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  1. Trees felled and roads flooded in storm
  2. Torquay United investigate 'racist comments' at match
  3. Fire call handler helps people escape blaze in West Cornwall
  4. Plymouth-Roscoff ferry passengers to sail from Portsmouth and arrive in St Malo
  5. Fallen branches cause problems on Devon roads
  6. Updates on Friday 29 December 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Sam Hill of Exeter Chiefs looks to break past Luke Hamilton of Leicester Tigers

Kris Holland

BBC Sport

Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs end 2017 with a 30-6 win over Leicester Tigers at Sandy Park.

Read more

Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Tuesday, 2 January 2018, with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Don't forget Spotlight on BBC One through the weekend and on New Year's Day. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

And we'll take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Stormy weekend weather expected to cause more disruption

BBC Spotlight

Flooded road

Further disruption to travel is expected across the weekend as heavy rain passes across the South West of England.

Drivers are being warned to expect flash flooding on the roads and ferry services have been cancelled because of stormy seas.

Power cuts affected hundreds of homes today across Devon and Cornwall and winds gusting up to 80mph brought down trees in both counties too. Among them were eight healthy elms trees in Plymouth's Central Park.

A major retail park in Cornwall, Hayle's West Cornwall Shopping Park, is closed "until further notice" after the building's roof was damaged for a second time in a week by high winds.

Tonight's Plymouth to Roscoff crossing has been cancelled and passengers are having to travel from Portsmouth to St Malo instead, which will see some people having journeys of up to 24 hours.

The Met Office is warning of more flash flooding, with further heavy rain forecast tomorrow.

Felled tree

Torquay v Eastleigh 'racist comments strongly condemned'

BBC Sport

Torquay United say they are "urgently" investigating reports of racist comments from fans during their Boxing Day fixture at Eastleigh.

The club said they were deeply concerned about what they termed "disgusting" comments from someone at the away end, and about the release of a smoke bomb during the game.

The Gulls said: "This will never be tolerated by any football club and Torquay United condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms.

They added: "Any perpetrator of racist abuse will be banned from the club for life, without exception, and those releasing smoke bombs will also be given lengthy banning orders."

Incinerator roof wind damage 'will be investigated fully'

BBC Radio Cornwall


High winds and winter weather this week have caused damage to a section of the roof of an incinerator at St Dennis.

On Wednesday night, nearby residents woke up to discover some of the metal sheets on the roof of the waste plant had become twisted and dislodged.

Critics of the facility said it was the latest in a series of incidents they were concerned about.

Operator Suez said inspections "confirmed that the roof remains structurally sound and presents no danger".

It added that it had made temporary repairs, with a permanent repair expected to be carried out early next week.

The company said: "Some light insulation material was blown loose and a work party was mobilised to clear up any wind-blown insulation that escaped the site. While this is clearly regrettable, it did not pose a safety risk to members of the public or personnel.

"The damage will be investigated fully in due course to establish and rectify the underlying cause."

Arctic guide plans for Devon double Everest conqueror

Mollie Hughes
Mollie Hughes

A climber who became the youngest woman in the world to scale both the north and south sides of Mount Everest is to train as an Arctic polar guide.

Mollie Hughes, originally from Torbay in Devon, successfully climbed the Himalayan peak from its north side in May at the age of 26, following a climb to the summit from its south side in 2012.

The 27-year-old Edinburgh-based climber is to embark on 18 months of specialist training with Scottish youth charity the Polar Academy.

She aims to be part of its 2019 expedition team, guiding 10 teenage pupils from Bathgate Academy in West Lothian.

The charity supports secondary school age pupils who undertake 10 months of rigorous training at their school and in the Highlands before journeying for 10 days through eastern Greenland.

Police warn against phone use while driving

A Devon police officer has tweeted against phone usage while driving.

PC Will Heather of Devon and Cornwall Police promoted police guidelines to "set your phone to 'do not disturb' while driving".

View more on twitter

According to the force's website, 98% of road accidents are caused by human errors, known as "the fatal five".

They are:

  • Inappropriate or excessive speed
  • Not wearing a seat belt
  • Driver distractions including using mobile devices such as phones, 'sat navs' and tablets
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Careless and inconsiderate driving

Weather: Rain overnight before clear spells

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

Skies will cloud over again this evening, with another spell of persistent and sometimes heavy rain.

It will be windy again, but milder than of late.

Minimum temperature: 5C (41F).


Saturday should start mostly dry with some sunshine.

It will turn cloudier, though, with some rain likely later on.

Maximum temperature: 14C (57F).

Police help 85-year-old man get phone fixed

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

View more on twitter

Officers added that they hoped BT would get to the man quicker than the Friday, 5 January, appointment that had been booked, later tweeting: "Understand you are busy. Chap really was feeling low."

The Plymouth section said they were not trying to out-do colleague Sgt Harry Tangye, who tweeted how he and a fellow armed response officer, who he described as "2 burly ARVs", helped clean up a Parkinson's disease patient earlier this week.

Dowling extends Torquay loan

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Torquay United have extended the loan of Bristol City teenager George Dowling.

The 19-year-old midfielder joined the Gulls in late August and has scored one goal in eight games.

George Dowling
Rex Features

Last month he agreed a new contract to keep him at Bristol City until the summer of 2019.

"He's shown when he is fit and available that he can add something to the team," said Torquay manager Gary Owers.

"Hopefully, once he is free from suspension he can have a run of games and show everyone how good he is."

Retail park 'staying closed' after roof comes loose again

BBC Radio Cornwall

Hayle Retail Park roof. Pic: @jpw48/Twitter

Shops at a west Cornwall retail park are to remain closed "until further notice" after the building's roof was damaged for a second time in a week by high winds.

A section of roof at Hayle's West Cornwall Shopping Park came loose again after high winds overnight on Thursday, resulting in the park being closed.

Fire crews on an aerial ladder have been working to make it safe.

Unlike a previous similar incident on Wednesday, the neighbouring A30 has remained open.

The park has branches of Boots, Costa, Marks & Spencer and Next.

Poldark stars win Reader Awards 2017

Radio Times

Three stars of Cornwall-based BBC One TV drama Poldark have come up winners in this year's Reader Awards.

People voted in their droves these past few weeks (with almost 100,000 votes cast) and picked the trio to receive the accolades as they celebrated the very best in television in 2017.

The winners:

  • Best Actor: Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark)
  • Best Actress: Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza Poldark)
  • Best Breakout Talent: Harry Marcus (Geoffrey Charles)
Aidan Turner. Pic: Radio Times
Radio Times
Eleanor Tomlinson. Pic: Radio Times
Radio Times
Harry Marcus. Pic: Radio Times
Radio Times

Police warn against illegal west Devon event

Devon travel: Accidents in Plymouth and Tavistock

BBC Radio Devon

  • In Plymouth, Union Street is partially blocked due to accident at Durnford Street
  • In Tavistock, Mount Tavy Road is partially blocked due to an accident at Violet Lane

Falmouth road reopens after tree removed

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

View more on twitter

Boslowick Road has reopened after it was closed when a tree fell on it this morning (pictured below).

Castle Drive is a one-way road around Pendennis Castle and to Pendennis Head.

Fallen Tree
Devon and Cornwall Police
Barbary piracy 'culturally erased'
The story of pirates who turned thousands of British people into slaves 'needs to be better known'.

Two hurt in Ivybridge fight

Police are investigating a fight in Ivybridge which resulted in two men being injured.

Ivybridge Police said on Facebook the incident took place between 21:00 on 26 December and 02:00 27 December.

They added that the incident was "believed to have started inside the Smithy pub and then continued outside the Co-op store in Glanvilles Mill".

They have appealed for witnesses.

Explorer trying to cross Antarctica runs out of food

Plymouth Herald

Plymouth-born polar explorer Ben Saunders has been forced to abandon his quest to cross Antarctica unassisted after “ferocious” conditions left him without enough food to complete his journey.

Car shot with air rifle over Christmas

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Police have appealed for witnesses after a BMW car was shot with an air rifle in Bovey Tracey over Christmas.

Officers said the black X5 was damaged while parked in the Station Road car park between 10:00 on Sunday 24 December and 14:00 on Christmas Day.

It was hit with at least 10 pellets.

Shot car

Devon travel: Problems in Plymouth and Newton Abbot

BBC Radio Devon

  • In Plymouth, on the A38 Parkway, one lane is closed near Marsh Mills heading towards Forder Valley due to an accident
  • Staying in Plymouth, Embankment Lane is partially blocked at the A374 Embankment Road due to an accident
  • In Newton Abbot, the A381 Totnes Road is partially blocked due to a fallen tree between Bradley Road and A382 Highweek Way

Hayle retail park roof comes loose again

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Hayle Retail Park roof. Pic: @jpw48/Twitter

Cornwall's firefighters have been in action sorting out damage to trees and buildings caused by high winds overnight.

Incidents include a section of roof at Hayle's West Cornwall Shopping Park coming loose again and the park being closed. Crews on an aerial ladder have been working to make it safe.

Unlike a previous similar incident on Wednesday, the neighbouring A30 has remained open.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said it had been to "several incidents where the wind has loosened structures and trees and caused a potential hazard to the public".

Crews from Mullion, Bude, Newquay and Perranporth were sent to incidents "to make structures safe".

And a fallen tree has closed the one-way system around Pendennis Castle in Falmouth.

'Busy week since Christmas' for fire station

Trees felled and roads flooded in storm

BBC Spotlight

Fallen tree

One short storm has brought several great trees down in Plymouth's Central Park after decades of them standing proud.

Winds of 70mph passed through on Thursday night, with people in the park saying they were saddened to see the damage to eight trees.

On the roads, drivers are facing many challenges with heavy rain leading to flash flooding and fallen branches causing hazards.

Fallen tree

Topsham Road in Exeter (pictured below), like many roads in the South West today, has had deep puddles forming as drains struggle to cope with heavy rain.

Stormy conditions at sea are disrupting ferry services.

The last ferry sailing of the year from Plymouth to Roscoff has been cancelled, with passengers being asked to travel from Portsmouth to St Malo instead.

Passengers without cars are being put on coaches, but drivers are facing challenges on the roads with heavy rain leading to flash flooding.

Topsham Road in Exeter. Pic: Chris Gurney
Chris Gurney

Weather: Windy, with gales around coasts

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

It is a windy afternoon with sunny spells and blustery showers, perhaps with hail and thunder.

More cloud will turn any sunshine hazy this afternoon and the showers will become very isolated.


Winds will be strong northwesterly, with gusts to 50mph inland, gales around the coasts with gusts to 60mph around exposed headlands, slowly easing later in the afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 10C (50F).

Torquay investigate 'racist comments' at Eastleigh match

BBC Sport

Torquay United say they are investigating reports of racist comments from fans during the Boxing Day fixture at Eastleigh.

The club said they were deeply concerned about what they termed "disgusting" comments from someone at the away end, and about the release of a smoke bomb during the game.

The Gulls said the reputation of the club was suffering, but racist comments would "never be tolerated" and any perpetrators would be banned from the club for life.

They added that the behaviour involved a "tiny minority" of spectators - with the majority offering "magnificent" support.

Cornwall travel: Roads blocked by trees after storms

BBC Radio Cornwall

  • Just outside of Launceston, the B3254 is blocked due to fallen tree between Duke Street and Church Road
  • The A390 is partially blocked near Gunnislake and there's slow traffic due to fallen tree near Station Road
  • Between Mevagissey and St Austell, there's a tree blocking the B3273

Hundreds in Falmouth area suffer power problems

Nearly 900 properties across Cornwall are suffering from power problems following the high winds, lightning and thunder.

Earlier, about 1,400 homes were without electricity, with Liskeard the worst hit area.

However, more than 800 in the Falmouth area were experiencing problems within the last hour, according to Western Power Distribution's website, hitting the TR11 5 and TR10 9 post code areas.

Many properties in the TR4 8 area have also been affected.

Supplies in those areas were expected to be restored by 13:00, the company said.

Incinerator critics 'not surprised' at roof's wind damage

BBC Radio Cornwall

Inspections are being carried out on the roof of the incinerator in St Dennis after a part of it was damaged during high winds on Wednesday night.

Some residents said there was a strong smell coming from the plant after the damage, which was the second incident of weather damage this year.


Ken Rickard, from St Dennis, who has long campaigned against the incinerator, said: "I’ve been concerned for a long time but I’m not surprised that this happened.

"The bottom line is that Cornwall tax payers have been sold a white elephant.

"It’s just a series of incidents that have happened there that should have not happened. It’s not good enough."

Incinerator operator Suez said the roof was structurally sound and presented no danger.

It added that it had made temporary repairs, with a permanent repair expected to be carried out early next week.

Woman injured after falling from scaffolding

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A woman has been taken to hospital after falling from scaffolding in Plymouth.

Police said they were called to a building in Notte Street in the city after the female fell from the third level of scaffolding erected outside a building at about 16:45 on Thursday.

She was taken to hospital but later released after being treated for non-life-changing injuries, police said.

View more on twitter

Fallen tree blocks Castle Drive, Falmouth

Julie Skentelbery

BBC Radio Cornwall

Castle Drive in Falmouth, the road to Pendennis Head, has been blocked by a large fallen tree near the coastguard station.

Cars are having to back track against the one-way system.

Police and highways officials are aware of the problem.

Remi Matthews rejoins Argyle for rest of the season

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

Goalkeeper Remi Matthews has rejoined Plymouth Argyle for the rest of the Sky Bet League One season, the club has said.

The 23-year-old made seven appearances earlier in the campaign on emergency loan from Norwich before a leg injury at Portsmouth in November curtailed his stay.

He'll resume his Argyle career in the final game of 2017 at Blackpool on Saturday.

With all three of Argyle’s contracted professional goalkeepers – Luke McCormick, Robbert te Loeke and Kyle Letheren – sidelined by injury, the first part of Remi’s stay will be covered by the EFL’s emergency loan regulations.

That will be converted into a season-long loan when the transfer window opens after the holidays, the club added.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Devon travel: Trees block B3180 and road in Newton Abbot

BBC Radio Devon

  • A tree is partially blocking St Mary Church Road in Newton Abbot, near Plant World
  • A tree is blocking the B3180 in east Devon, near Hulham Road

Teenage boy punched in face by man in car

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Police are investigating a teenage boy being punched in the face during an assault in Braunton.

Officers said the 14-year-old from Ilfracombe was attacked at about 16:30 on Monday 18 December, next to the Co-op on Exeter Road.

A man got out of a dark blue estate car stopped at traffic lights and punched the victim in the face before getting back in and the car driving off towards Ilfracombe.

The boy suffered minor facial injuries and was taken to hospital to be checked over.

The offender, a passenger in the car, was wearing a black puffa jacket and jogging bottoms. The driver of the car was a blonde woman.

Police have appealed for witnesses.

Cornwall travel: B3254 just outside Launceston blocked

BBC Radio Cornwall

The B3254 just outside of Launceston is blocked due to a fallen tree between Duke Street and Church Road.

Devon travel: Fallen trees block A380 and B3193

BBC Radio Devon

  • The A380 southbound is partially blocked by a fallen tree at Mamhead, near Dawlish
  • The B3193 is partially blocked by two trees near Rixpark Corner, near Kingsteignton

'Take extra care' warning after storm damage

BBC Radio Devon

Strong winds and thunderstorms have been causing disruption in Devon.

Early this morning, firefighters were called to a car stuck in flood water in Plymouth with the driver inside.

Hundreds of properties have been without power in Dartington, Offwell, Hollocombe, Higher Clovelly and Plymouth.

Tonight's Plymouth to Roscoff ferry has been cancelled because of high winds and is leaving from Portsmouth instead.

Some trees are down and there's also surface water and debris on some roads.

Andy Cole, from Devon County Council Highways, said: "Take extra care, allow extra time for your journey

"The forecast is still indicating we can get some strong winds and gusts, and be mindful that when you go round that corner that you might not be sure what's there.

"Pull back on that speed a bit."