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Summary

  1. Women killed in Berkshire police car crash
  2. Havant and Haslemere trains disrupted after train fire
  3. Work to fill in a sinkhole in Oxford continues
  4. Rita Ora and Grace Jones to the headline the Henley Festival
  5. A wet and windy day
  6. Updates from Wednesday 24 January

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

That's all for today

Thank you for joining us again today.

We will be back with all of the region's latest news, travel, sport and weather at 08:00 tomorrow.

'Rigged' hospital appointments 'did not cause man's death'

An Isle of Wight man whose hospital appointment was cancelled four times did not die because of treatment delays, a coroner has ruled.

John Fisher, 64, died at his sheltered flat in East Cowes in April 2016 from an alcohol-related condition, the coroner said.

St Mary's Hospital
Mark Pilbeam

His case was investigated by Isle of Wight NHS Trust in 2016 after a clerk in the endoscopy unit at St Mary's Hospital admitted postponing appointments improperly.

Holly Pritchett, 26, from Ryde, said she did it to avoid breaching waiting time targets.

Island coroner Caroline Sumeray said a "massive investigation" into the "rigged" appointments was still ongoing.

Thousands of discarded needles found in Oxford

BBC Radio Oxford

Hypodermic needle and syringe with a pile of heroin on a spoon
Science Photo Library

More than 5,500 used needles were collected in Oxford last year by the city council.

They were removed by the authority's street cleaning teams after being found in areas like churchyards and children's play areas.

Philip Ritchie, vicar at St Mary and St John Church in Cowley, told BBC Radio Oxford they have to collect needles from the churchyard each week.

"We can't really invite children to play in it because there are always needles there."

Green party councilor David Thomas said he believed safe places where people addicted to drugs can use them should be set up.

He said the rooms could be a "first step" towards recovery, allowing drug users to receive support while reducing the number of abandoned needles.

Severe accident: Oxfordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

Oxfordshire both ways severe accident, at Hockmore Street.

Oxfordshire - Barn's Road in Oxford closed and very slow traffic in both directions at the Hockmore Street junction, because of an accident.

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

Daniel Brandon

Animal lover Daniel Brandon died from asphyxiation and his python Tiny was found near his body.

Read more

Storm Georgina winds reached 74mph on Isle of Wight

Poole Harbour opens £10m port expansion

A £10m expansion of Poole Harbour has opened for yacht transfer vessels and vessel layover operations, its operator has said.

Work began in January to construct the 200m (650ft) long South Quay at the Dorset facility.

The Hamworthy site will enable the port to handle longer and heavier vessels, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) said.

It added the main construction phase as now complete and surfacing was "well underway".

The operator hopes it will generate an extra £10m a year for the local economy.

South Quay Port extension
Poole Harbour Commissioners

Cruise ship calls to Poole will double in 2018 and double again in 2019 thanks to the South Quay.

Cruise and Maritime Voyages have committed to sailings in 2018 and we are talking to a number of other cruise companies.

Jim StewartPHC’s chief executive

Vastern Road in Reading opens

Thames Water has solved the issues in Vastern Road, right in the centre of Reading, after severe flooding under a railway bridge.

The delays caused by it are not over though, expect huge delays in and out of Reading if you are travelling in that direction.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M3 Hampshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M3 Hampshire southbound severe accident, at J12 for A335 affecting J9 for A34.

M3 Hampshire - Queuing traffic on M3 southbound at J12, A335 (Eastleigh), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J9, A34 (Winnal Roundabout).

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

Big Issue vendors given roles at football club

A group of Big Issue sellers have secured a "transfer" to a Premier League football club.

The four were given the opportunity to apply for long-term positions at Southampton Football Club after completing an employment course run by the club's charity.

The vendors, Gary Jackson, June Fullerton, Julie Cherry and Aaron New, have now all been taken on by Southampton in its stewarding and conferences and events departments.

View more on twitter

Weather latest: Winds easing

Winds are easing across the region after a wet and blustery start to the day.

Temperatures are expected to dip to 7C overnight with the chance of some rain in the early hours .

BBC weather
BBC

Views sought on Newport traffic plans

Severe accident: M27 Hampshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M27 Hampshire eastbound severe accident, between J1 for A31 and J2 for A36.

M27 Hampshire - Queuing traffic and one lane closed on M27 eastbound between J1, A31 (Cadnam) and J2, A36 (Salisbury), because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M27 Hampshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M27 Hampshire westbound severe accident, between J9 for A27 Whiteley and J8 for A3024 Bursledon.

M27 Hampshire - One lane closed on M27 westbound between J9, A27 (Whiteley) and J8, A3024 (Bursledon), because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

Heroes and a half-shell

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Why did the tortoise cross the road? No, we don't know either...

Trains in Hampshire still being disrupted

Hovertravel resumes as Storm Georgina passes

A4 Calcot

The two women were believed to be turning into the A4 when their car collided with the police vehicle which had its blue lights on.

Read more

Severe delays caused by Reading road flooding

A major road in Reading has flooded, causing very slow traffic in the town centre.

Vastern Road, on the A329M, has been closed in both directions after flooding was reported under a bridge near the railway station.

It has caused severe delays elsewhere in the town, between George Street, King's Meadow Road and Forbury Road, and on the M4 westbound between junctions 10 and 11.

Bus services have been diverted, and Thames Water has said it is investigating.

View more on twitter

Train services resume through Swanwick after fallen tree

Ringwood Road reopens after wind blows lamppost down

A road in Bournemouth blocked by a fallen lamppost has reopened.

The Ringwood Road had to be closed earlier between Mountbatten Roundabout and the Clock Garage after the lamppost fell, overhanging in the carriageway in strong winds.

View more on twitter

Police car in fatal Berkshire crash 'had blue lights on'

A police car had its blue lights activated when it was involved in a fatal crash with a car in Calcot, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has said.

The collision, which killed both the driver and passenger, happened on the A4 Bath Road at about 16:00 GMT on Tuesday.

It is understood the women aged 87 and 88 had just left Calcot Golf club when the crash happened.

The unmarked 4x4 police vehicle was responding to an emergency. On board data is being assessed to see if the siren was on.

The officer and police dog in the police vehicle are not thought to have suffered any injuries. The incident is being investigated by the IOPC.

Calcot crash scene
BBC

Wightlink services resume

Severe disruption: A329 Berkshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A329 Berkshire both ways severe disruption, between B3345 George Street and Forbury Road affecting Kennet Side.

A329 Berkshire - A329 Vastern Road in Reading closed and very slow traffic in both directions between the B3345 George Street junction and the Forbury Road junction, because of flooding. Congestion to the Kennet Side junction.

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

Snake owner killed by his pet python

A snake owner was killed by his pet python, an inquest has heard. Daniel Brandon, 31, died from asphyxiation at his home near Basingstoke, Hampshire on 25 August.

One of the pets he kept at home - a female 8ft (2.4m) African rock python named Tiny - was found near his body, out of its pen.

Coroner Andrew Bradley said there was no doubt Mr Brandon died "as a result of contact with Tiny".

He recorded a verdict of misadventure.

Daniel Brandon,
Facebook

Artificial Intelligence take over in 2045?

Nick Bostrom from the Future of Humanity suggests AI could overtake humanity in 2045

Artificial Intelligence could overtake humanity "within the lifetime of a lot of people alive today", an Oxford University professor has said.

The calculation "of when machines can do everything that humans can" is by Professor Bostrum from the Future of Humanity Institute.

The year 2045 was the median prediction based on soundings taken by Prof Bostrum from machine learning experts.

This clip is from episode four of the BBC Tomorrow's World podcast.

Line reopens after tree fall

Great Western Railway says the line between Oxford and Worcester has now reopened.

It's after a fallen tree blocked the track earlier today.

View more on twitter

Fallen tree on Hampshire rail line

Rail passengers are facing delays and cancellations through Swanwick and St Denys because a tree has fallen on to the line near Swanwick station.

Diesel trains are able to use the line but electric trains are not running.

South Western Railway said disruption is expected until 13:30.

View more on twitter

Skill-swap between paramedics and firefighters

Watch: Skills are being shared by the emergency services

Two emergency services have begun an exchange programme to share life-saving skills.

A team of paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service are teaching firefighters lessons in medicine.

In return the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service crews are giving the paramedics training in dealing with hazardous environments.

They hope it will mean that they can treat casualties faster and on the spot.

Tree blocks railway line

A tree is blocking the railway between Oxford and Worcester Shrub Hill.

Great Western Railway says services between the stations may be cancelled or delayed.

The disruption is expected to last until 12:30 GMT.

View more on twitter

High winds cut power to homes

Nearly 200 homes in Eversley are without power after strong winds damaged overhead electricity cables.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said power was lost to parts of the village shortly after 07:30 GMT.

Elsewhere, power has also been lost to homes and businesses in the OX7 area, parts of Shaftesbury, Poole and Bournemouth.

SSEN said it had engineers on site with power expected to be restored to all areas by early evening.

Delay warning as strong winds bring tree down on M27

Police have closed a lane on the M27 westbound near Whiteley after strong winds brought a tree down on to the carriageway.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: A348 Dorset both ways

BBC News Travel

A348 Dorset both ways severe disruption, between A3049 Wallisdown Road and Ringwood Road.

A348 Dorset - A348 Ringwood Road in Bournemouth closed in both directions between Mountbatten Roundabout and West Howe Roundabout, because of fallen lamp post.

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

High winds halt Wightlink ferry services

Fraudsters sentenced in Bournemouth over £1m VAT scam

Three people have been sentenced for fraudulently claiming almost £1m in VAT rebates to buy luxury cars, designer clothes and a speedboat.

HM Revenue and Customs said the trio claimed to have spent £14m on building properties that never existed between 2009 and 2014 to receive the payments.

Father and son Brian and Jamie Colwell failed to attend sentencing at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday.

Briony James attended court and was jailed for one year and eight months.

Arrest warrants have been issued for Brian and Jamie Colwell.

(L-R) Briony James, Jamie Colwell and Brian Colwell were sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court
HMRC
Oxford United caretaker manager Derek Fazackerley

Oxford United caretaker manager Derek Fazackerley is unaware how long it will take to appoint a new full-time boss.

Read more

Severe accident: A354 Dorset both ways

BBC News Travel

A354 Dorset both ways severe accident, between A35 and A353.

A354 Dorset - A354 Monkton Hill in Dorchester closed in both directions between Stadium Roundabout and Jurassic Roundabout, because of an accident and an oil spillage. Diversion in operation.

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

Severe disruption: M27 Hampshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M27 Hampshire westbound severe disruption, between J9 for A27 Whiteley and J8 for A3024 Bursledon.

M27 Hampshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M27 westbound in Burridge between J9, A27 (Whiteley) and J8, A3024 (Bursledon), because of a fallen tree.

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

Appeal over rape of girl, 15, in Basingstoke

Police have released a description of a man wanted in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old girl in Basingstoke.

Police said the attack happened on Monday at about 20:30 GMT in woodland in Oakridge.

Hampshire Constabulary said the man was riding a mountain bike and is described as white, aged 30-40 of large build and spoke with an Eastern European accent.

Det Insp Penny Murray said: “The woodland lies behind the Tesco Express store in Oakridge Road, so it is likely there will have been people nearby."

View more on twitter