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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates for the West of England on Friday, 4 August 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Good night from us

That's all for now from an extended BBC Local Live for today.

Our big story has been the accident on the M5 between two lorries which led to some 16 hours of traffic chaos and 21 mile queues.

It's all but cleared now but the affected section near Weston-super-Mare will be closed at midnight for emergency repairs.

We've also heard a woman from the Chard area is critically ill after being discovered near a reservoir.

And a man has been detained after a potential chemical incident in Bristol.

Dog walker in 'critical' condition

A female dog walker has suffered a potentially life threatening head injury.

The woman was with her dog at about 4pm, near the reservoir close to Chaffcombe Road, Chard, when other dog walkers heard a scream and found her.

She was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton before being transferred to Southmead Hospital in Bristol for specialist treatment. She remains in a critical condition.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

Man detained after Bristol 'chemical' incident

Residents from five blocks of flats are in a rest centre in Bristol after an incident near the ss Great Britain.

They were evacuated earlier this evening.

A man has been detained by police.

A man has been detained in connection with an incident near the ss Great Britain

BreakingOne held after Bristol 'chemical' incident

Bomb disposal van
BBC

Police say one man has been detained in connection with a suspected chemical incident in Bristol.

Five blocks of flats have been evacuated and bomb disposal teams are on the scene.

Emergency vehicles
BBC

Five blocks of flats evacuated in 'chemical' scare

Bristol City Council says residents from five blocks of flats have been asked to leave their homes as part of an on-going chemical incident.

They are Kingdom House, Steamship House, Great Western House, Great Eastern House and Horsley House.

A nearby rest centre has been set up in the nearby Spike Island building on Cumberland Road.

Residents told the Bristol Post homes were evacuated at about 20:00 BST due to a "threat" to one of the buildings.

Bristol 'chemical incident' - rest centre set up

A bomb disposal team has arrived at at Gas Ferry Road in Bristol as part of an ongoing "chemical incident"

Nearby residents have been asked to leave their homes and go to a rest centre at nearby Spike Island.

Gas Ferry Road has been cordoned off - but no further information has been released

Traffic starting to clear after earlier tailbacks

That's all from BBC Local Live for the West of England.

We're back from 7am on Monday with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

If you're still stuck northbound on the M5 we're told it shouldn't be too long before you start moving again.

Earlier all three lanes were opened to let the then 21 miles of queued traffic through - but that took sometime to ripple southward.

The M5 will be closed again - around midnight - to allow emergency repairs - once the backlog has cleared.

Watch: West weather for 4 August

Why the M5 needs resurfacing after diesel spill

The M5 has been reopened to allow miles of traffic to clear - but will close again to allow resurfacing work at midnight.

The works needs to be done after a diesel spill following an accident involving two lorries earlier today.

Dave Sledge from Highways England explains why the work is necessary.

Watch: Highways England explains why the M5 needs resurfacing after diesel spill

BreakingFlats evacuated after 'chemical' find

A "small number" of properties around the ss Great Britain, in Bristol, have been evacuated following a possible chemical incident.

A cordon has been put in place after the "discovery of items" in one of the flats, police said.

M5 traffic still slow moving but starting to clear between Clevedon and Weston

M5 traffic
Highways England

These pictures were taken a few moments and show the traffic is still busy northbound on the M5 particularly around Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea.

But the good news is that the traffic is starting to move once you pass Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon.

Traffic near Burnham-on-Sea
Highways England

Highways England says all three lanes are now open around the accident site to clear some 21 miles of tailbacks.

But a spokesman added that after midnight the three lanes will be closed again to allow emergency roadworks to continue - although the hard shoulder will remain open.

M5 traffic near Highbridge
Highways England

Football: Yeovil sign Surridge on loan

Sam Surridge
Getty Images

Bournemouth forward Sam Surridge has joined League Two side Yeovil Town on a season-long loan deal.

The 19-year-old, who has yet to make a competitive first-team appearance for the Premier League club, scored eight goals on loan at Poole last season.

Click here for more.

Reassurance for Bristol tower block residents

tower block
BBC

The fire service is speaking to concerned locals in Bristol tonight about the steps being taken to safeguard high-rise buildings.

A public meeting's being attended by Avon Fire and Rescue Service, and Bristol City Council representatives, following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in London.

M5: 21 miles of traffic tailbacks to clear

The Highways Agency says there are tailbacks of up to 21 miles on the M5.

Drivers travelling long distances northbound on the M5 are advised to consider delaying the start to their journeys because of major traffic problems.

They're reopening the motorway to allow this to clear, before closing it again to start resurfacing work at midnight.

Watch: Highways Agency say it's hoped the M5 will reopen temporarily from 7.30pm

Cheltenham fan wins Whaddon Road in LEGO

Listen: Cheltenham Town fan "excited" to have stadium in LEGO

Cheltenham Town fan Daniel Hopkins is the very proud owner of his team's stadium in miniature.

He won a competition to have Whaddon Road built out of LEGO.

It's been made by Jules Richards who has previously created numerous other football grounds, including Watford’s Vicarage Road, Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough and Charlton Athletic's The Valley.

Daniel said he was "excited" to have won the model.

M5: Resurfacing will continue from midnight

M5 traffic queues
BBC

Highways England says all three lanes of the M5 will be reopened from 7.30pm to allow 21 miles of traffic queues to clear.

There will be a 30 mph speed limit.

The motorway will be closed again from midnight to allow urgent resurfacing work to take place. However, the hard shoulder will remain open.

M5: 'All three lanes should be open from 7.30pm'

The roads around the M5 are also clogged with traffic following the earlier accident

All three lanes of the M5 northbound between junction 21 and 20 should be open again from 7.30 this evening, according to Highways England.

There will be a reduced speed limit - it's hope this will ease queuing traffic.

There have been "unprecedented delays" on the motorway and surrounding roads today after an accident involving two lorries led to a diesel spillage.

It means the carriageway needs resurfacing.

To help drivers complete their journeys as quickly and safely as possible our teams have focussed on temporarily reopening all lanes. The slip road to join the M5 at junction 21 will also be opened. Once the traffic is eased we will complete the necessary resurfacing. Drivers are asked to help us by adhering to the reduced speed limit.

Tim BagnallHighways England

'Worst traffic in over 40 years' First Bus drivers say

Queuing traffic
BBC
First Bus says services to and from Weston-super-Mare, Nailsea, Portishead, Clevedon, Cribbs Causeway and Bristol Parkway are affected

First Bus says it is facing "unprecedented delays" to its North Somerset services in the aftermath of the earlier accident on the M5.

It says the X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7, X8 and X9 services are experiencing severe delays as motorists seek to avoid long queues on the motorway.

"Drivers that have been working in the area for over 40 years are saying that this is the worst traffic they have ever experienced," a company spokesman said.

"We’d also like to thank our colleagues at GWR that have stepped in to take our passengers from Weston-super-Mare where possible.”

Alligator spotted at Chew Valley Lake

A Bristol Water engineer has found a small alligator on the shores of Chew Valley Lake.

A spokesman could not confirm the species, but said a staff member "bumped into it" doing a routine survey.

It was captured by two Bristol Water staff who put it in a container ready to be collected by the RSPCA.

Watch: Bristol Water engineer spotted an alligator roaming around the Chew Valley Lake site.

M5 delays: 'It's tedious, a bit tedious'

Drivers say they've been stuck in traffic for up for 6 hours

Drivers caught in the jams on and around the M5 between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare say they've been delayed for up to six hours.

Highways England says all three lanes and the hard shoulder need resurfacing after the earlier accident and diesel spill.

Severe congestion: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe congestion, between J17 for A4018 and J21 for A370.

M5 Bristol - Long delays and stop-start traffic on M5 southbound between J17, A4018 (Cribbs Causeway) and J21, A370 (Weston-Super-Mare). Travel time is 45 minutes.

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

M5 northbound: Warning of four-hour delays between North Petherton and Clevedon

M5
Highways England

Highways England is warning of four-hour delays on the M5 between junctions 24 and 20 northbound.

It follows an earlier accident and diesel spill which has caused traffic chaos in the area.

BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Somerset will be keeping you up to date with the ongoing problems on the M5 and the surrounding affected roads through until 10pm this evening.

And of course you can keep up with the latest travel news here.

Driverless cars showcased in Bristol

GATEway driverless pod
Westfield
The GATEway driverless pod is built by Westfield Sportscars Ltd

The latest driverless vehicle technology will be on show in Bristol over the weekend.

Organised by Bristol City Council and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, the showcase event will take place at the At-Bristol Science Centre in Millennium Square from today until Sunday.

Three driverless cars - the GATEway pod (above), Venturer Wildcat car (below) and a modified Renault Twizy quadricycle will all be on display.

We’re sure that the GATEway pod, Pepper and the modified Renault Twizy will all appeal to our usual visitors as well as new ones. We can’t wait to see how the world of driverless cars will change transport in Bristol and further afield.

Phil WinfieldCEO of At-Bristol Science Centre
The Venturer Wildcat is being trialled around Bristol and Gloucestershire
Atkins

Tiny 'alligator' spotted at reservoir

View more on twitter

Bristol Water tweeted a video of a "little alligator" one of its engineers spotted on the shores of Chew Valley lake earlier on Friday.

A spokesman couldn't confirm the species, but said a staff member "bumped into it" doing a routine survey.

It was captured by two Bristol Water staff.

They caught it with a net, put it in a plastic container and it is now waiting to be collected by the RSPCA.

M5 resurfacing happening 'as fast as we can'

Traffic jam
Highways England

Highways England say it is "working as fast as we can" to get two lanes open on the M5, northbound "by 4.30-5pm".

It says all three lanes and the hard shoulder need resurfacing after the earlier accident and diesel spill.

A spokesman said it had endeavored to keep one lane open while working on two lanes at a time.

He added other roads in the area had become very congested as a result.

Appreciate frustration but substantial damage to all lanes which requires full resurfacing. We're working as fast as possible.

Highways England

The relaxing sounds of the forest

Listen: The sounds of the Forest of Dean

BBC Springwatch has been out collecting the sounds and sights of the Forest of Dean.

The team took a trip to Gloucestershire to record the blissful quiet of one of Britain's most untouched landscapes.

Transport yourself to the middle of a windy British forest and relax.

Headphones essential.

M5 congestion between Taunton and Bristol

Map
Google
The deep red colours indicate slow or stopped traffic
Traffic flow
Google

Pictures show extent of damage to the M5

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe disruption, at J23 for A39.

M5 Somerset - M5 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic northbound at J23, A39 (Bridgwater North), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Travel: Facebook Live at the M5 with Dickon Hooper

Local newspaper headlines across the West

Weapons and drugs found in car

money and drugs
Wiltshire Police

Two teenagers have been arrested after police found drugs and weapons in their car during a search.

The car they were travelling in was stopped at 12.30am because one of its headlights was out.

Inside the car officer's found a large amount of cannabis, cash, two knives and an imitation firearm.

The pair from Swindon, aged 17 and 18, are currently in custody.

Gun
Wiltshire Police

We will treat all firearms as real and loaded until proven otherwise; being in possession of anything that resembles a gun in a public place is both foolish, irresponsible and illegal.

PC Matt HerbertTri-Force Specialist Operations

Hero cat of the year award for Pixie

Watch: Pixie the cat is a hero to her family

A couple in Melksham say if it wasn't for their cat's heroics their 15-month-old daughter could be dead.

Owner Sophie Hellyer told BBC Wiltshire Pixie woke them in the night when their daughter April started choking.

In honour of the act, Pixie has been named Hero Cat during the National Cat Awards 2017 at the Savoy Hotel in London.

CCG 'disappointed' with report into after hours care

A GP surgery
BBC

Somerset's Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has responded to the CQC's report published today saying its' out-of-hours doctor service was unsafe, ineffective and poorly led.

The CCG chair said they were "disappointed with the findings":

The CCG issued a contract improvement notice at the end of 2016 and has been closely monitoring Vocare’s services for some months prior to the CQC's inspection earlier this year and pressing for improvements. This arose from concerns about long delays for patients seeking out-of-hours urgent care after they had called the NHS 111 number. Going forward, Somerset CCG is working with the CQC and monitoring Vocare’s services with the objective of ensuring they deliver the operational improvements needed to their organisation’s systems and in line with their agreed action plan.

Dr Ed FordChairman, Somerset's CCG

Travel: THREE hour delay now, says the M5 signs

Travel: 15 miles of congestion from Bridgwater to Weston

Queuing on the M5 near Bridgwater
Highways England
Looking north at J23, near Bridgwater, where the queuing begins

According to the Traffic England website cameras, the northbound congestion on the M5 is currently stretching from Weston-super-Mare down to Bridgwater.

As it stands, route planners suggest it would take two hours to drive that distance.

Queuing on the M5 near BUrnham-on-Sea
Highways England
And here at J21 for Burnham-on-Sea
Queuing on the M5 near Weston-super-Mare
Highways England
The congestion begins at Weston-super-Mare

Travel: 'Severe' delays continue on M5 near Weston

View more on twitter

Highways England is describing the delays as "severe".

It says two lanes remain closed northbound due to a fuel spillage following a collision involving two lorries.

Emergency resurfacing work is required.

It is encouraging road users travelling to London to consider using the A30 and A303 to join the M3.

Out of hours NHS care is 'inadequate', declares watchdog

Doctor handing over prescription notes
Science Photo Library

More on the story about the Care Quality Commission report into out-of-hours healthcare in Somerset:

The CQC has told Vocare - the company behind Somerset Doctors Urgent Care - that it must make a number of improvements including:

  • Ensuring there are robust and effective systems and processes to monitor and improve quality and safety of the services
  • Mitigating the risks relating to the health, safety and welfare of patients, includes staff training, recruitment and management of medicines

In what is becoming a familiar concern, the inspector highlighted inadequate staffing levels to ensure patients could have timeless access to advice and treatment.

It urged the service to improve the way it dealt with complaints and shared lessons learned.

Cricket: Will the M5 travel delays impact tonight's T20 match?

View more on twitter

If you're travelling from Somerset to Bristol for tonight's T20 cricket match, make sure you've planned your journey.

The Traffic England website predicts the current congestion to ease mid-afternoon.