Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Yellow fish plaques are being placed on drains to deter pollution
  2. Stretch of M4 set for weekend closure
  3. A decision on plans to build a bronze war horse on an Ascot roundabout will be made later
  4. Weather: Temperatures to reach 20C

Live Reporting

By John Hudson, Toby Wadey and Adam Whitty

All times stated are UK

Goodnight all

Adam Whitty

BBC South

Thank you very much for your company today.

We will be back tomorrow with all that is hip n' happening in the Berkshire area, tomorrow from 08:00 BST.

See you then...

new train

Paul Clifton

Transport correspondent, BBC South Today

First MTR rejects carriages costing £200m before a German factory finishes building them.

Read more

Hospital's 'remarkable turnaround' on pool closure

Adam Whitty

BBC South

The hydrotherapy pool at the Royal Berkshire hospital has been saved from closure after a public campaign to keep it open.

Members of the public had contacted Healthwatch Reading months earlier raising concerns of the impact the pool closure would have on patients.

Thousands had signed a petition by Save the RBH Hydrotherapy Pool Campaign which was formed earlier this year in opposition to the planned closure. 

View more on twitter

This is a remarkable turnaround from the situation at the start of the year when Royal Berkshire Hospital managers announced, without any consultation with doctors, nurses, patients groups or even the hospital's own governors, that the pool was to close at the end of March.

Save the RBH Hydrotherapy Pool Campaign

Severe disruption: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe disruption, between J15 for M4 and J16 for M40.

M25 Berkshire - One lane blocked and heavy traffic on M25 clockwise between J15 M4 and J16 M40, because of a broken down lorry.

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

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, between J14 for A338 and J15 for A346 Marlborough Road.

M4 Berkshire - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M4 westbound between J14, A338 (Hungerford) in Hungerford Newtown and J15, A346 (Swindon East) in Wiltshire, because of debris on the road.

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

Success for campaigners as hydrotherapy pool to remain open

Atif Rashid

BBC Berkshire reporter

The hydrotherapy pool at Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) will remain open and continue to serve the community.

It follows months of public concern at the decision to close it.

Save the pool campaigners
RBH
RBH

The pool is currently used by people with conditions like arthritis, muscular dystrophy and fibromyalgia.     

Initially the closure was planned for 31 March and was deferred until June but today, Reading West MP, Alok Sharma and Royal Berkshire Hospital announced the u-turn.

Screwdriver used in Wokingham armed robbery

Adam Whitty

BBC South

Two employees were threatened with a screwdriver during an armed robbery in Wokingham.

On Monday 27 March, two men wearing face coverings entered a shop on Barrett Crescent. 

Wokingham Shop
Google
The incident took place in Barrett Crescent in Wokingham

The employee handed a quantity of cash over the counter and the offender then pointed the screwdriver at a female employee before taking the cash.

The employees were not injured, and both offenders then left the shop on foot in the direction of Norreys Avenue

Thames Valley Police are appealing for witnesses.

CCTV released after Audi driver threatens man with 'extendable baton'

Toby Wadey

BBC South

A CCTV image has been released after an argument in a supermarket car park led to a driver being threatened with an "extendable baton". 

The row between two men in Theale's Co-Op car park happened at about 14:40 on Wednesday 22 March. 

CCTV released by police
TVP

It culminated with the driver of a white Audi Q7 brandishing the offensive weapon before leaving the scene, police said. 

The force said the man in the picture may be able to help them with their inquiries. 

New trains 'rejected by franchise winner'

Paul Clifton

Transport correspondent, BBC South Today

A rail operator is to abandon trains costing £200m which are currently being built in Germany.

First MTR, which was awarded the South Western franchise on Monday,  is committed to a fleet of 90 new trains, increasing capacity on the Reading, Windsor and London routes.

It will reject 150 carriages from Siemens which were ordered in 2014.

Siemens factory
bbc

Instead, the operator is commissioning further new trains to replace them, on a cheaper annual lease.

The rejected carriages, which can only be used on southern England's third rail system, are destined to sit on sidings indefinitely.

Relive some Maidenhead magic

Adam Whitty

BBC South

As Maidenhead United prepare to face Bath City again this weekend, we thought we would dust off the video of this wonder goal which was scored last time they met.

Sriker Harry Pritchard scored this wonder goal for Alan Devonshire's side in a 2-1 win in November.

They go into the game this weekend top of the National League South, with six games remaining.

View more on twitter

Will self-driving vehicles benefit everyone?

If you're a regular listener to BBC Radio Berkshire, you'll know Anne Diamond is huge fan of driverless cars. 

Of course they have been the headlines recently after an accident involving one of UBER's self driving taxis in the USA. Well new research suggests autonomous vehicles will transform the lives of some of society's most disadvantaged people. 

Andrew Miller is the Chief Technical Officer at the Thatcham Research Laboratory where they've been testing these new vehicles, and explained to Anne how they work...  

Police notifications tailored to your location

Atif Rashid

BBC Berkshire reporter

Thames Valley Police promotion video

Berkshire's police force is using mobile technology to deliver key information to the public more quickly than it previously could. 

A new police mobile phone app will give incident notifications wherever users may be in the Thames Valley area.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) is pioneering the mobile version of the Neighbourhood Alert system with 19 other forces awaiting theirs. 

The force hopes it will enable the public to take immediate decisions based on information received in their proximity, keeping them safe.

"It provides a great opportunity for us to share our important messages more widely. The location based service of the app makes it relevant to anyone, whether they live, work or are simply visiting the region.”

Claire IngramCommunications Manager, TVP

Key information it will provide include:

  • Road traffic collisions nearby
  • Appeal for witnesses 
  • Recent local crime 
  • Information on major incidents
  • Latest Thames Valley-wide news
  • Details of nearest police station  

The force has over 100,000 subscribers to the Neighbourhood Alert system and they hope the new app will help reach even more people.

Longer platforms at Bracknell and Wokingham stations

Atif Rashid

BBC Berkshire reporter

Bracknell station
Network Rail

Network Rail has completed engineering work at both Bracknell and Wokingham stations to accommodate longer 10 carriage trains. 

South West Trains will begin running the commuter service with the two extra carriages from May this year.

It represents a 25% increase in length from the current eight carriages in service. 

They say it will provide more space and capacity for passengers. 

It is part of a massive £800m Waterloo & South West Upgrade scheme to provide better service.

Weather latest: Warm afternoon ahead

After a bright start to the day, it will remain warm and dry for the remainder of the afternoon. 

Temperatures are expected to reach 18C in Berkshire, with it remaining a mild 13C overnight. 

BBC weather
BBC

Major investment into Heathrow announced

Shareholders will invest a further £650m into Heathrow, airport bosses have revealed. 

Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye said the announcement was "great news for Heathrow passengers and for Britain".

Heathrow
Getty Images

He said the extra money would be in invested during 2019. 

It comes after the government approved plans for a third runway at the airport  last year. 

Decision to be made on council homes project

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

A decision on plans for a £6m redevelopment of council homes in Finchampstead is set to be made later. 

Outdated houses on Gorse Ride South would be demolished under the scheme. 

Councillors are being asked to approve the first phase of the long-awaited project.

This would see around 20% of the 70s homes rebuilt.

Kermorgant confirms retirement plan

BBC Sport

Reading striker Yann Kermorgant has confirmed he will retire at the end of the 2017-18 season.

The Frenchman, 35,  opted to extend his contract with the Royals in February  until June 2018, having joined from Bournemouth in January 2016.

"It's a decision I took with my family, who I've been away from now for 13 years," he told  BBC Radio Berkshire.

"We just think it's a good time for me to get back home and start a new life. I'm building a house in France."

Hall of Fame inductees to be revealed

Thirteen new names are set to be inducted into Reading FC's Hall of Fame. 

An event will be held at the Madjeski this evening to celebrate the additions. 

It will include a quick-fire quiz run by former Reading captain and existing Hall of Fame member Ady Williams.

View more on twitter

We remember it like it was yesterday

War horse statue plans go before council

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

A decision on plans to build a bronze war horse on a roundabout in Ascot will be made later. 

It comes almost three years after the initial proposals were made. 

The commemorative statue would be built opposite Heatherwood Hospital to mark the millions of horses killed in the First World War. 

Councillors will vote at a meeting tonight.

Drain marking after river pollution

Signs warning people not to pollute a river are being installed on drains after a 3.5 mile diesel spillage. 

The yellow plaques bearing the words 'Only Rain Down the Drain' are being placed near the River Lambourn in Newbury by volunteers today. 

The initiative comes after about 50 swans had to evacuated froma stretch of nearby water in the River Kennet contaminated by fuel earlier this month. 

Kennet
Andrew Smith

Charity Action for the River Kennet said the signs would give a visual reminder that "what goes down these drains goes straight into the River Lambourn untreated". 

A charity spokesperson said: "Rivers are at serious risk from pollution, as demonstrated earlier this month when diesel covered a 5.5 km stretch of the River Kennet, leaving 60 swans in need of rescue."

Stretch of M4 set for weekend closure

A full closure of a stretch of the M4 this weekend is expected to cause problems for motorists. 

The motorway will be shut in both directions between Theale and Newbury from Friday night until Monday morning. 

M4 roadworks map
Highways England

Traffic will be diverted on the A4.

A Highways England spokesman told BBC Berkshire they were "confident" work would be completed on time. 

Weather latest: Mostly dry and warm day ahead

Dan Downs, Weather Forecaster

Mostly dry, with bright and sunny spells

Morning headlines

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

  • The full closure of a stretch of the M4 this weekend is predicted to cause "chaos" for motorists
  • A decision on plans to build a bronze war horse on a roundabout in Ascot will be made later 
  • A campaign to protect the River Lambourn near Newbury has been launched
  • Temperatures are set to reach up to 19C or 20C today

Good morning

Toby Wadey

BBC South

Good morning and welcome to the BBC's local live service for Berkshire. 

We will be bringing you all of the royal county's latest news, travel, weather and sport until 18:00. 

Stay in touch via our Facebook and Twitter pages.