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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather from across the West of England on Monday 15 May, 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Keep hold of those brollies - more rain tomorrow

Well that's good night from your Local Live team in the West.

We'll be back from 7am tomorrow with all the latest news, weather, sport and travel.

You'll need your brollies tomorrow as more rain is expected until the afternoon, then some brighter spells. 

Weather for the west country

Gorge-ous aerial view

Party's in full swing for the Forest Green ravers

Parking review casts doubt on 20mph zones

20 mph sign
BBC

A highly critical review of 20mph zones in Bath and North East Somerset has cast doubt over whether they should be expanded, or even scrapped. 

The scheme has been rolled out over the last six years, costing more than £860,000. 

But, according to the report, accidents have actually gone up in some areas and it questions whether the zones are value for money. 

The report says: "Overall, the speed limit programme in B&NES seems to have provided little in the way of persuasive argument for continuing the programme into the future." 

City's 'biggest' tall ships festival announced

Tall ships at Gloucester Docks
BBC

A record seven tall ships will attend this year's Tall Ships Festival in Gloucester.

The traditionally rigged sailing vessels will take part in the 10th anniversary event at Gloucester Docks over the Bank Holiday weekend from 27-29 May.

Organisers have announced the Bristol-based Matthew as well as Keewaydin, Lady of Avenel and Johanna Lucretia will be among the ships to take part.

Pool ducklings in at the deep end for first swimming lesson

Watch: A family of newly hatched ducklings is rescued from a swimming pool

A family of newly hatched ducklings was rescued from an open air swimming pool at the weekend, and it's too cute not to share with you on a grey Monday evening. 

Staff at the Portishead Open Air Pool arrived on Saturday morning to discover eggs laid nearby had hatched and the mother duck was giving her offspring their first swimming lesson in the pool. 

Lifeguards and swimmers managed to coax the the birds out of the water, through a fire escape and shepherd them to safety at a nearby lake.  

Nicola Sturgeon angry at Tory candidate's 'appalling' F-word comment to Somerset schoolgirl

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon has reacted to James Heappey's use of a swear word during an evening with sixth-formers at Millfield School in Somerset.

She said his behaviour was "appalling".

View more on twitter

Police looking for driver who failed to stop after motorcycle crash

Officers want to find the driver of a car which failed to stop after being involved in a crash with a motorcyclist in Radstock.

The crash happened at 5:10pm on Friday on a roundabout at the junction with the A367 and A362.  

The driver of the silver car, possibly a VW Passat or VW Golf estate, initially got out, but then drove off along the A367 towards Peasedown St John.

The female motorcyclist was taken to Bath's Royal United Hospital for treatment.

Avon and Somerset police want to speak to the driver who is described as white, in his thirties, with blond hair. He may have had piercings and was wearing an orange reflective vest/waistcoat.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe disruption, between J22 for A38 and J21 for A370.

M5 Somerset - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M5 northbound between J22, A38 (Burnham-On-Sea) and J21, A370 (Weston-Super-Mare), because of an oil spillage.

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

Severe disruption: M50 Gloucestershire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M50 Gloucestershire eastbound severe disruption, between J2 for A417 and J1 for A38.

M50 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M50 eastbound between J2, A417 (Ledbury) and J1, A38 (Tewkesbury), because of an overturned vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Police catch 28 drivers doing more than 100mph in three days

Speed camera and car
PA

Police in Wiltshire caught 28 drivers doing 100mph or more over three days earlier this month.

One driver was caught travelling at 121mph during the operation on the A303 between Wylye and Mere.

Other high speeds recorded were 115mph by a 21-year-old man from Cleckheaton and 116mph by a 57-year-old male motorcyclist from Codford.  

PC Will Ayres of Wiltshire Police said: “It’s really disappointing to see that, despite the strict new set of rules that came into force last month, drivers are continuing to drive at outrageous speeds on our roads – putting themselves and other road users in a huge amount of danger."

The new laws mean those that drive far above the limit could be fined 150% of their weekly income, get six penalty points on their licence or disqualification from driving for up to 56 days.

How many shopping trolleys in the river?

Party for Forest Green Rovers fans tonight from 6pm

Tory candidate apologises over using F-word in front of school pupils

James Heappey
BBC

The Conservative election candidate for Wells James Heappey has apologised after using the F-word during an address to sixth formers at a school in Somerset.

Mr Heappey, who was elected MP for Wells in 2015, made the comment during a discussion about the Millfield pupils' views on Scottish independence, the Sunday Mirror reported.

Following the incident Mr Heappey said: "I made a comment - intended only as a joke - but it was inappropriate and I am deeply sorry for any offence caused.

“I wrote to [the pupil] soon after the school brought her concerns to my attention and apologised unreservedly.”

'I thought I was going to die', says survivor of fire which killed couple

Fire damage to house in Manchester Road, Swindon
BBC
The house in Manchester Road was badly damaged by the fire

We've been bringing you updates from the inquest of a couple, Blaise Alvares and Sharon Soares, who died following a house fire in Swindon in November.

The Manchester Road house was home to two families - the dead couple and their baby daughter, Brooke - and Gracino Fernandes, who lived in the house with his son Glen and daughter Maleeva.

Mr Fernandes told the inquest: "I heard Sharon shouting 'fire, fire' and I opened my door and called Maleeva and Glen to come."

Mr Fernandes said the front door was locked and the key was upstairs so he and his daughter attempted to break it down.

"I have no memory of what happened next. The next thing I remember was waking up outside," he said.

"I thought I was going to die in the house. I asked for help from Jesus."

Vintage buses displayed in Taunton

Watch: Buses on display on Taunton's Castle Green

It was a bus-spotter's paradise in Somerset this weekend.

A colourful cavalcade of classic coaches went on show at Castle Green in Taunton.

It was the fifth time the Vintage Bus Day was held in the town.

Bristol gas leak: 'Third party' damage to pipe

We've been bringing you updates about an ongoing gas leak at Gipsy Patch Lane in Patchway, Bristol.

The utilities company have just released a statement and says engineers are working to fix it as quickly as possible.

On arrival, we found a third party had damaged a gas pipe supplying businesses in the area. As a precaution, the emergency services have evacuated the nearby offices and closed Gipsy Patch Lane. Our engineering team are now working as quickly and as safely as we can to assess the situation and isolate the pipe in order to make a full repair.

Ryan HortonWales & West Utilities operational manager for Bristol

Long delays on the M5 in Somerset

A multiple vehicle crash on the M5 southbound in Somerset is leading to long tailbacks between junctions 23 and 24.

Two lanes are currently closed and traffic is building in the area.

M5 traffic camera
Highways England

But less than an hour later...

League Two side Mansfield Town refuse Swindon Town permission to speak to manager Steve Evans.

Steve Evans

Stags reject Swindon approach for Evans

League Two side Mansfield Town refuse Swindon Town permission to speak to manager Steve Evans.

Read more

And the prime candidate for the Swindon Town manager's job was....

Severe accident: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe accident, between J23 for A39 and J24 for A38.

M5 Somerset - Two lanes closed on M5 southbound between J23, A39 (Bridgwater North) and J24, A38 (Bridgwater South), because of an accident involving multiple vehicles.

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

Portable heater 'likely cause' of fatal fire which killed couple

Sharon Soares
Wiltshire Police

A husband and wife died in a house fire which was probably started by a portable bio-fuel heater, an inquest has been told.

Blaise Alvares, 33, and Sharon Soares, 30, both died in hospital from injuries they suffered when flames ripped through their home in Manchester Road, Swindon in November last year.

Their baby daughter and three other adults survived.

The most likely cause was it was an accident with the use of this bio-fuel burner. Our opinion in the fire service would be that they would probably be safe in an external environment. I don't think they are safe to use in an internal environment.

Michael BagnallFire investigator

Bristol gas leak latest: Repair team on site

View more on twitter

Avon Fire and Rescue says work to fix the gas leak at Gipsy Patch Lane in Patchway is ongoing.

Wales and West Utilities, which maintains the gas supply network, is on site working to isolate and repair the leak.

The 'village team' that reached the EFL

Forest Green Rovers fans at Wembley 2017
Rex Features

They may be known as the 'little club on the hill', but Forest Green Rovers have reached new heights by winning promotion to the English Football League for the first time.  

"It is an unbelievable achievement to put a village team in the Football League," manager Mark Cooper told BBC Sport.  

Click here to read more.

Listen to moment wife with dementia was reported missing

Listen: Moment husband reports wife with dementria is missing

Last month, Minchinhampton woman Hazel Denham, 71, who suffers from dementia, made the news when she went missing.

Happily she was found safe and well, despite spending three nights out in the cold.

Listen to the moment her husband reported the love of his life was missing.  

Hazel Denham
Gloucestershire Police

This week the Alzheimer’s Society is asking people to unite against dementia during Dementia Awareness Week.

Experts say it is set to be the 21st century's biggest killer. But awareness and understanding of it remains low.

Father to stand trial for Christmas Day murder of baby daughter

Britton Gardens sign
Google

A father will go on trial charged with murdering his six-month-old daughter on Christmas Day.

Lee Parker, 33, is accused of killing Aya Parker in Kingswood, Bristol, last year.

Aya died in the early hours of 25 December despite the efforts of police and paramedics at a property at Britton Gardens.

Parker, who denies murder, appeared via video link at Bristol Crown Court for a case management hearing.

His trial date is set for 3 July.

Racially abused on a bus in Bristol

Watch: Anna Jakimowicz talks about racist abuse

Avon and Somerset police say there has been a 43% increase in reported hate crimes since the vote to leave the European Union last year. 

Some immigrants living here say they are feeling more afraid and less welcome than ever before. 

Anna Jakimowicz from Poland was with her young son on a bus in Bristol when they were racially abused by another passenger.  

Bristol gas leak latest: Where has it happened?

This is the view of the site a few months ago from the A38 overbridge next to the Royal Mail centre and the former Filton Airfield.

On the right, you can see the construction site where the gas leak has happened. It used to be Rolls Royce offices, but new industrial units are being built there.

In the distance on the left you can see some of the current Rolls Royce buildings.

Gipsy Patch Lane
Google

M32 in Bristol now clear

Bristol gas leak latest: What we know

  • Avon Fire and Rescue were called at 12.49pm.
  • The leak is on a construction site opposite Gipsy Patch Lane.
  • One crew from Thornbury and another from Patchway in attendance. 
  • It's a medium pressure gas main that is leaking.
  • Specialist called to deal with incident - and the road is closed. 

BreakingRolls Royce in Bristol evacuated due to gas leak

Several offices of Rolls Royce in Patchway evacuated after a gas leak on Gipsy Patch Lane. More to follow.

Younger families 'need to foster'

Watch: Rita Roblin on fostering

Councils in the West have launched a drive to recruit more foster families to look after teenagers. 

National charity the Fostering Network says 600 new foster homes are needed for children and young people across the South West this year. 

Rita Roblin, from Stapleton, has fostered more than 45 children over the last 25 years. She says younger families need to come forward.

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe disruption, around J15 for M4.

M5 Bristol - M5 lane closed on entry slip road and slow traffic southbound around J15, M4 (Almondsbury Interchange), because of vehicle tyre change.

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

Emily Gilruth to leave intensive care after Badminton Horse Trials injury

Emily Gilruth
Rex Features

British rider Emily Gilruth is set to leave intensive care after she was injured in a fall at the Badminton Horse Trials.  

The 40-year-old fell from her mount Topwood Beau and was airlifted to Bristol's Southmead Hospital.

British Eventing (BE) said last week she suffered a traumatic brain injury.

In a further update on Monday, BE said she was about to be moved to the neurological ward.

Read the full story here.

Overturned LGV blocking one lane on M32 Bristol

Severe accident: M32 Bristol northbound

BBC News Travel

M32 Bristol northbound severe accident, between J2 for A432 and J1 for A4174 affecting J3 for A4320 Easton Way.

M32 Bristol - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M32 northbound between J2, A432 (Eastville) and J1, A4174 (Hambrook), because of an accident involving overturned vehicle. Congestion to J3, A4320 (St Pauls).

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

M32 southbound will be closed tonight

Somerset prison turned into a temporary tourist attraction

Watch: Shepton Mallet prison becomes tourist attraction

The disused prison in Shepton Mallet has been turned into a temporary heritage tourist attraction. 

The site is due to be redeveloped. But before the work begins it has been opened up for guided tours over the summer. 

BBC Points West's Fiona Lamdin had a chance to look around.  

Five things you may not know about Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rovers
ProSports/REX/Shutterstock

Forest Green Rovers are the little team that could. 

Yesterday they made history by winning promotion to League Two.

Following their achievement, BBC Sport looks at five things you may not know about Forest Green Rovers.

Click here to read more.

Forest Green Rovers

Five things to know about Forest Green

Following their promotion to the EFL, BBC Sport looks at five things you may not know about Forest Green Rovers.

Read more

CCTV image released following homophobic attack

Men wanted in connection with assault
Avon and Somerset Police

CCTV has been released of two men police would like to identify following a homophobic assault in Bristol city centre.

A 19-year-old man was in Park Street, near to Tesco on College Green, when he was verbally abused and punched in the face at about 4am on Sunday 7 May. 

The assault is being treated as a hate crime, and officers want anyone who can help identify the two men to contact the force.