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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

St Albans car fire death: Body was of woman in her 30s

A body found at the scene of a burning car in St Albans on Thursday was that of a woman in her 30s, police have confirmed.

Hixberry Lane, St Albans
South Beds News Agency

Officers were called to Hixberry Lane, near Highfield Park, at about 09:30

The death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage and investigations are ongoing.

Roads closed due to flooding

The River Great Ouse has burst its banks in parts of Bedfordshire.

The bridge in Harrold and Radwell Road in nearby Radwell are not passable, leading to diversions for traffic and changes for local bus services:

  • The number 25 Grant Palmer bus is not serving Harrold but is stopping in Carlton.
  • Stagecoach's number 50 Bedford-Kettering bus is not stopping at Radwell and Felmersham, instead diverting through Milton Ernest and into Sharnbrook.
The bridge in Harrold
Bikeboy/Geograph

Wizz Air signs deal for new aircraft

Budget airline Wizz Air, which set up its UK base in Luton in June, has signed a deal with Airbus for 146 new aircraft worth more than £13bn.

Wizz Air plane
PA

The agreement will enable it to renew its existing fleet, provide additional capacity for further growth and offer lower fares, the company said.

They will be delivered between 2021 and 2026.

Chief executive Jozsef Varadi said the order would "help us to continue to drive our operating costs even lower as we aim to become the absolute cost leader in Europe."

Wizz Air recently said it would bolster its operations at Luton Airport by adding four new aircraft, bringing new routes and creating 150 jobs.

Woman in Christmas Day crash 'the brightest light'

The family of a woman killed in a crash in Bedfordshire on Christmas Day have described her as the "most caring and generous mum and nanny in the world".

Gloria Jones, 71, of Gwent, died on Monday when her blue Citroen C3 collided with a beige Vauxhall Astra on the A421 between junction 13 of the M1, and Milton Keynes.

"She was the kindest and brightest light. She loved everyone, and she was dearly loved by everyone. We are completely lost without her," her family said in a statement.

She leaves two children and four grandchildren, aged from 11 months to 12.

Police are appealing for information about the crash, which happened at 15:05.

Cars seized in hare coursing clampdown

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Cambridgeshire Police has published images of some of the cars seized in connection with illegal hare coursing in the county this month.

Nine cars in total were taken by the Rural Crime Action Team in the days before Christmas.

cars seized by police
Cambridgeshire Police

Hare coursing is the pursuit of hares with dogs, which chase the animal by sight, rather than scent.

It has been illegal in the UK since 2005.

Criticism over 'bus stop screens' plan

Cambridge News

People living in Swavesey say they'd rather have more buses on the roads than proposed "real-time" bus stop screens installed - at a cost of £54,000.

Family pays tribute to A1307 crash victim

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Tributes have been paid to the woman who died in a crash on the A1307 in Cambridgeshire days before Christmas.

Gail Brown
Cambridgeshire Police

Gail Brown, 56, of Lowry Close, Haverhill, died in the three-vehicle crash at Bartlow - between Linton and Horseheath - on 22 December.

In a statement, her husband Ian, parents Pat and Michael, sister Lorraine and nephew David, said: "We are totally devastated at the loss of our beautiful Gail.

"Words can’t express how we feel at the moment, but we take immense comfort from all the messages of support we have received from the many, many people who knew and loved her. She will be sorely missed by so many people."

A woman arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving will appear in court in the New Year.

A1307 crash scene
BBC

Missing boy from Wales may have travelled to Northampton

Concerns are growing for a teenager from Wales who police say may have made his way to Northampton.

Leroy Hudson, 15, was last seen at his home in Whitland, Carmarthenshire, on Thursday, 14 December.

Officers say they are becoming increasing concerned for his welfare are are urging him to get in touch.

Leroy Hudson
Northamptonshire Police

Driver dies in Christmas Day collision

A driver has died in a road accident on the A421 in Bedfordshire on Christmas Day.

It happened at about 15:05 between J13 of the M1 and Milton Keynes and involved a blue Citroen C3 travelling away from Milton Keynes and a beige Vauxhall Astra travelling in the opposite direction.

The driver of the Citroen was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bedfordshire Police have called for witnesses to come forward.

Luton and Dunstable Hospital parking among the most expensive

Luton and Dunstable Hospital has been named among the most expensive in the country for parking, according to figures released this morning.

Luton and Dunstable Hospital
South Beds News Agency

It charges £3 for a one-hour stay, the joint-seventh most expensive charge in England.

The highest charges are at the Royal Surrey county hospital in Guildford, which charges £4.00 per hour.

The hospital said the rates were agreed after a consultation exercise and had not changed in six years.

It said income was used to help cover the costs of providing and maintaining car parks, and that any additional money was invested back into patient care and improving the hospital estate.

Luton Airport: Open but some flights 'may be delayed'

Luton Airport has said that it is open this morning and the runway is operational but some flights may still be subject to delay.

Passengers are being advised to check with their airline on the status of their flight.

View more on twitter

Weather: Ice warning issued

The Met Office has issued a Yellow Severe Weather warning for the East of England for ice, up to 11:00.

It said icy patches developed overnight and this morning on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths, as well as where showers continued to fall washing off treatment.

Some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces are possible.

View more on twitter

Northampton General's one-hour parking rate one of most expensive

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

The hourly parking rate at Northampton General Hospital is one of the most expensive in the country, according to figures released this morning.

It costs £3.20 an hour to park at NGH - putting it fourth behind the Royal Surrey in Guildford (£4) Hereford County (£3.50) and Bristol Royal Infirmary, at £3.40 an hour.

Northampton General was one of 111 out of 120 NHS trusts across England to respond to a Freedom of Information request from the Press Association, which found that NHS hospitals made a record £174m in the last year from charging patients, visitors and staff for car parking.

Northampton General
BBC

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Patients and families should not have to deal with the added stress of complex and unfair parking charges.

"NHS organisations are locally responsible for the methods used to charge, and we want to see them coming up with flexible options that put patients and their families first."

Tributes to police dog Benji

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

The combined Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police dog unit is mourning the death of one of its former four-legged detectives, PD Benji.

Benji was retired in 2013 after a career searching out explosives.

View more on twitter

The unit has more than 30 handlers and 40 dogs to detect drugs, cash and ammunition in some of the three forces' most dangerous police operations.

Man found unconscious in Peterborough phone booth

Peterborough Telegraph

A man remains in a serious condition in hospital after he was found unconscious in a phone booth this morning in the Gladstone area of the city, reports the Peterborough Telegraph.

Police break up 15-hour illegal rave in Huntingdon

Cambridge News

It took police 15 hours to break up an illegal gathering of 200-400 ravers in the Glebe Road area of Huntingdon early yesterday after local complaints, reports the Cambridge News.

Your pictures: Wet and slushy across Cambridgeshire

BBC Weather Watchers

A cold front of the wet stuff has been drifting across the county today - but it's very wet, so do take care as temperatures are expected to plummet later.

Here's what our faithful Weather Watchers have been waking up to this Wednesday. This was the sleety window view in Ramsey Saint Mary's from Alpaca Lady:

Ramsey St Marys
BBC

It was as cold as it looked over the water in St Ives, too - this one from Walking With Bertie:

Walking with Bertie
BBC

Staying in St Ives, Bryher's Dad caught this, rather more peaceful, white scene:

Bryher's Dad
BBC

And sometimes it's better to just stay in the warm inside - this is Whittlesey, from Quizman:

Quizman
BBC

Snow returns to Beds, Herts and Bucks

Snow returned to Beds, Herts and Bucks this morning - including a couple of centimetres on the Chilterns at Great Missenden.

Chilterns at Great Missenden
BBC
Chilterns at Great Missenden
BBC

Meanwhile, in Dunstable things were looking a little more volatile in the brisk wind.

Dunstable
BBC

And here are some more images from our Weather Watchers today.

Bishop's Stortford
BBC
Letchworth Garden City
BBC
Stevenage
BBC

Piece of Hatfield history set to return to town

Welwyn Hatfield Times

The well-known Pearl statue is returning to Hatfield after more than 1,000 residents took part in an online vote.

Man 'critical' after being knocked down in South Mimms

A man has suffered "very serious injuries" after being hit by a car during the early hours of today in South Mimms, police have said.

Officers said three men were walking home from a night out in St Albans, towards Potters Bar on the B556 St Albans Road, at about 05:35 when the man in his early 30s was hit by a green Fiat Ulysse.

He was airlifted to St Mary’s Hospital in London, where his condition is described as critical.

The driver of the car has been spoken to by officers.

Serg Will Hood said: "We are particularly keen to speak to a male motorist who stopped at the scene, but left to go to work.

"We are also appealing for any other motorists who were using the road or saw what happened this morning to come forward so we can establish exactly what happened."

View more on twitter

Travel: Serious collision closes St Albans Road at South Mimms

St Albans Road between South Mimms and London Colney is closed due to a serious collision. Hertfordshire Police expects it to be shut for some time.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Rail travel: Horses cause delays between Kettering and Bedford

Horses on the railway line near Wellingborough are causing disruption to trains on East Midlands Train services on the Sheffield/Nottingham/London route between Kettering and Bedford.

Network Rail is attending to them but all trains on the route will run at reduced speed between Kettering and Bedford, to allow trains to run safely past the horses. This will delay services by up to 30 minutes.

The operator said there was no estimate as to when normal train services would resume.

Heavy snow between Market Harborough and Kettering caused some delays to East Midlands Trains earlier but Network Rail has now assessed the area affected and trains are now able to run normally between these stations.

View more on twitter

Today's weather: Sleet and snow gradually clearing

BBC Weather

Snow is falling across much of Beds, Herts, Bucks and Northamptonshire this morning and the Met Office has a yellow weather warning in place until 11:00.

The outbreaks of rain, sleet and wet snow will gradually clear to the east and it will become drier and brighter this afternoon.

It will still feel cold in the brisk wind.

Maximum temperature: 3C (37F).

View more on twitter

Travel: 'Multiple collisions' near Kettering

Snow is falling across much of Northamptonshire this morning and the Met Office has a yellow weather warning in place until 11:00.

Northamptonshire Highways said its gritting crews were out on the main routes from the early hours of the morning but there are reports of problems on the roads.

Highways England said there had been "multiple collisions" on the A14 near Kettering and conditions were "challenging".

Lorry driver Simon Talbot told BBC News he had been stuck on the A14 for three hours.

View more on twitter

Travel: Buses halted due to weather

Stagecoach Midlands says it has not been able to send any buses out of the Corby depot this morning but will be "monitoring the road".

View more on twitter

Travel: Luton Airport advises passengers to check with airlines

Luton Airport has advised passengers to check with their airline for the status of their flight.

It says sleet and snow is forecast until 14.00 so passengers are advised to monitor traffic and travel updates before setting off for the airport.

It said it would continue to update its website if there were any "significant changes to conditions" at the airport.

View more on twitter