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Summary

  1. Man charged after assault on Stratford teenager
  2. Ministers pledge to consider change to M6 Toll charges
  3. Stratford prepares to welcome thousands for Shakespeare anniversary
  4. Coventry MP calls for increase in funding for brain tumour research
  5. Live updates for Tuesday 19 April

Live Reporting

By Vanessa Pearce

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our coverage across the day

Live updates for Coventry and Warwickshire have ended for the day.

We'll be back with you from 08:00 tomorrow with all the news, sport, travel and weather as it happens.

Coming up

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

There have been renewed calls for the M6 Toll to be made free for drivers at times of heavy congestion.   

More on the Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.  

M42 lane shut

BBC Travel

M42 - there's a lane closed on the exit slip road southbound at J4, A34 (Shirley), because of a broken down vehicle.

Watch: Latest forecast for Coventry and Warwickshire

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

A chilly night ahead with clear skies and the possibility of some frost with lows of 4C (39F).

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County Championship: Trott narrowly missed out on new career-best

Richard Wilford

BBC WM

Warwickshire's Jonathan Trott scored his first Championship century since 2014 and then doubled up against Middlesex as he took the Bears to what had seemed earlier in the day to be unlikely - a lead of 16 runs after both sides' first innings.

Trott finished 219 not out at Lord's - just eight runs short of a new career-best. Follow the action.

Jonathan Trott
Getty Images

Operation Freeway: Tolls can be suspended

Charges can be suspended on the M6 Toll in the event of major infrastructure failure, the chief executive of M6 Toll says.

Responding to calls to scrap the charges when the motorway network becomes gridlocked Andy Pearson said it was up to the Secretary of State for Transport to choose when to invoke Operation Freeway.

The M6 Toll company is happy to discuss amending the terms of the agreement, he added.

Watch: Nuneaton traveller: 'We're not all thieves'

Councils in the West Midlands are under growing pressure to provide permanent traveller sites. 

Government figures show there were 1,889 traveller caravans identified in the region in 2015, which is 124 more than 2013. 

Sabrina grew up as a traveller and is currently living in a caravan in Nuneaton, She described life on the road as "intimidating".

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M6 Toll: Never envisaged to ease M6 congestion

The M6 Toll was never envisaged to ease congestion on the M6, its owners say.

M6 Toll chief executive Andy Pearson said the M6 would fill back up with local traffic when the through traffic moved across to the toll.

Responding to calls to scrap the charges when the motorway network becomes gridlocked he said: "The real benefit of the M6toll is to relieve congestion on the local road networks as a result of taking through traffic from the M6, allowing the M6 to absorb more local traffic."

St George's Day celebrations unveiled

Coventry's St George's Day celebrations will highlight the city's link with England's patron saint. 

Morris dancers in Broadgate
Coventry City Council

A sculpture of him, dating from the 14th Century, can be found at St John the Baptist in Fleet Street and dates to a time when it was suggested he came from the city. 

Elsewhere there'll be medieval music and story-telling in Broadgate from 11:00 on Saturday morning.

Royals and Hollywood glitterati to descend on Stratford

Stratford Herald

The eyes of the world will be on Stratford for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death as the town proudly plays host to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and a star studded cast from stage and screen, including Dame Judi Dench, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant, Dame Helen Mirren and Antony Sher this weekend.  

Grayson Perry works installed in Coventry

The Vanity of Small Differences -   a series of six large-scale tapestries by Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry - are being installed at Coventry's Herbert Art Gallery. 

Following the life of a fictional character, the tapestries open to the public on Friday.

View more on twitter

Latest: Government to consider M6 Toll changes; and Stratford assault charges

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

Here's a recap of some of our main stories today:

- Ministers are to consider changes to M6 Toll charges

- Man charged after Stratford teenager assaulted and held against her will

- Jonathan Trott scores fifth double century of his career against Middlesex

Flybe launches six new routes from Birmingham Airport

Coventry Telegraph

Budget airline Flybe’s summer schedule from Birmingham Airport has launched with the addition of six new routes and increased frequency to existing destinations on its network .

Watch latest Shakespeare forecast: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

BBC Weather

Alex Deakin is getting in on the Shakespeare festivities delivering a 'forecast' inspired by him.

Before you reach for your brolly, it's not real and just a bit of fun.

Coventry City take on Bradford at the Ricoh

Geoff Foster

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

On loan winger Jodi Jones should be available for the Sky Blues tonight for the League One fixture against Bradford City at The Ricoh Arena.  

Tony Mowbray
Getty Images

He missed Saturday's win over Millwall with food poisoning.

Manager Tony Mowbray has emphasised that his squad is concentrating on claiming as many points from the final 12 on offer this season, with the Sky Blues set to face Doncaster, Sheffield United and Oldham in coming weeks.

We’ve had plenty of wins this season, this is just the build up to the next game. Bradford are obviously a very hard working team who are capable of grinding out results and find themselves in a good league position.

Tony MowbrayManager, Coventry City

Travel: M42 accident

BBC Travel

An accident is blocking one lane of the M42 northbound between J9, M6 Toll (Curdworth) and J10, A5 (Tamworth).

Congestion to J7a of the M6.

View more on twitter

Travel: M6 vehicle fire

BBC Travel

Two lanes blocked and very slow traffic on the M6 northbound between J6, A38(M) Aston Expressway and J7, A34 (Great Barr) because of a vehicle fire.

BBC Travel is reporting congestion to J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich).

Watch: Stratford's RSC from the air

The eyes of the literary world will be on Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of playwright William Shakespeare.

David Tennant will host a live TV celebration at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Saturday evening.

The former Doctor Who star will be joined by Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen.

Shakespeare Live! will be broadcast on BBC Two from 20:30.

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Ministers consider change to charges on M6 Toll

The government says it will look at proposals for reforming the M6 Toll charges following a debate by MPs this morning.

Julian Knight, MP for Solihull tweets: 

View more on twitter

Mr Shakespeare meets Mr Shakespeare

Fireman Simon Shakespeare, who says he has only read two books, is being taken around the new Shakespeare exhibition at Birmingham Library to see if curators can convince him his namesake is important.   

Will it work? Watch Midlands Today on BBC1 at 18:30.

View more on twitter

M6 lane closures are daily occurrence, figures for the past month show

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

We can reveal that on average in the past month, a lane was closed every rush hour on the M6 between junctions five and 10. 

Figures given to us by Highways England show from 14 March to 10 April, there were 64 incidents that resulted in one or more lanes closing on the so-called smart motorway - which can have an extra lane running in high traffic - between 07:00 and 09:00, and 16:00 and 18:00.

Jenny Gunn: England all-rounder moves to Edgbaston from Nottinghamshire

BBC Sport

Warwickshire have signed England all-rounder Jenny Gunn from Nottinghamshire for the 2016 domestic season. 

Jenny Gunn
Getty Images

Gunn, 29, joins up with fellow England players Becky Grundy and Amy Jones to play in the One-Day Cup and for the Birmingham Bears in T20 matches. 

Watch: Calls for M6 Toll charges to be scrapped

Calls to scrap charges for drivers on the M6 Toll when serious accidents are causing gridlock elsewhere are being debated in Westminster today.

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A fatal crash in February shut the M6 near Birmingham for 24 hours, causing tailbacks for 10 miles. Highways England admitted it should have declared a major incident.  

iPlayer marks Shakespeare anniversary with partner content

The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death will be marked on the BBC iPlayer by a digital pop-up channel showcasing content from outside the corporation for the first time.  

iPlayer screen
BBC

"Co-curated" by the BBC and the British Council, the Shakespeare Lives site will host content from the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the British Film Institute (BFI) and other arts organisations.  

Watch: Re-imagining Shakespeare's plays in virtual reality game

In the four centuries since William Shakespeare's death, his works have been adapted to pretty much every media you can imagine: books, film, radio, you name it. There's even a board game.

Now the Bard has entered the realm of virtual reality with an immersive video game called Play the Knave, developed by the University of California, Davis.

Jane O'Brien went to the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts near Sacramento to see it in action.

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Watch: What Coventry's Romeos and Juliets will be getting up to on Friday

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

The cast and crew of our Shakespeare Street project are getting ready for Friday's performance in coventry's Broadgate. 

Crowds will be gathering from 18:30, with the show starting at 19:00.

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Latest: Man charged after teenager assaulted; M6 lane closures daily occurence

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

These are some of our headlining stories this lunchtime:

- Statford man charged after teenager assaulted and held against her will

- New figures show M6 lane closures happening daily in rush hour

- Jonathan Trott hits century for Warwickshire

Man charged after Stratford assault

Alec Blackman

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

A man has been charged in connection with an incident in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Adam Sargent, 30, of Elm Road in Stratford is charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, false imprisonment, criminal damage and possession of cannabis.

Middlesex v Warwickshire: Trott at his best

Richard Wilford

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

Jonathan Trott has made his first Championship hundred since 2014 hitting six boundaries this morning.

But can any other Warwickshire batsmen help as they look to reach the follow-on target of 303?

Warwickshire are currently on 205-6 chasing 452

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Your pictures: Hampton Lucy

BBC Midlands Today

Elizabeth McKenna has sent us this lovely atmospheric picture of Hampton Lucy.  

You can see this, and others, on our viewers' photos album on our Facebook site.

Hampton Lucy
Elizabeth McKenna

Teenager assaulted and held in Stratford-upon-Avon

Alec Blackman

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

A teenage girl was cocerced into a house by a man in Stratford on Sunday, physically assaulted and kept at the address for about half an hour.

She was eventually freed, suffering injuries to her head, neck and hands and the suspect walked her to her workplace.

Police say a 30-year-old man was coaxed down from the roof of the property and arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

Watch: Latest weather for Coventry and Warwickshire

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Pleasant sunshine continuing this afternoon with a top temperature of 13C (55F).

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Watch M6 Toll debate live

This morning's debate on M6 Toll charges starts at 11:00 in Westminster Hall.

You can watch it live here. 

View more on twitter

Latest: MPs debate M6 Toll; teenager assaulted and held in Stratford

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

Here are some of our headlining stories in the Coventry newsroom today:

- MPs to discuss waiving M6 Toll charges during emergencies

- Man arrested for assaulting and holding teenager against her will

- Figures show extent of M6 closures during rush hour

Cashless system RingGo introduced for on-street parking

Stratford Observer

On-street parking in Warwickshire should be less hassle, following the introduction of a new system allowing drivers to pay for parking online with their mobile phone.  

MPs hear of 'shocking' levels of funding for brain tumour research

The government's admitted it must do more to help Brain tumour patients. 

It follows a debate in Parliament sparked by a petition submitted by a couple from Warwickshire whose son, Stephen Realf, died from a brain tumour.

Stephen Realf
BBC

MPs heard brain tumours attract 1% of research funding despite causing 40% of children's cancers and being the biggest cancer killer of adults under 40.

Labour MP for Coventry North, Colleen Fletcher, called the figures "shocking". 

At the current rate of national spend, the charity Brain Tumour Research estimate it could take another hundred years to find a cure for this cancer

Colleen Fletcher, MP

St George’s Day set to be celebrated in style at Grade I listed church

Coventry Observer

 'Queen Isabella’ will be in Coventry this Saturday with her faithful knight to celebrate St George’s Day in style at the Grade I listed St John the Baptist church.  

St John the Baptist church
Coventry Observer

MPs to debate M6 Toll charges

There's a call to waive charges for motorists on the M6 Toll, at times when serious accidents are causing gridlock elsewhere.

M6 Toll
BBC

It's after a fatal crash in February closed the M6 near Birmingham for 24 hours, causing tailbacks for 10 miles as far as Coventry. 

The MP for Solihull Julian Knight will hold a debate on the issue in the House of Commons later this morning.  

Latest: MPs to debate M6 Toll; and Stratford prepares for Shakespeare celebrations

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

These are some of the stories we'll be looking at today:

- MPs to hear call to waive M6 Toll charges at times of serious accidents

- Stratford prepares to welcome thousands for Shakespeare anniversary

- Coventry MP says the government must increase funding for brain tumour research