the notorious Easter floods, but still managed to open its doors the morning after.

Tomorrow sees the last day of trading.

Ian and Paul Morgan of Payne's Nurseries

Ian Morgan, who runs the nursery with his brother Paul, says recent developments in the town have reduced the number of customers. "On the A5, it's becoming a nightmare, and, with the council building their new offices with no parking, people just don't want to fight their way through traffic to find there's nowhere to park," he said.

Payne's Nurseries interior
Payne's nurseries arch

Mr Morgan has thanked all his customers for their support and says that, once he's emptied the till for the last time on Saturday, he'll look forward to a lie-in on Sunday.

Watch: 'Expectant' news from Wendover Olympian

BBC Sport

Wendover's James Rodwell is part of the rugby sevens squad which took silver for Team GB at the Olympics last night. 

Rodwell played schools rugby in Tring and Berkhamsted, and is now the most capped England sevens player of all time. But after winning the silver in Rio, he made another announcement...

Level crossing collision: What we know so far

Here's a recap:

  • A Land Rover has been struck by a train at a level crossing, just off the A1123 near Stretham
  • Emergency services were called to the scene at 14:34
  • One man in his 40s has been airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital with serious head injuries that are not thought to be life threatening
  • The train was the Great Northern King's Lynn to London King's Cross service and had 115 passengers
  • It was travelling around 90mph (145 km/h) when it struck the car
  • Abellio Greater Anglia, Great Northern and CrossCountry services are all severely delayed, until the end of service today

More updates as we get them. 

For the latest rail information, you can check the latest here, and for travel news elsewhere in Cambridgeshire, you can check the latest on the BBC travel news pages.

Level crossing collision: Land Rover 'pretty mangled'

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

We've been bringing you news of a collision involving a car and a train between Cambridge and Ely this afternoon.

A Land Rover was struck by a King's Cross-bound service at Nairn level crossing, just off the A1123 near Stretham.

BBC cameraman Phil Gaze, who's at the scene, said the vehicle was "pretty mangled" and lying on its roof in a ditch at the side of the line.

He said: "The train itself has stopped about a quarter of a mile down the line and I can see that the passengers are being disembarked on to another service."

Virgin says timetable 'won't be affected' by strike

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Virgin says its timetable will be "unaffected" during the walkouts planned by the RMT union

The firm, which operates services through Hertfordshire, said it was making changes to customer-facing roles "which will see a single person take responsibility for the customer experience on our trains".

It said the union "walked out of talks" on Thursday after "refusing to enter further discussions".

Virgin train

With our guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies, no impact on safety and a full timetable in place during the walk-outs, these strikes will cost RMT members pay for no reason, and we urge the union to rejoin us around the negotiating table.

David HorneMD Virgin Trains East Coast

Rail minister condemns planned train strikes

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The rail minister, Paul Maynard, has condemned the RMT union, after it announced that members who work for Virgin Trains East Coast, which run through Stevenage, are to hold three 24-hour strikes this month, including one on Bank Holiday Monday. 

Virgin train
Getty Images

The RMT says Virgin provoked the strike by trying to bulldoze through a package of measures that would destroy jobs and harm working conditions. 

But Mr Maynard said the union appeared determined to try to wreck the daily lives of passengers. 

Weather update: Becoming cloudy overnight

BBC Weather Watchers

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher 'Cathamesdogfor this view taken in Weedon Bec, near Daventry, where the temperature was 19C (66F).

View of garden in Weedon

After a fine and dry evening for many across Northamptonshire it will become increasingly cloudy overnight, with a little rain or drizzle developing by morning and a minimum overnight of 15C (59F).

Get more details on the forecast where you live from BBC Weather.  

Level crossing collision: Injuries 'not life-threatening'

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

A man has been airlifted to hospital following a collision between a train and a car at Nairns Level Crossing, near Stretham, just after 14:30. The man is believed to have been the driver of the car, and his injuries are not life-threatening.

Car involved in level crossing incident

British Transport Police has been tweeting the following:

View more on twitter

Volunteers from Luton at Muslim conference aim to prevent radicalisation

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Safdar Ali and his family from Luton are volunteering this weekend at Jalsa Salana, the largest Muslim conference in the UK. 

The conference will advise Muslims how to tackle extremism, radicalisation and the threat of terrorism in their communities. 

View more on twitter

Owen Smith responds to leadership vote ruling during Corby visit

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith, who's been in Corby this afternoon, says today's court ruling on voting rights doesn't change anything for him.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that Labour's ruling body, the NEC, can stop new members voting in the forthcoming leadership election.  

More than 100,000 people who have joined the party since mid-January won't be able to take part in the ballot.

Owen Smith talking to Labour members in Corby

Mr Smith, who is challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership, visited Corby's Urgent Care Centre and met local Labour party members. 

He said: "I still have to get around the country and persuade all of those members, young and old, to help save the Labour Party.  

"Everybody in the Labour Party knows we desperately need a Labour government, but we've got to win in places like Corby."

Luton family spreading message of 'love and peace' at largest Muslim conference in UK

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Today I'm in Hampshire at Jalsa Salana, the largest Muslim conference in the UK. 

About 30,000 Ahmadiyya Muslims are expected from across the UK and the world this weekend and I've come to meet and talk to Safdar Ali and his extended family from Luton. 

He is volunteering on the sound stage. 

He says he's here to spread "love, peace and true Islam to the world".

Flags at Jalsa Salana

Floral tributes laid for Bedfordshire family killed in road crash

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Floral tributes have been left outside the home of a Bedfordshire mother who was killed along with three children on the A43 in Berkshire on Tuesday. 

The 45-year-old has been named locally as Tracy Houghton from Dunstable and worked for Central Bedfordshire Council. 

She died along with her sons, Ethan, 13 and Joshua, 11. An 11-year-old girl from Bedfordshire also died. 

People in the area say they're still coming to terms with the terrible news. 

Floral tributes
Home of Tracy Houghton

Public urged to look out for 'slave' workers

Martin Heath

BBC Radio Northampton

People in Northamptonshire are being urged to look out for signs that workers are being used as modern "slaves"

Eleven people have been rescued from conditions of modern slavery in Northamptonshire alone so far this year.

Det Sgt Ashley Turner from Northamptonshire Police said exploitation could be happening anywhere in the county in a huge variety of environments, including food factories and car washes.

"We've been on certain car wash sites in the county where they're not provided with the correct materials or clothing; they're working 12-hour days for £2.50 an hour which, in today's world, is just not acceptable," he said.

Signs of exploitation include staff looking unhappy, unclean or over-worked.

Slavery "victim" sitting on squalid bed

Level crossing crash latest: Rail delays

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Here's the latest regarding rail travel on the line between Cambridge and Ely.

Abellio Greater Anglia, CrossCountry and Great Northern services all use the line. It's believed that a Great Northern service was involved in the crash.

More details of alternative routes are available on the National Rail website.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

You can get the latest travel news for Cambridgeshire here.

'Prayers' for Bedfordshire family killed on A43

People who knew the Dunstable mother and her two sons who died in a car crash on the A43 on Tuesday have been talking about their shock after hearing the news. 

Simon Reilly, from Dunstable Town Football Club, has tweeted this tribute: 

View more on twitter

Curtain up at The Castle

Martin Heath

BBC Radio Northampton

Politicians in Wellingborough have welcomed news that the town's theatre will reopen next week.

The lights went out in June after the council terminated its contract with the charity that ran the venue.

A theatre management specialist has been brought in to get it up and running again.

The leader of the opposition on the borough council, Labour's Andrew Scarborough, said: "I join all members in supporting its opening. 

"The venue is an invaluable asset for the cultural well-being of Wellingborough and we look forward to working with all involved as the venue moves forward."

Castle Theatre in spring
Castle Theatre

Rio 2016: Greg gets ready to jump to it

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

All eyes will be on Milton Keynes long jumper Greg Rutherford tonight. 

He'll start the defence of his long jump title at about 21:20 in Rio

He goes into the event as holder of all four major long jump titles (Olympic, Commonwealth, European and World). 

Greg Rutherford

He'll also be in action in the early hours of Sunday morning, in the final - if he gets through, of course!   

Man in 40s injured in level crossing crash

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

We've been reporting that a man has been badly injured after a train struck a vehicle on the rail line between Cambridge and Ely, on the A1123 between Stretham and Wicken.

A man in his 40s has been airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital. He was earlier treated at the scene for a serious head injury.

Abellio Greater Anglia, CrossCountry and Great Northern services all use the line, though it's not clear which service was involved.

View more on twitter

Wellingborough theatre to re-open next week

Martin Heath

BBC Radio Northampton

Wellingborough Castle Theatre, which closed in June, will re-open next week.

The borough council terminated its contract with the charity that ran the venue in March and the curtain fell two months later.

Now, the council has appointed a theatre management specialist to get the venue up and running and make it available for local groups to hire. Some touring performances have also been scheduled, including Snow White on Ice at Christmas.

The council says it has received an "extraordinary" number of approaches of support from the local community since March.

Wellingborough Castle Theatre

I urge customers and users to support the venue as the council moves it forward into a new and exciting phase."

Martin GriffithsWellingborough Borough Council leader

Level crossing collision latest

More on the news that a car has been struck by a train between Cambridge and Ely.

We understand the car was struck on the level crossing on the Newmarket Road, near Stretham.

One man is being treated at the scene for a serious head injury.

We'll keep you updated.

Rio 2016: Wendover-born Rodwell claims a silver

BBC Sport

Wendover-born James Rodwell was part of the history-making GB rugby sevens team that won silver in Rio last night. 

It was the first time the sport has been played at the Olympics and Rodwell, who played schools rugby in Tring and Berkhamsted, has become the most-capped England sevens player of all time. 

After beating South Africa in the semis, the team lost to Fiji by 43-7. 

James Rodwell
Getty Images

BreakingCar struck by train on level crossing

News is reaching us that a car has been struck by a train on a level crossing between Cambridge and Ely.

One man is being treated at the scene for a serious head injury.

The emergency services were called just after 14:30.

We'll bring you further updates as soon as we know more.

Huntingdon Carnival returns after 14-year break

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

The Huntingdon Carnival will get under way tomorrow, 14 years after it was last held. The event ceased because there weren't enough volunteers to organise and staff the event.

This Saturday there will be a parade, including Thomas the Tank Engine, a pipe band, Noddy, and a Brazilian theme. 

Huntingdon Carnival Queen Isabella du Toit

Isabella du Toit will be the carnival queen and she says she can't wait to wear her gown and crown, telling us: "I'm excited and looking forward to it".

Her mother says she "will do us proud".

Labour leadership candidate visits Corby

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Owen Smith, who is challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership, has arrived in Corby on the campaign trail.

He's visiting the town's Urgent Care Centre and meeting prominent local party members and health staff.

Constituency parties in Northampton, South Northamptonshire and Wellingborough have voted this week to support Mr Corbyn, although their selections don't count towards the final outcome.

Owen Smith meeting local labour members

Better drivers will make more money, says licensing boss

Craig Lewis

BBC News

The chairman of Milton Keynes' licensing committee, Catriona Morris, told me she believes allowing only the best drivers licenses will make the passengers' experience better - and help make taxi drivers more money.

Ms Morris took over the role following the scandal of August 2014 when it was revealed serial rapist Nadeem Ahmed Kiani had been given a licence in 2011.

Passengers getting into a taxi
Getty Images

She said: "I often say, 'I am not a job agency'. It is about making sure we have the best drivers. Then more people will get into vehicles and the drivers will make more money.

"The vast majority of drivers get that."

More on Cobblers' new signing

Joe Townsend

BBC Radio Northampton sport

As we reported earlier, Northampton Town have signed the winger Emmanuel Sonupe until the end of the season.

He's spent most of the pre-season period with the Cobblers after being released by Tottenham in June.

The 20-year-old is the 12th player to be signed by the Northampton manager, Rob Page, and is available for tomorrow's League One fixture against Charlton.

Emmanuel Sonupe
Getty Images

Weather: Warm sunny day

BBC Weather

As this stunning photo from Weather Watcher Gini in Bovingdon shows, it's certainly been a warm and sunny day in the Three Counties. 

The good news is the sun will stay around this afternoon although it will at times become hazy. 


Maximum temperature: 24C (75F).

Funeral of dancing teacher and Len Goodman's 'mentor' takes place

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

The funeral of popular dance teacher Dereck Brown has been taking place today at Peterborough Cathedral. He taught generations of people how to dance at his Lincoln Road studio - including Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman and dancer Anton du Beke.

Dereck Brown and his wife
Peterborough Telegraph

His friend, Alan Dexter, who he had known for almost 60 years, told us: "He tried in vain to get me dancing. He was a great man popular in the community, so sadly missed."  

Len Goodman, speaking recently about the news of his death, said: "They are so few and far between, these really great dancing teachers. He was one of the gentlest, kindest and most professional people I ever met.

"It was his principles and the way he taught that I've used for nearly 50 years. He was truly my mentor."

Committee chairman: 'I want drivers prepared to walk away from money to make sure people are safe'

Craig Lewis

BBC News

I've been talking to the chairman of the licensing committee at Milton Keynes Council about how things have changed since August 2014, when it was discovered serial rapist Nadeem Kiani was working in the city

Councillor Catriona Morris told me she was very careful about the type of person given a licence: "One of the things I say to them is 'What would you do if a drunk girl, in a short skirt and t-shirt - which she is entitled to wear - gets in your taxi?'

"I want to know they are not going to take advantage of her, or if she hasn't got enough money that they are prepared to get her somewhere safe and walk away from their £5."

Taxi sign