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Summary

  1. Mobile phone death crash driver handed more than three years jail
  2. Anger at mismanaged £2.8bn Great Western rail link electrification
  3. CCTV released after gay couple homophobic attack
  4. Date set for Wash Common library closure

Live Reporting

By John Hudson and Sarah Lee

All times stated are UK

Ta ta for now

Adam Whitty

BBC South

That's all from us for today and this month, thank you for your company.

We will be back with all the latest news, sport, weather and travel for Berkshire on Monday from 08:00 GMT.

Until then, have a wonderful weekend.

Shoreham victim's nephew 'appalled' by regulations

Adam Whitty

BBC South

Oliver Morris, a Reading University student whose uncle died in the Shoreham Air Crash, has been speaking to the BBC as the findings of an investigation into the tragedy are released.

A report, released on Friday, said pilot errors were to blame for the crash.  

"The key thing that we are appalled with and not satisfied with is the regulations around air shows", said Morris.

"They're not stringent enough, they're not enforced enough, and this is how you get things like what has happened here".

Leaving EU 'will damage Berkshire'

Adam Whitty

BBC South

Leaving the European Union will damage Berkshire's economy and image, according to the pro-EU campaign group, Berkshire for Europe.

In a speech to the group's members tonight, the philosopher, author and Remain campaigner Anthony Grayling will say it's not too late to stop Brexit. 

EU Umbrella
Getty Images

The government says its still on track to begin the formal process of leaving the EU by the end of this month. 

"We have a very globally focused economy so I think the damage will be economic and in terms of how we are perceived by other countries", says Gavin Whitwell, Berkshire for Europe's vice-chair.

"Whether or not we succeed in preventing or reversing Article 50, we need to campaign to minimise the damage that is inflicted by Brexit."

Rugby Championship play-offs scrapped

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

From next season, the team who finishes top of the rugby Championship will automatically get promoted , rather than having to go through a playoff system as is currently the case.

At present, the top four teams in the Championship enter a play-off to decide who wins promotion to the Premiership.

This could mean that for teams such as London Irish, who look on course to finish the season with a 100% record, missing out on promotion despite being the best team over 22 games.

Championship rugby balls
Khachfe/JMP/REX/Shutterstock

BBC report  earlier this year cited the controversial play-off season was one of the reasons the Rugby Championship is failing as a league.

As part of the deal, the RFU and Premiership Rugby have announced there will be more money provided to Championship clubs.

Wild camping: How to holiday in the untamed countryside

Wild camper Phoebe Smith from Windsor says "everything went wrong" on her first solo trip in Snowdonia's countryside 10 years ago, but she now sleeps in the open whenever she can. But what is wild camping and should you give it a try? 

"Friends warned I'd be attacked by a bear, even though I was in Wales," says Phoebe, a 35-year-old magazine editor. 

"By day two I had run out of water on a blazing hot day, was ludicrously sunburned and covered in bites." 

But she noticed a "cataclysmic shift" within her. 

"OK, things had gone wrong, but I had survived it and my confidence grew massively." 

A decade on, she takes trips at least once a month to remote corners of the UK, where there is rarely a phone signal or passers-by to disturb her.

Phoebe
PHOEBE-SMITH.COM

Magic moments from FA People's Cup

#PeoplesCup

Cheeky chips, celebrations and managerial sackings - watch 10 magic moments from the first round of the FA People's Cup...... 

More than 6,000 teams signed up for the 2017 FA People's Cup, which has 16 separate categories

You'll be able to watch a highlights programme from the first round of the nationwide five-a-side competition on the iPlayer from 06:00 GMT Saturday, 4 March and on the red button from 14:10 GMT on Saturday and throughout the weekend.

Irish supporters respond to proposed Brentford move

In the results of a survey released by the London Irish Supporters Club, 43% of respondents said they would be season ticket holders if the club moved to Brentford.

This is compared to the 62% of respondents who said they were currently season ticket holders.

14% of respondents said they would not attend any matches in Brentford, compared to the 3% of respondents who said they did not currently attend matches at the Madejski Stadium.

Tevita Koloamatangi
PPAUK/REX/Shutterstock

Burghfield's Mears picks up World Series Silver

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

Chris Mears, from Burghfield Common, along with his partner Jack Laugher have taken 3m Synchro Silver out in Beijing.

It comes in the FINA/NVC Diving World Series, and they were the highest placing British athletes after Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow came fourth in the men's 10m synchro.

The Olympic champions scored 427.98 but could not match hosts China (450.39), while Russia (419.25) won bronze.  

Chris Mears and Jack Laugher
de Paula/AGIF/REX/Shutterstock

Weather watchers snap stunning pics of Berkshire

Daff
John Cuthbert
Burghfield Common
Terry Martin

Don't forget to send your pictures to us via our social media pages.

X Factor winner heads to Windsor next week

Joe McElderry, who won the X Factor in 2009, is currently starring as Joseph on the Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat Tour, which comes to the Theatre Royal in Windsor between 7th-11th March.  

BBC Radio Berkshire's Paul Coia asked the singer how the tour is going so far.

Earley 'one of the best places to live in England'

Adam Whitty

BBC South

It has the wonderful Maiden Erlegh Park, a wide array of parks and open spaces, and close travel links to Reading and London.

As a result, the Berkshire town of Earley is one of the most desirable places to live in England, according to an economic research centre.

Maiden Erlegh Park
Earley Borough Council
Maiden Erlegh Park is a popular green space amongst Earley residents

The RG6 postcode was ranked as the sixth most attractive location to live by the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

They studied data for employment prospects, working hours, affordable housing, average commuting times and access to green spaces.

Severe accident: A34 Berkshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A34 Berkshire northbound severe accident, near Fidlers Lane.

A34 Berkshire - Lane blocked on A34 northbound in West Ilsley near the Fidlers Lane junction, because of an accident involving three vehicles.

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

Football should be the focus for Maidenhead and Hungerford

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

After a fractious local derby last weekend between Hungerford Town and Maidenhead United, both managers will be hoping the focus can turn back to the football this weekend.

The 1-1 draw saw both sides slip down the league table, but they could regain some ground in the promotion chase with positive results this weekend.

Hungerford Town play 4th placed Poole Town tomorrow, whilst Maidenhead have a double header on Saturday and Monday against Hampton and Richmond Borough and Chelmsford City.

The latter game sees the Magpies play the game in hand that they currently have over the rest of the top four.

York Road
BBC

'To me... to you'

Adam Whitty

BBC South

This is the effect Reading midfielder Danny Williams can have on opponents.

As this video shows, his footballing trickery caused two Huddersfield players to run head-first into each-other during Saturday's match.

It didn't do too much good though, as the Royals lost 1-0 to their play-off rivals.

View more on twitter

CCTV released after gay couple homophobic attack

CCTV images have been released after a couple were attacked by homophobic youths travelling from Reading to London. 

Phillip Poole was travelling with his partner on Valentine's Day when they were both punched in the face by "four or five men". 

Mr Poole who lives in Maidenhead lost two teeth in the attack and suffered bruising and cuts. 

Police said they were investigating the incident at Ealing Broadway Station.

CCTV
British Transport Police

BreakingA34 crash driver jailed

A driver who met the partner of a man he killed in a head-on crash has been jailed for more than three years. 

Lewis Stratford crashed through the central reservation of the A34 at Compton, Oxfordshire, while arguing with his girlfriend on the phone. 

The 24-year-old collided with a BMW driven by Gavin Roberts, 28, who died in the crash on 11 June last year. Stratford met his victim's girlfriend Meg Williamson after admitting causing death by dangerous driving. 

At Reading Crown Court he was sentenced to three years and eight months in jail, and banned from driving for four years and 10 months.

Moment killer driver meets victim's partner

The M4 to junction 11, then down the A33 and on to Ringway North derby....

"Bye Bye" to the school lollipop lady?

Could you be saying goodbye to your local school's lollipop lady? Lollipop ladies - or school crossing patrol services as they're called these days - at eight locations in Wokingham could be axed if plans to save £19 million by 2020 get the go ahead.

BBC Radio Berkshire's Andrew Peach tried to get some answers from the Council's Executive Member for Highways and Transport, Malcolm Richards.

Reading FC looking to get back to winning ways

Ady Williams

Sport presenter, BBC Radio Berkshire

Two of my former clubs go head to head at The Madejski Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

Reading go into the game on the back of two defeats. Wolves have lost their last 5 in all competitions.

Join me from 1pm on BBC Radio Berkshire tomorrow for the best possible build up. Kick off is at 3pm.   

Slough to Paddington trains disrupted

Disruption to trains between Slough / Heathrow Airport and London Paddington. These are expected until 11:00  

Fellow fun seekers - Tony Blackburn is waiting for you

Wash Common library to close

Wash Common library in Newbury will shut its doors on Friday 31 March following a decision by West Berkshire Council to close the branch to save money.

Library users will be able to borrow and return books and use the library facilities until the last day. 

Library
Google

After that, any books to be returned will need to be taken to one of the other eight branch libraries across the district or the mobile library.

The library is being closed as part of a range of measures to save around £580,000 a year within the library service. 

A34 death: Driver to be sentenced

Sarah Lee

BBC South

A driver is due to be sentenced today for causing the death of a man on the A34 in Berkshire last year.

Lewis Stratford, 24, from Field Avenue, Oxford, crashed through the central reservation of the A34 in June and collided with another vehicle.

The other motorist, Australian national Gavin Roberts, 28, was killed.

He will be sentenced at Reading Crown Court later.

Coroner says Slough motorcyclists death was unavoidable

Travel: Delays on A4

Matt Vaughan

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

  • Delays on A4 in both directions at M4 J5 (Langley)
  • Slow traffic on A4 Berkeley Avenue inbound at A33 Rose Kiln Lane
  • Heavy traffic due to turf on road on M25 anticlockwise between J13 A30 (Staines) and J12 M3 (Thorpe Interchange)
  • Slow traffic on A4155 Marlow Road in both directions at A404 (Marlow Junction) 

A wet and cloudy day for Berkshire

Holly Green has the weather for the south on Friday 3 March

138 drivers caught with phones whilst driving in first two days

Great Western electrification 'mismanaged'

Sarah Lee

BBC South

The electrification of the Great Western rail line has been described by MPs as a "stark example of how not to run a major project".

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said "mismanagement" of the project had left customers "angry and frustrated".

It warns "similar flaws" could impact on planned electrification schemes on Midlands and TransPennine routes.

Network Rail claimed it had "learnt lessons" and major projects no longer start before being "properly scoped".

However, doubts have been expressed that the plan can be delivered by December 2018 and to a budget of £2.8bn, while the PAC described a £1.2bn increase in costs "in the space of a year" as "staggering and unacceptable".

GWR
PA

Berkshire's morning headlines

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

  • A "stark example of how not to run a major project" - that's how the electrification of the Great Western Railway through Berkshire has been described by MPs as doubts are cast about whether it will be delivered by the end of next year
  • Wokingham is to get rid of it's school crossing patrol services - if plans to save 19 million pounds by 2020 get the go ahead. A consultation is now underway
  • There will be a fair amount of heavy rain this morning, then turning cloudy. Tomorrow we will see some more showers right up until the afternoon

Good morning!

Good morning and welcome to BBC Berkshire on this fantastic Friday.

We'll be bringing you all the latest news, travel and weather from 08:00 - so make sure you tune in throughout the day!