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Summary

  1. Plane toilet arsonist forced Mayday call
  2. Fly-tipping costing councils thousands
  3. Worcestershire has "country's fasted growing economic output"
  4. Bid to restore historic walkway at station
  5. Updates on Friday 10 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Severe accident: Worcestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

Worcestershire both ways severe accident, between Hill Road North and Hill Road South.

Worcestershire - Ravenshill Road in Lulsley closed in both directions between the Hill Road North junction and the Hill Road South junction, because of an accident.

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

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening.

Rising cost of Herefordshire bridge repairs hits £6m

The amount of money required to fix road bridges in Herefordshire has risen to nearly £6m.

Lingen bridge
BBC

The figures come from a Freedom of Information request submitted by the RAC Foundation. 

They show there are now 20 bridges in Herefordshire that are substandard.

'Unsafe' trees to be removed from road outside cricket ground

Seven trees are to be removed from New Road in Worcester due to "concerns of over their safety", Worcestershire County Council say.

The council say the lime trees, which line the busy three-lane road outside Worcestershire County Cricket Club's ground, are diseased and need to be removed "as a matter of urgency for health and safety reasons".

New Road, Worcester
Google

Work to remove the trees will start on Monday. 

Scans of the trees show a worrying amount of decay due to disease. Two of the trees were recommended to be removed within three months and a further five within six months. In addition, a further 11 trees require urgent branch removal work."

Councillor Marcus Hart, Worcestershire County Council

Bewdley re-naming proposal put forward

The deputy mayor of Bewdley is suggesting the town could be renamed.

Philip Edmundson is suggesting Royal Bewdley or Bewdley Regis and believes there is a precedent for giving it a more regal name.

Bewdley
Google

Mr Edmundson has been looking at the records and found the town has had three royal charters in the past and is trying to find out if they are still valid.

He explained that the idea had been raised by a local Facebook group and the town council had agreed to look into it further.

Coming up on TV

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

It's a blight on our landscape, a health hazard and it is costing us millions - fly-tipping. We investigate the cost to councils in the West Midlands of clearing it.

The chief constable of West Midlands Police has denied his force is engaged in "positive discrimination" in the recruitment of black and ethnic minority officers. 

Two non-league sides, Bromsgrove Sporting and Coleshill Town, have made it to the semi-finals of the FA Vase, and are dreaming of meeting each other in the final in May. 

More on these stories and others on the Midlands Today on BBC One from 18:30.

Chicken nugget delivery for Malvern boy with autism

An eight-year-old boy from Malvern suffering from autism who stopped eating chicken nuggets when Birdseye changed their recipe has had a delivery of 2,000 of the old-style nuggets from the company.

William Stocker has a food phobia and has been eating the nuggets for the past five years until the brand introduced a new type of breadcrumb.

William Stocker
BBC

William used to eat 150 Birds Eye chicken nuggets a week and his parents had appealed to Birdseye to go back to the original recipe.

Football: Worcester City travel to Nuneaton

BBC Sport

Worcester City travel to Nuneaton tomorrow, looking to end their long winless run and get out of the National North relegation zone.

It's been 15 games without a victory now, but their opponents have been inconsistent since the start of the year, winning five and losing four of their matches, with one draw.

Nuneaton Borough
Getty Images

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Overnight it is going to remain mostly cloudy with some hill fog. However, there will also be a few cloud breaks around at times. Lows of 8C (46F).

Find out more about the weekend ahead .

Rebecca Wood has your forecast

Your photos: Cloudy scenes around Herefordshire and Worcestershire

BBC Weather Watchers

It's been an overcast day across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and we've seen plenty of cloud in the photos from the BBC Weather Watchers today.

These ones were taken near Worcester (top) and Lyonshall (below).

Field near Worcester
SkyHigh
Lyonshall
Johnqa

Worcester link road set to close overnight

Worcestershire County Council is warning of an overnight closure on a section of Worcester's link road tonight.

View more on twitter

The Worm: Listed station was restored after being gutted by fire

Great Malvern station, which is linked to what was the Imperial Hotel by a covered walkway known as The Worm, was gutted by a devastating fire in 1986, which destroyed much of the roof.

Two years later though,  the Grade II listed building was restored to its former glory, though it has lost its original clock turret.

Great Malvern station
BBC

The Friends of Malvern Railways group are trying to get funding to restore and reopen the walkway.

Watch: Lucs look to build on comeback win

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Luctonians’ director of rugby, Alex Davidson, says his side deserves great credit for the way they overturned a 17-0 half-time deficit to win 24-23 at Preston Grasshoppers on Saturday.

The victory was a major boost to Lucs’ hopes of National Two North survival as they are now 11 points clear of the relegation places.

The Herefordshire club will aim to build on that success on Saturday, 11 March when they will host mid-table Otley at Mortimer Park.

Luctonians to build on comeback win

Football: Harriers at home to Alfreton

BBC Sport

Kidderminster Harriers will look to get back to winning ways against 17th-placed Alfreton Town tomorrow.

Their opponents have the joint-leakiest defence in the National North, having let in 72 goals so far this season - an achievement only matched by bottom-placed Altrincham.

Daniel Nti
Getty Images

Harriers will have their new winger Daniel Nti available.

The 23-year-old former Worcester City man signed yesterday after leaving York City.

Worcestershire has country's fasted growing economic output

Economic output in Worcestershire was the fastest-growing in the country in recent years according to the county's Local Enterprise Partnership .

cash
Getty Images

New figures show productivity, which is a measure of economic efficiency, grew by an annual average of 3% between 2010 and 2015.

The growth means Worcestershire's economy is now estimated at nearly £12bn.

Holidaymaker jailed for aircraft arson

A man from Kidderminster has been jailed for four years and six months after admitting starting a fire in a toilet on board an aeroplane. 

It happened on a Monarch flight from Birmingham to Sharm-el-Sheikh carrying 194 passengers in August 2015, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

John Cox, 46, pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to a charge of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.  

Birmingham Airport
BBC

The CPS said the aircraft, travelling at 33,000ft, was forced to initiate an emergency landing until passengers and crew managed to put out the fire and another one in a waste paper bin.   

Cox, of Coates Road, was removed from the plane and arrested by police in Sharm-el-Sheikh. 

The motive of John Cox behind such a senseless crime is still unclear, but what is clear is that his irresponsible actions put the lives of all passengers and crew on board the aircraft in danger."

Paul Reid District Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service

Watch: Saving The Worm at historic station

Justyn Surrall

BBC Hereford and Worcester

The Friends of Malvern Railways hope to get a bid for funding to renovate a tunnel, known locally as The Worm, which once linked a station to a nearby hotel.

The covered walkway was used by first class passengers getting from Great Malvern station to the Imperial Hotel, which is now a private girl's school.

Saving 'The Worm' at historic station

'Sufficient care and attention' not paid to wellbeing of cyclists

BBC Sport

British Cycling has admitted it did not pay "sufficient care and attention" to the wellbeing of staff and athletes at the expense of winning medals .

In October, the organisation found former technical director Shane Sutton guilty on one of nine charges of using sexist language towards Bromsgrove cyclist Jess Varnish, who was dropped from British Cycling's elite programme last April.  

Jess Varnish and Shane Sutton
Getty Images

The organisation has now been forced to respond to a leaked draft report of an investigation into alleged failings in its culture.

Published in the  Daily Mail,  it claims British Cycling "sanitised" its own probe into claims Shane Sutton used sexist language towards Bromsgrove cyclist Jess Varnish.

It also spoke of a "culture of fear", with some staff "bullied".

Fly-tipping cases rise in area up by 66% in five years

BBC Midlands Today

The number of cases of fly-tipping in Herefordshire and Worcestershire has risen by just under 66% in the past five years. 

A BBC investigation found, from the councils which responded, that there were a total of 4,882 incidents in 2015-16 compared with 2,948 in 2011-12.  

Fly-tipping
BBC

The biggest rise was in Bromsgrove, were cases more than doubled from 877 to 1,757 in the same period. 

Across the West Midlands, the BBC has found fly-tipping incidents have risen by 13%.  

Woman finds Enid Blyton letter in £1 book

BBC News England

A woman has found a letter by popular children's author Enid Blyton in a book that cost £1.  

Jacqueline Ralph found the note in a copy of Silas Marner, by George Eliot, which she purchased in the Cinema Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye.  

The letter
BBC

Ms Ralph, from Lichfield said she was "amazed" by the find.

Experts said the letter was probably a generic copy that was sent to the writer's fans.

The letter
BBC

Watch: Wolves 'running into form' says coach

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Worcester Wolves’ head coach, Paul James, feels his squad is running into form at just the right time. 

The Wolves will go into their BBL Championship match against Leeds Force at the University Arena on Friday, 10 March with a record of eight wins from their last 10 matches in all competitions.  

Worcester Wolves 'running into form' says coach

Ledbury, Leominster and Upton named among best in UK

Ledbury, Leominster and Upton-Upon-Severn are officially among the best places to live in the UK. 

The towns are all included in the Sunday Times list which will be published this weekend. 

The list looks at crime rates, house prices, shops, schools and community spirit.

Ledbury
bbc

The Worm: Bid to restore historic walkway

There are plans to get funding to restore the covered walkway, know locally at The Worm, that links Great Malvern station to what was once The Imperial Hotel.

The Friends of Malvern Railways group plan to reopen the tunnel, which allowed first-class passengers to walk directly to the hotel

The Worm
BBC

When it opened in 1860, the Imperial Hotel (pictured below) was the height of luxury - and the first to be lit by "incandescent gas" according to Historic England . It is now a private girls' school.

At the time Malvern was a popular tourist destination, due to its range of hills and spring water.

The population of Malvern in the 1861 census was given as 4,484, yet on 28 July 1860 the Malvern Advertiser reported that 5,000 people arrived in the town for "excursions".  

The former Imperial Hotel
BBC

Cricket: Shoulder operation success for Kohler-Cadmore

Good news about the injury Tom Kohler-Cadmore suffered while playing grade cricket this winter for Penrith in Australia.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore
Getty Images
View more on twitter

Could beavers pose a threat to local farmers?

Beaver in river
Getty Images

The beavers will be released into a 16-acre fenced area along the Greathough Brook near Brierley. 

It's hoped they will dam the stream creating new habitats for wildlife and slowing the flow of water to potentially reduce the flood risk around Lydbrook.

In other areas of the UK where beavers live wild, farmers have complained of damage to their land. 

The trial here is going to be fenced to stop boar getting in and stop the beavers getting out. The fence-line is going to be inspected on a very regular basis. We are well embedded on the public forest estate so there is, I would say, absolutely no chance of the beavers escaping, or if they do escape, getting out onto surrounding farmland.

Kevin StannardForestry Commission

Fly-tipping costing thousands

Wyre Forest District Council has told us it's cost around £40,000 to deal with fly-tipping over the past 12 months.

It said in the first six months of last year environmental enforcement officers issued 30 on-the-spot fines. 

It says it is also running an awareness campaign aimed at businesses to help tackle the problem. 

waste
bbc

Reintroducing beavers 'promotes biodiversity'

Beaver
Getty Images

A family of beavers could be released into a fenced area of the Forest of Dean later this year as part of a three-year trial. 

The Forestry Commission is finalising plans to introduce the animals to an area near Brierley, hoping they would dam the Greathough Brook and potentially reduce flood risk downstream.

In Scotland, the release of Eurasian beavers in Argyll in 2009 was deemed so successful they were given protected status. 

"Beavers promote biodiversity by creating new ponds and wetlands, which in turn provide valuable habitats for a wide range of other species," said the country's environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

Watch: The true cost of fly-tipping

Phil Maiden

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

I've been to visit a fly-tipping "hot-spot" in Wychavon, Chadwick Lane between Stourport-on-Severn and Hartlebury.

The number of fly tipping incidents in the Wyre Forest has trebled over the past three years while it's doubled in Bromsgrove and in Herefordshire.

The true cost of fly-tipping

Watch: Weather for the West Midlands

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

A cloudy day in store with occasional light drizzle, but also some patches of brightness - highs of 13C (55F).

You can find a detailed forecast for your area on the BBC Weather site.

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Good morning from today's Herefordshire and Worcestershire live page

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

Welcome to the Local Live service for Herefordshire and Worcestershire on Friday morning. BBC Weather Watcher SK has been out early to snap some daffodils in Hereford.

Daffodils
SK

I'll be bringing you all the news, sport, travel and weather as it happens. 

If you'd like to get in touch you can  emailtweet us on @bbchw  or message via  Facebook .

Beavers could be reintroduced later this year

Beaver
Getty Images

A family of beavers could be released into a fenced area of the Forest of Dean as soon as September.

The news follows a meeting last night to discuss their reintroduction in a bid to help prevent flooding in the area.

The Forestry Commission wants to release the animals into a 16-acre area by the Greathough Brook, near Brierley.

Beavers were hunted to extinction about half a century ago for their highly valuable fur and oil, but have survived in captivity. 

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow.

Keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning.     

On Midlands Today from 18:30: Shocking baby loss statistics

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this evening, we'll have more on shocking statistics that more babies die before their first birthday in the West Midlands than anywhere else in the country. 

Health professionals are trying to reduce the numbers of deaths by 20% by 2021.

Baby box
BBC

And with the chancellor Philip Hammond looking to kick-start the so-called Midlands Engine with £392m, we'll look at how it's going to be spent. 

Those stories plus more, including your weather forecast for the West Midlands, from 18:30 on BBC One.