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  1. Updates on Friday, 23 June 2017
  2. Boy still in serious condition after 'hit and run'
  3. Premier Inn 'concerned' about potential hotel fire risk
  4. Male hospital staff could be told to 'start wearing dresses'
  5. Thameslink service criticised in report
  6. Parents of disabled children to challenge care centre closure
  7. Luton Airport closes for runway runners
  8. Punter poised to win £1m with 'incredible' Ascot bet
  9. Muslim school 'mismanaged' by trustees

Live Reporting

By Stuart Bailey

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Stuart Bailey

BBC News

That's the end of our live updates for Herts, Beds and Bucks.

Any breaking stories will appear on this page overnight and don't forget you can scroll back to see the stories we've been covering today, including:

  • Boy still in serious condition after "hit and run" in Luton
  • Thameslink service criticised in an official report
  • Luton Airport closes for runway runners
  • Male hospital staff in Watford could be told to start wearing dresses

Have a good weekend.

Evening forecast: Overcast night

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It'll be a rather cloudy night with an odd spot of rain and moderate west to south westerly winds. It’ll be mild with temperatures falling to around 15C (59F).

Weather forecast

Saturday will remain rather cloudy, with some very patchy light rain in the morning. A few bright or sunny spells should eventually develop and there may be a few afternoon showers too.

There’ll be a mainly moderate south-westerly wind and highs around 23C (73F).

Ee-awkward moment for jaywalking donkeys

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Here are two cops bucking the trend and showing it's not all donkey work in the police force.

Officers from Thames Valley Police rescued these two donkeys after they went for an afternoon stroll on the A418 in Buckinghamshire.

As you can see, they've been safely returned to their stables. Ee-awww, aren't they cute?

View more on twitter

Punter's £1m bet falls at the final hurdle

A horse-racing punter who placed a seven race accumulator bet at Royal Ascot has lost out on a £1m payout after his final prediction proved wrong.

The £40 bet was placed earlier this week at Ladbrokes in Dunstable.

The first six predictions all came in, leaving the £1m payout resting on an 8/1-shot in the Commonwealth Cup this afternoon.

But the punter's hopeful Bound for Nowhere came fourth, with Caravaggio winning the race.

Afternoon weather: Cloudy and breezy

BBC Weather

We have a rather cloudy and breezy afternoon in store.

Though mainly dry, there will be a few outbreaks of rain possible from time to time.

Highs of 18C (64F)

Weather in Dunstable.

BBC Weather has more details.

In the papers

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Here's a look at some other stories making the headlines today:

Muslim school 'mismanaged' by trustees

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

The trustees of a Muslim school in Luton have been held responsible for its mismanagement and misconduct of staff.

The Rabia School was reported to the Charity Commission after it was discovered men and women teachers were sitting with a screen between them during staff meetings.

The school, in Bury Park, had already come to the attention of Ofsted when inspectors found boys were being taught core subjects such as English and Science, while girls were being taught to knit and sew.

Rabia School in Luton.

A report by the Charity Commission has now concluded that the trustees repeatedly failed to submit the charity's accounts and didn't comply with the action plan issued in September 2015.

It says the school is still failing to meet the required educational standards of an independent school, but the trustees have taken appropriate steps to address the shortfalls initially identified.

Severe disruption: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe disruption, between J15 for M4 and J16 for M40 affecting J14 for A3113 Airport Way.

M25 Berkshire - Slow traffic on M25 clockwise between J15 M4 and J16 M40, because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J14, A3113 (Heathrow Terminal 4).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Your pictures: Curious clouds

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

We're no strangers to cloud in the UK but it does seem to have been particularly picturesque this morning, as captured by our BBC Weather Watchers:

Cloudy formation over a field in Standon.
Cloud formation in Hitchin.
Cloud formation over Luton.
Wispy clouds in Stevenage.
Light cloud in otherwise blue skies in Stevenage.

Punter poised to win £1m with 'incredible' Ascot bet

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

It's going to be an anxious few hours for someone in Bedfordshire, who could become a millionaire this afternoon.

At the start of the week they placed a £40 accumulator bet on seven horses winning their races at Ascot.

The first six selections all came in and now the £1m payout rests on 8/1-shot Bound For Nowhere in today's 15:40 race.

Horses at Ascot

The punter, at Ladbrokes in Dunstable, has already beaten these odds:

  • Lady Aurelia 7/2
  • Barney Roy 5/2
  • Qemah 5/2
  • Highland Reel 11/4
  • Coronet 7/1
  • Big Orange 8/1

Nicola McGeady, from Ladbrokes, said: "This punter has made incredible predictions already and today his hopes of becoming a millionaire all comes down to one horse, Bound To Nowhere.

"After making such amazing predictions so far, we can only wish him the best of luck."

Boy still in serious condition after 'hit and run'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A boy who was airlifted to hospital after a "hit and run" in Luton yesterday remains in a serious but stable condition.

Emergency services were called to reports of a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian on Hibbert Street at about 14:50.

Bedfordshire Police said a dark-coloured Vauxhall failed to stop at the scene.

Hibbert Street in Luton.

Video: Luton Airport runway run

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

As we reported earlier, Luton Airport's runway was closed this morning to host a race for the first time.

About 50 fundraisers took part in the event, and I went along to meet some of them:

Thameslink service criticised in report

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

A government report into the way train company Govia runs troubled Southern Rail has also highlighted problems with the company's Thameslink service.

It says some off-peak services through Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire should be scrapped and that the depot at Bedford can't cope with 12-carriage trains.

A Thameslink train.

The report follows a long series of strikes by Southern Rail staff and refers to problems that Govia has had since taking over the Thameslink franchise.

Not all of the recommendations for the Thameslink line have been published - the Department for Transport says they're commercially sensitive.

However, the report does say that by cancelling underused trains between 12:00 and 14:00, it would provide more trains for the rush hour and would allow timetables to recover if there were problems earlier in the day.

The report also highlights problems with the depot at Bedford because the longer trains block the depot's entrance.

Parents of disabled children to challenge care centre closure

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Parents affected by the closure of a care centre for severely disabled children in Watford are due to meet health bosses today.

Nascot Lawn Respite Centre is due to be closed in October.

David Joseph, whose son Dominic uses the centre, said: "Dom has about 100 to 150 epileptic seizures every month - pretty much every night of his life.

"He also has a very profound learning disability so, although he's now 18-years-old, he functions as if he's just a few months old.

"The centre has always been well led and when we take our sons and daughters there we can actually relax for a period of time."

Nascot Lawn Respite Centre

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: "Respite care centres like this are invaluable to families with disabled children.

"I've written to the CCG demanding assurances that all possible options have been looked at, and I have also asked for details of the alternative provision that will be provided."

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group said the closure of the centre was necessary because of its "serious financial situation", and that the focus must be on spending on services it has a legal duty to provide.

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J25 for A10 and J24 for A111 affecting J26 for A121.

M25 Greater London - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of a broken down vehicle. Congestion to J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Luton Airport closes for runway runners

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Jogging down the runway of an international airport is not something you get to do every day.

But about 50 fundraisers were given the chance to do just that, at London Luton Airport this morning.

Fortunately for them the runway was closed to flights between 04:00 and 05:00.

Runner running down London Luton Airport runway.
London Luton Airport

They were raising money for the Keech Hospice, which supports adults and children with life-limited illnesses across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

The runway makes for a decent running track. It's flat, smooth and long, at 1.3 miles (2.2km).

The runners ran the full length of the runway and back.

Runner running down London Luton Airport runway.
London Luton Airport

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London clockwise severe disruption, between J14 for A3113 Airport Way and J15 for M4.

M25 Greater London - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J14, A3113 (Heathrow Terminal 4) and J15 M4, because of a rolling road-block.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Male hospital staff could be told to 'start wearing dresses'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A porter at Watford General Hospital has been suspended for rolling up his trousers on Wednesday, the hottest day of the year so far.

Michael Wood (pictured) says permission to wear three-quarter-length trousers was denied by his employer, Medirest, a private contractor at the hospital.

Michael Wood

Now a union leader has threatened to tell staff to start wearing dresses and skirts.

Mick Dooley, from the GMB union, said: "We're hoping to get round the table to get Michael back to work.

"Failing that, the chief exec of Watford General Hospital is going to see her porters wearing dresses because we're going to tell them to start wearing dresses and skirts."


A spokesperson for Medirest, a private contractor at the hospital, said: "The health and safety of our colleagues is always our number one priority.

"It would be inappropriate for us to comment on an individual case where an investigation is ongoing.

"We maintain an open dialogue with our people on such issues, however, due to the nature of their job and health and safety requirements, it is important that porters wear appropriate uniform at all times."

Severe accident: A411 Hertfordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A411 Hertfordshire both ways severe accident, at A4008 Aldenham Road.

A411 Hertfordshire - A411 Chalk Hill in Watford blocked and queuing traffic at the A4008 Aldenham Road junction, because of an accident. Diversion in operation - buses 142 and 258 re-routed.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Premier Inn 'concerned' about potential hotel fire risk

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Bedfordshire-based Premier Inn says it is "extremely concerned" about cladding on three of its hotels.

Cladding is thought to have contributed to the rapid spread of fire at Grenfell Tower, in which at least 79 people are believed to have died.

Until now, safety fears over cladding have centred on council high-rises.

Premier Inn logo on a sign.

Premier Inn's owner, Whitbread, which has bases in Dunstable and Luton, has told BBC Newsnight that cladding on its hotels in Maidenhead, Brentford and Tottenham did not appear to comply with government guidance for tall buildings.

However, it said it did appear to be a less flammable type than that used at Grenfell Tower.

The hotel chain said an independent expert has assured them that the hotels were safe to stay open given their "robust" safety measures, including fire detectors and smoke alarms in every room.

The hotels do not operate a "stay put" policy and have multiple means of escape, it said.

Weather: Cloudy and cool but remaining mostly dry

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Dry, cloudy and breezy with a few sunny spells possible throughout the day.

It's going to feel cooler and fresher than in recent days.

Maximum Temperature: 22C (72F)

More details from BBC Weather.

Good morning

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Hello and welcome to Friday's live updates for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

We made it through the heatwave and now the weekend is just around the corner!

We'll be here from now until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel.

First up, we'll have a full weather forecast shortly.

Sunrise in Standon

You can contact us at any time via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Severe disruption: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe disruption, at J15 for M4.

M25 Berkshire - M25 lane closed on exit slip road to the Eastbound M4 clockwise at J15 M4, because of an earlier overturned lorry and barrier repairs. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from all of us here on the local live news feed for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

We'll be back with yet more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday morning.

You can read all the stories we've covered by scrolling through the page.

Have a great evening everyone.

Child seriously hurt in 'hit and run'

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

A child is in a critical condition after a "hit and run" in Luton this afternoon.

Bedfordshire Police says the child was airlifted to hospital after being hit by a vehicle on Hibbert Street, at about 14:50. The vehicle failed to stop.

The road remains closed while investigations continue.

Hibbert Street

Regeneration of Wolverton railway works to go ahead next month

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The £100m regeneration of the Wolverton railway works is set start next month.

The first building to be constructed will be a Lidl supermarket on Stratford Road, which should open next spring.

Nearly 400 homes, a community centre and public spaces will also be built on the site, and will sit side by side with existing railway businesses.

Wolverton works were built in 1838 and it became one of the most important railway depots in the country, with part of the site still being used today, although many old buildings are in a poor state and are not fit for purpose.

Artist's impression of Wolverton works regeneration
Purcell Architects

School bus 'did not jump level crossing lights'

Matt Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

Earlier we reported that an investigation has been launched after it was claimed that a school bus jumped a level crossing on Marston road in Liddlingon.

Central Bedfordshire Council has now said that the bus did not cross "when they weren't supposed to".

This is after it watched CCTV footage from the bus company, which it said was "happy to cooperate".

Marston Road level crossing

The crossing hasn't been working on three consecutive afternoons this week after it developed a fault, preventing its barrier from closing.

A man died in January when the car he was in was hit by a London Midland train at the same crossing.

The council said: "Network Rail are aware of the issue with the lights and have people down there to direct the traffic flow, so whilst some cars are going through the crossing they are doing this whilst directed".

Watford company involved in testing high rise cladding

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

It's been confirmed that a Hertfordshire company is involved with testing samples of external cladding, on Grenfell Tower and other high-rises, after the fire that left 79 people dead or missing, presumed dead.

Building Research Establishment (BRE) has four laboratories in Garston, near Watford, which specialise in fire safety testing.

In the Commons today, the Prime Minister Theresa May said the company was "testing the cladding on the building and they expect to make the results of this public, I think in the next 48 hours".

Grenfell Tower

BRE said: "Over the past few days BRE has been working closely with the government and other stakeholders to determine how best to support the owners, operators and those living in similar tower blocks around the UK who are seeking information on their safety."

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, between J24 for A111 and J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of a broken down white van.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Investigations to be carried out on Bedfordshire's high rises

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

Around 600 high rises across England are using similar cladding to Grenfell Tower, Downing Street estimates.

Tower blocks across the UK are being examined after the London blaze, which left 79 people dead or missing.

Locally, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed that there are 73 buildings more than six storeys high in the county and it's working with local authorities to carry out a joint investigation programme.

A spokesman for the service said: "At present none of these tower blocks have been identified with potentially combustible cladding and no material has been sent away for testing.

"The lead on this testing is being taken by local authorities who have been given funds by the government to undertake this work."

Bedford block of flats
Malc McDonald/Geograph

Severe disruption: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe disruption, at J15 for M4 affecting J12 for M3.

M25 Berkshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M25 clockwise at J15 M4, because of a broken down lorry. Congestion to J12 M3.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Fresh idea to cut down on food waste

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A Bedfordshire company thinks it has the answer to keeping fruit and vegetables fresh for longer, therefore cutting down on food waste.

It's Fresh, based in Cranfield, has produced a filter (pictured below) that's placed in packaging that absorbs the ripening hormone, ethylene, emitted by the fruit, to slow the ripening process down.

Avocado and filter
It's Fresh!™

Peter Durose, from the company, says they came up with the idea due to the "huge numbers (of wasted fruit) that go in the bin," especially strawberries.

Getty Images

It's already being used by some of the major UK supermarkets as well as across Europe and USA.

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, at J23 for A1.

M25 Hertfordshire - M25 lane closed on exit slip road and heavy traffic anticlockwise at J23 A1(M), because of a broken down coach.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Weather: Fresher afternoon ahead

BBC Weather Watchers

Well it looks like the heatwave has ended for the time being.

Rain on glass

The three counties had some rain this morning but this afternoon will be drier, brighter and fresher.


It will also be a lot cooler, with temperatures set to reach 23C (73F).

Rail ticket machines hit by IT glitch

BBC Technology

Rail ticket machines across the UK fell out of service this morning, preventing travellers from using them to pay fares.

It affected Thameslink, Southern Rail and Greater Anglia services.

Thameslink said: "The problem is now fixed and all our machines are able to accept credit cards.

"Anyone who was unable to buy a ticket as a result of the problem will not be penalised."

Customers were still able to buy tickets online via the web and apps.

Rail ticket

Charity defends 'outrageous' charges for new water park

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

A £2.8m water park for Milton Keynes is to open next month, but some potential customers have criticised the planned admission price.

The Splash 'n Play at Willen Lake will take on paying customers from 15 July.

It's run by the charity the Parks Trust and will cost £3 per child for a 25 minute session.

Artist's impression of water park
The Parks Trust

Some parents and grandparents told me they thought the charges were "outrageous", "too much money", "scandalous", " a little bit naughty" and they won't be using it due to the high cost and short time limit.

Artists impression of water park
The Parks Trust

But David Foster, the chief executive of the Parks Trust, defended the charges, saying it will "keep it under review, and see how it goes".

He added 25 minutes was a "good length of time for kids".