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Summary

  1. The water main in Willsbridge burst at about midnight on Wednesday
  2. At its peak, 35,000 homes in the Bristol area were without water or had low pressure
  3. Thirteen schools closed and bottled water and bowsers were supplied in Keynsham
  4. Plus other news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the West on Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all folks - join us again from 7am tomorrow

Weather graphic
BBC

Our work here is done for the night but we'll be back online with more live news, sport, weather and travel updates from 7am tomorrow.

Weather-wise, enjoy what could be a fresher night, leading into a day tomorrow which will be noticeably cooler and more comfortable.

Overnight cloud will clear and there may be one or two showers, but for many it'll be a dry and fine day, albeit fairly breezy.

Burst water main: Reminder of school closures

People at water bowsers in Keynsham
BBC

A reminder that a few schools in Keynsham will remain closed tomorrow - even if water is restored overnight. Those schools are:

  • Wellsway School
  • St John's School
  • Chandag Infants, Chandag Juniors
  • IKB Academy

St Keyna school in Keynsham says it will open tomorrow until 12pm, whether there is water or not, but has asked those who have mains water to take in as much as they can to help with toilet flushing.

If anything changes with that overnight you'll find the latest on these council websites, or we'll update you on BBC West Live in the morning.

Suspension bridge toll man talks about his love for the job

Watch: Toll man Shaun says he is proud to display a picture of his workplace at his home

Every day some 55 million people go about their lives across England.

Our BBC England colleagues have spent the day gathering a snapshot of how the nation looks across a 24-hour period.

As part of that, Shaun Phillimore - who collects tolls on the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol - has shared what he loves most about his job.

Burst water main: Latest update

People queuing at a water bowser
BBC

Bristol Water has updated its website with some fresh information on the burst water main.

This is what it says:

Water supply is now returning to Hanham, Longwell Green and Bitton following the reconfiguration of the network.

Once your water is back on it may be a brown or cloudy colour, this is normal following a burst. Run the taps for a few minutes until it’s clear.

We are still working on the main to bring the supply back to properties in the Saltford and Keynsham area, this should be completed by midnight.

Fire authority chair says he can 'only say sorry to the people of Avon'

Watch: Cllr Donald Davies tells BBC Points West he's sorry "money has been effectively wasted"

The new chair of Avon Fire Authority says he is "really disappointed" with what has been uncovered in the Home Office report, published earlier today.

Councillor Donald Davies said he can "only say sorry to the people of Avon" and make sure "this never happens again".

Click here to read more on this story.

Five men rescued in human trafficking raid

NCA officers
PA

Five men believed to be victims of a human trafficking network have been rescued in a police raid.

The men are thought to have been trafficked into the UK from Slovakia.

A man and a woman, both aged 41, linked to a car wash business in the Brentry area of Bristol have been arrested the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

They are believed to be part of a wider organised crime group, and are also being investigated over money laundering and fraud offences.

Avon Fire Authority: Union demands change but should not come at cost of service

Tam McFarlane
BBC

The Fire Brigades Union has warned that recommendations for change at Avon Fire Authority must not be a "smokescreen for cuts".

At a time when all fire services have seen massive budget cuts we need guarantees that additional resources will be made available to match any recommendations. No matter what, we want everyone to be clear, we will not allow this report to be a smokescreen for further cuts to life saving fire cover.

Tam McFarlaneFBU rep for the South West

Burst water main: 'Pressure being increased'

Plane passenger recalls 'terrifying' emergency evacuation

Listen: Plane passenger recalls 'terrifying' emergency evacuation

Andy Holder from Gloucester was on board a Thomas Cook flight which had a technical fault during take-off on Tuesday night, as it was leaving Hurghada airport in Egypt.

"All of a sudden black smoke began pouring into the cabin," he said.

Thomas Cook said all 251 passengers and nine crew on board were safely evacuated using the emergency slides.

Aeroplane evacuation: 'Everybody was screaming and shouting'

Thomas Cook plane
Reuters

A man from Gloucestershire said he was "terrified" when the cabin of a plane he was on filled with black smoke, just as it was about to take off from Egypt.

Andy Holder from Gloucester was on board a Thomas Cook flight which had a technical fault during take-off on Tuesday night, as it was leaving Hurghada airport.

"All of a sudden black smoke began pouring into the cabin," he said.

It was the most terrifying thing. People were choking.

Andy Holder

"All hell broke loose, it was pandemonium. Everybody was screaming and shouting," he said.

"All of a sudden the captain said 'emergency evacuation' and the inflatable chutes opened up."

Thomas Cook said 251 passengers and nine crew were on board the the Boeing 757-300 - flight MT519 to London Gatwick.

They all evacuated the aircraft using the emergency slides, and the passengers will be flown back to the UK tonight.

Latest pictures: Queues as people collect water from Waitrose car park

People collecting water
BBC
Water tanker and people queuing
BBC
Back of water tanker
BBC

Oldest graduate 'left school with no qualifications'

Watch: Peggy Styles says things got better after the war

A grandmother who has become Bristol University's oldest ever graduate says she left school at 15 with no qualifications because her family had no money.

She says her achievement shows it is never too late to learn.

Football: Forest Green sign midfielder

Forest Green boss Mark Cooper
PA

Forest Green Rovers have signed former Swindon Town midfielder Jordan Simpson on a two-year contract.

Simpson was with the Robins from the age of six, but did not make a first-team appearance.

The 18-year-old is Forest Green's 10th signing since winning promotion from the National League.

"He's box to box, he's good on the ball, so he should be a good addition to the squad," Rovers boss Mark Cooper (pictured) told the club website.

Grandmother graduate 'example to others'

Watch: Dr Peggy Styles talks about the achievement

An 86-year-old grandmother has graduated from Bristol University with a doctorate - after leaving school at 15 with no formal qualifications.

Peggy Styles, from Failand, is the oldest ever student to graduate from the university.

She took eight years to complete an EdD - the educational equivalent of a PhD - and had to suspend her studies for 18 months after a kidney infection left her fighting for her life.

Burst water main: Repair work 'going to plan'

Avon Fire Authority: Public money has been 'wasted'

Nick Wilton and Anna Villette
BBC
Cllr Nick Wilton (left) and Anna Villette (right)

Serious questions are being asked about the running of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

A damning Home Office report has unearthed an where senior officers enjoyed big pay rises and enhanced pensions.

Here's some of the reaction...

So much public money has been quite frankly wasted on senior officers salaries and pension enhancement.

Anna VilletteAdviser to Avon firefighter whose case was part of the evidence

Senior officers in public service should be held to a higher standard in terms of their ethical performance.

Nick WiltonNorth Somerset councillor and member of Avon Fire Authority

Two men charged with hate crime attack

Hate crime victim
Other

Two men have been charged after a teenager was the victim of a homophobic assault in Bristol city centre during a night out.

The 19-year-old victim was attacked in Park Street in the early hours of 7 May, suffering injuries to his face.

One of the arrested men, a 22-year-old from Yatton, was charged with assault. A second 22-year-old was charged with a public order offence.

Both men will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Burst water main: 'Supply back on by midnight'

People using a water bowser
BBC

Here is the latest info from Bristol Water:

We have now isolated the problem and have reconfigured our network to supply water to the affected areas.

Approx 6,000 properties in Hanham, Longwell Green and Bitton will be back in water by early evening, with all other areas back in supply by midnight.

This has been a major and complex incident with significant damage to one of our largest mains. We appreciate your understanding and thank you to everyone who has been helping their neighbours and those who need help to get water.

Alternative water will be in place for the evening and can be found at:

  • Ashton Way car park, Keynsham
  • Waitrose, Keynsham
  • Asda, Longwell Green
  • Manor Road playing field, Keynsham
  • Saltford Community Centre (in place by 5pm)

Bristol Rovers sign ex-Army defender

Tom Broadbent
Rex Features

Bristol Rovers have signed former Hayes & Yeading defender Tom Broadbent on an undisclosed-length deal.

The 25-year-old, who operates mostly at centre-back, had been on trial with the League One side and has featured in a number of pre-season games.

He has also represented the Army in football, playing in May as they beat the RAF and the Royal Navy to retain the Inter Services Football title.

Avon Fire Authority: 'Criticisms aimed at senior management'

View more on twitter

Councillor Donald Davies, chair of Avon Fire Authority, has posted a statement on the fire service website.

In it he says "mistakes have been made in the past", criticism "is focused on a very small group of people in senior political and management roles" and he says he's working on an action plan in response.

Click here to read his statement in full.

Severe accident: A39 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A39 Somerset both ways severe accident, between Stogursey Lane and Hilltop Lane.

A39 Somerset - A39 in Nether Stowey closed and very slow traffic in both directions between the Stogursey Lane junction and the Hilltop Lane junction, because of an accident.

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

Burst water main: 13,000 properties still without water

Man getting water from a bowser
BBC

Here's the most recent statement from Bristol Water:

This is a major incident that we are working hard to resolve. We currently have around 13,000 properties still out of water. We are hoping to rezone some of these areas, if you currently have no water then it is likely this will still be the case into this evening. Please make alternative arrangements for water. We currently don’t have an estimated time when the supply will be restored.

Alternative water can be found at the below locations, we are looking at other locations:

  • Ashton Way, Keynsham
  • Waitrose, Keynsham
  • Asda, Longwell Green
  • Manor Road, Keynsham

Burst water main: Some schools to remain shut

St Keyna school in Keynsham, near Bristol
Google

We're hearing that Wellsway School, St John's School, Chandag Infants, Chandag Juniors and the IKB Academy - all in Keynsham - will stay closed tomorrow following the burst water main issues.

Although it's predicted the supply will be restored by midnight, the schools say they're not confident of the water tanks being able to cope in order for toilets to flush and cooking to be done.

St Keyna school in Keynsham (pictured) has said it will open tomorrow until 12pm, whether there is water or not, but has asked those who have mains water to take in as much as they can to help with toilet flushing.

For latest school closure news, check the council websites for:

Avon Fire Authority: 'Mistakes cannot be ignored'

Fire engine
BBC

The Home Office investigation covered a period of six years from 2011.

Councillor Donald Davies, chair of Avon Fire Authority - who has been part of the authority since May 2015 - said the Home Office report made for "difficult reading".

Click here if you'd like to read more.

Mistakes have been made in the past and they cannot be ignored. The biggest frustration to me is that in the past, when our budgets were not as squeezed as they are today, money was wasted. This is money that could have been better spent and I will ensure this won't be allowed to happen again. Now is the time for the members of Avon Fire Authority to work together and show the leadership which has been lacking in the past.

Cllr Donald Davies

Avon Fire Authority: Chief officer's pay cut an 'illusory sacrifice'

Chief fire officer Kevin Pearson
BBC

Senior officers, including the chief fire officer, enjoyed pay rises of up to 8% while firefighters pay was capped, a Home Office investigation has found.

In one instance in March 2011, officials on the authority's Special Purposes Committee (SPC) agreed a reduction in pay of 22% for chief fire officer Kevin Pearson (pictured).

But Mr Pearson was able to claim on his pension to cancel out the reduction, making the pay cut an "illusory sacrifice".

In another "highly unusual arrangement" in 2011, deputy chief fire officer Jerry O'Brien spent 12 months on gardening leave with a £25,000 allowance which boosted his final salary pension and lump sum.

Meanwhile, the report found "a perceived view that bullying and harassment was endemic in the organisation".

"This is a serious cultural issue for the authority that leaders must address as a matter of priority," it said.

BreakingFire authority leadership should be replaced, says damning report

Avon Fire and Rescue
BBC

The leadership of Avon Fire Authority is undermining its duties to the public and should be replaced, a Home Office report says.

It unearthed an "old boys club" culture where senior officers enjoyed big pay rises and enhanced pensions.

The report found there was a perceived view that bullying and harassment was "endemic".

Authority chair Donald Davies said "mistakes have been made and cannot be ignored".

More to follow.

Burst water main - the key points

Bristol Water vans
BBC
  • The water main in Willsbridge burst at about midnight
  • Some 17,500 homes in the Bristol area are still affected
  • At its peak, 35,000 homes were without water or had low pressure
  • Thirteen schools have closed
  • Bottled water is being provided and bowsers supplied in Keynsham
  • Some cafes and shops in Keynsham have also shut
  • Water supply has already been restored to Whitchurch, Brislington and Stockwood
  • Some people have complained about the lack of bowsers in Longwell Green and Hanham

Fixing Bristol burst main 'complex job'

Around 16,000 homes are still without water in parts of south and east Bristol, after a major water main burst.

Two bowsers were brought in as an emergency measure.

Bristol Water says its teams are "still working hard on site to fix the issue" but Ben Newby, from the company, said it's a "complex job".

Ben Newby, from Bristol Water, says it's a "complex job"

Severe accident: A46 Gloucestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

A46 Gloucestershire southbound severe accident, between Hall Lane and A4 London Road West.

A46 Gloucestershire - A46 in Langridge blocked and queuing traffic southbound between the Hall Lane junction and the A4 London Road West junction, because of an accident.

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

BreakingBristol Water will wait for 'engineers' decision' before sending bowsers to Longwell Green and Hanham

Bristol Water says it is waiting for an update from engineers on site before deciding whether to send more bowsers out.

Severe disruption: M49 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M49 Bristol southbound severe disruption, between M4 J22 and M5.

M49 Bristol - One lane closed on M49 southbound between M4 J22 and M5, because of a Police training exercise. Traffic is coping well.

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

Bristol burst main: Are you back on yet?

Stockwood, Whitchurch and Brislington "should" have had their water supply back at around 10:00am this morning, according to Bristol Water.

But as a second bowser is set up at Waitrose in Broadmead Lane, the company has tweeted that only "some customers" in Stockwood have reported "they are back in water".

View more on twitter

Queries over no bowsers for Longwell Green and Hanham

We've been hearing concerns from residents outside Keynsham at the lack of bowsers.

Jan Meager said: "There is nothing in Hanham, Longwell Green and there is no other ones around Bristol - except the three in Keynsham.

"Nobody is helping us and I'm disabled and there's nothing in the area.

"They can put a bowser in Hanham - they've closed the school and they know there's a problem."

He added that he could get water as he had a car but there were older people in the area who were unable to get to Keynsham.

Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore has also raised the issue with Bristol Water.

View more on twitter

Filling up at the supermarket: Ashton Way Car Park bowser in Keynsham

Filling up from the Bristol Water bowser in Keynsham

M4 now clear in both directions - but still some delays

'Brisk business' now Bristol Water bowser in Waitrose car park operational

Bristol Water staff report a steady flow of people coming to fill up containers in the Waitrose car park in Keynsham - and they also get a free biscuit.

Bowser
BBC
Bowser
BBC

Businesses closed due to Bristol water shortage

Closed shop
BBC
Closed shop
BBC
Closed shop
BBC
BBC
Closed shop

One lane reopens on the M4 between Chippenham and Swindon

Scene of lorry fire
Highways England

Thousands of bees create huge swarm on Exmoor

A photographer shot this incredible video in a valley near Winsford

Long queues forming for water from the bowser at Ashton Way

Bristol Water bowser arrived at Ashton Way