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Summary

  1. Eight arrested over cash machine thefts across UK including Cheshire
  2. American investor buys Stoke-on-Trent pottery company
  3. Cycle club 'devastated' over Staffordshire break-in
  4. Port Vale sign Dutch defender Knops
  5. Updates on Tuesday 28 June 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Staffordshire estate residents say a busy level crossing leaves them 'cut off'
People living on a housing estate say they are being "cut off" twice an hour when a rail line is in use.

Our live coverage across the day

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

This evening on BBC Midlands Today: 'Stranded' by a level crossing

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

This evening we'll be hearing from a Staffordshire housing estate where people say they're "fed up" of being stranded by passing trains.  

Train at level crossing in Stone
BBC

The problem is a level crossing on the West Coast Mainline at Stone which cuts off access to hundreds of homes when the barriers are down. 

We'll have more from 18:30 on BBC One.

New Staffordshire road race 'sold out' to entrants

Alice Bentley

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Organisers of a new road race in Stafford say they now have the maximum amount of entrants for the event.

Stafford town centre
BBC

The town's first 10K will take place in September, with around 2,000 runners taking part. 

Earlier this month the route was announced. It will start in the town centre and take in the Isabel Trail and Victoria Park.   

Talk about putting up barriers - residents cross over level crossing

People living on a housing estate say they are being "cut off" twice an hour when a rail line is in use. 

Access to and from Coppice Road in Stone, Staffordshire, is impossible for 10 minutes each hour when level crossing barriers come down.

Some residents want to see another route built for cars and pedestrians. 

Network Rail says the frequency of trains has recently returned to twice an hour, due to improvement works on alternative routes.  

Staffordshire estate residents say a busy level crossing leaves them 'cut off'

Teenage girl hit by car in Stafford

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A 14-year-old girl's been hit by a car in Stafford say police. 

Newport Road, Stafford
Google

According to Staffordshire Police, the driver of the car checked her condition before leaving the scene of the crash on Friday on Newport Road - they're now trying to track down the motorist.

The force says the girl was crossing the road at the time and suffered slight injuries which needed hospital treatment.

EU referendum: Tatton voters split over Osborne's future

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

George Osborne usually cuts a popular figure in his Cheshire constituency but how has the UK's vote to leave the European Union affected perceptions of the Chancellor?  

Winning 58% of the Tatton vote in the 2015 general election, you might think sympathy for the Remain-campaigning minister would have stayed strong.  

Knutsford town centre
BBC

But as Mr Osborne battles through arguably the most vulnerable point in his career, opinion in the Cheshire East borough is as divided as the nation, with 51.2% of his constituents voting to leave the EU, and 48.8% choosing remain.

Some Leave voters have blasted the chancellor for presiding over what they say was a lackluster Remain campaign.

Read more of my analysis on the BBC website here.

Watch: Group wants post office move stopped

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Concerns have been raised over plans to relocate a post office in Stoke-on-Trent.Under proposals, the Fenton branch would move in to an empty unit across the road.  

But Glenn Parkes, from the Fenton Community Association, says he has concerns the move will make access difficult for pensioners and disabled people.The Post Office says it welcomes customers' feedback ahead of a final decision.  

Latest: Eight held over ATM thefts; cycle club 'devastated' over break-in; Port Vale sign Dutch defender

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The latest headlines for you this evening include:

- Eight men have been arrested in an investigation into a series of high-value cash machine thefts in the UK including one in Alsager, Cheshire

- Bikes worth around £5,000 have been stolen from the cycle track at Lyme Valley Park in Newcastle-under-Lyme

- Port Vale have made their first signing since appointing Bruno Ribeiro as managerwith the transfer of Dutch defender Kjell Knops

Football: Port Vale sign Maastricht treat

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale have made their first signing since appointing Bruno Ribeiro as managerwith the transfer of Dutch defender Kjell Knops. 

The club say the 28-year-old joins from MVV Maastricht where he was club captain.

Kjell Knops
Port Vale FC

Port Vale's chairman Norman Smuthwaite has also tweeted that two other players, from Monaco, weren't able to travel to Vale Park because of "all (the) English fans returning". 

He adds that they should arrive "with others" on Thursday.

Cycle club 'devastated' over break-in

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Bikes worth around £5,000 have been stolen from the cycle track at Lyme Valley Park in Newcastle-under-Lyme. 

Examples of the three types of stolen bike
Staffordshire Police

Staffordshire Police says the 11 bikes aren't designed to be used on the road because they have no brakes.

They say they were taken last night at Newcastle Track Cycling Association

Coaches at the club have told BBC Radio Stoke that they're "devastated".

Damien McCrory

Defender Damien McCrory commits his future to Burton Albion by signing a new two-year deal.

Read more

Watch: Stoke and Staffordshire's weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC Weather

The BBC Weather website can also keep you updated at other times with the latest forecasts for your part of Staffordshire or Cheshire.

Olympics: Stoke-on-Trent long jumper 'honoured' to represent city in Rio

Matt Sandoz

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

Stoke-on-Trent long jumper Jazmin Sawyers says it is an honour to be representing the city at this year's Olympic Games. 

Jazmin Sawyers celebrating at the weekend
Getty Images

The 22-year-old has been speaking about the sacrifices she's had to make after she qualified at the weekend via the British Athletics Championships.

You have to live and breathe it, you have to make sure you get enough sleep, the food you are eating, the kind of social activities you engage in - you've got to make sure that everything is tailored to this lifestyle of being an athlete. That can be hard because you've got to say no to a lot of things you want to do."

Jazmin Sawyers

Former Steelite chief buys Royal Crown Derby

Dave Wade

BBC Local Live

One further result of the US buyout of Steelite International, announced today, is that Steelite's chief executive has stepped down and bought Royal Crown Derby.

Royal Crown Derby mug being painted
BBC

Kevin Oakes purchased the Derby-based firm for an undisclosed amount. 

He says he intends to invest heavily in Royal Crown Derby and plans to make changes across all areas of the business to ensure it's appropriately structured and resourced.  

BBC Weather Watcher Pictures: Uttoxeter river and Leek under blue skies

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

It might not go that way today but yesterday our BBC Weather Watchers took plenty of pictures of the blue skies over Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Here are a couple of examples from Bucko in Uttoxeter and Lesley from Leek in, you've guessed it, Leek - sign up on the website..

Uttoxeter river
Bucko
Leek
Lesley from Leek
Carl Dickinson

Notts County clinch the signing of Carl Dickinson on a two-year contract after he rejects a new deal at Port Vale.

Read more

News: Eight held over ATM thefts; HS2 report criticises 'too ambitious' schedule; residents 'cut off' by level crossing

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire include:

- Eight men have been arrested in an investigation into a series of high-value cash machine thefts in the UK including one in Alsager, Cheshire

- A report into the HS2 high-speed rail project, planned to run through Staffordshire and Cheshire, says it has too ambitious a schedule and is under pressure over its costs

- People living on a housing estate in Stone have told BBC Radio Stoke they want action to prevent them being "cut off" when a rail line is in use  

Eight arrested over cash machine thefts across UK

Tom Mullen

Reporter, BBC News Online

Eight men have been arrested in an investigation into a series of high-value cash machine thefts in the UK including one in Alsager, Cheshire.  

The men, aged between 27 and 41, are held on suspicion of carrying out raids from Wiltshire in the south to Aberdeenshire in the north.  

Police officer knocking down door
MERSEYSIDE POLICE

Explosives were used to sabotage some ATMS, while others were dragged away using stolen vehicles.  

Travel: Crash on A513 in Armitage, Staffordshire

BBC Travel

There's been an accident on the A513 Rugeley Road in Armitage near the Upper Lodge Road junction.

BreakingFootball: Notts County sign Port Vale skipper

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

After announcing on Twitter last week that he was rejecting staying at Port Vale, it's been confirmed this afternoon that the former Vale captain Carl Dickinson's joined Notts County.

View more on twitter

Analysis of report criticising HS2

Richard Westcott

Transport correspondent

I've been looking at the National Audit Office report which says the HS2 high-speed rail project has an "unrealistic timetable".

It was written before the Brexit vote, so it doesn't speculate on what effect, if any, it could have on HS2.

Train on railway
Getty Images

The Department for Transport's very keen to send out a "business as usual" message, promising that planned investment in our roads and railways won't suffer.

MPs are due to vote on phase one of HS2 later this year. If they approve the bill, that's effectively the green light to start building the line from London to Birmingham. And MPs approved the project overwhelmingly the last time they had a vote.

More from me on the BBC website here.

Football: Crewe boss 'prepared to wait' for transfers

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis says he's prepared to wait as long as it takes to get his transfer targets this summer. 

Steve Davis
Getty Images

Davis has met with a striker and a midfield player over the last week. 

But he told BBC Radio Stoke he'll give them all the time they need to make a decision.

Once you put deadlines on things sometimes that puts them off, it gives them pressure that they don't need because they've got other offers so in certain cases deadlines aren't good, you want to be patient.

Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra manager

Residents 'cut off' by level-crossing 'twice an hour'

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

People living on a housing estate in Stone have told BBC Radio Stoke they want action to prevent them being "cut off" twice an hour when a rail line is in use. 

Access to and from Coppice Road stops for 10 minutes each hour when level crossing barriers are lowered to allow trains to pass.

The level crossing in Stone
BBC

Those complaining say they want to see another route built for cars and pedestrians. 

Network Rail says the frequency of trains has recently returned to twice an hour, due to improvement works on alternative routes. 

This lunchtime on Midlands Today: HS2's 'major cost pressures'

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this lunchtime I'll be analysing the latest news on HS2 which the National Audit Office (NAO) says has an "unrealistic timetable". 

HS2 proposed image
PA

In a report, the NAO says the high-speed project - due to head to Birmingham and then later to Crewe - faces major cost pressures

On BBC One from 13:30 I'll be looking at what all this mean to the scheme as HS2 Ltd says it is confident it can achieve its objectives.

Travel: Caravan overturns on M6 near Stafford

BBC Travel

A caravan has overturned on the M6 southbound near Stafford says Highways England, between junctions 14 and 13.

Get the latest from BBC Travel.

View more on twitter

Latest: American takes over pottery firm; HS2 'too ambitious'; trio of signings due at Port Vale

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Now to get you updated this lunchtime on our latest headlines:

- The Stoke on Trent pottery firm Steelite International has announced it's been bought by the company's American president and an investment group

- A report into the HS2 high-speed rail project, planned to run through Staffordshire and Cheshire, says it has too ambitious a schedule and is under pressure over its costs

- Port Vale are expected to complete the signing of up to three new players later this afternoon

Watch: This afternoon's Stoke and Staffordshire weather forecast

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC Weather

You can also get weather updates at any time from the BBC Weather website

Steelite International takeover: Background on Stoke-on-Trent firm

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Steelite International, which has announced today that it's been bought by American investors, was formed in 1983 after founding chairman David Johnson bought the whole hotel ware division from Royal Doulton.

The firm says it focused on making tableware for the hospitality industry with clients including Hilton Hotels and Four Seasons Hotels. 

Steelite in Stoke-on-Trent
BBC

By 2006 it had a turnover of £48.2m and exported to 120 countries - that would rise to sales of £89.6m in 2013, following the acquisition of Royal Crown Derby in 2012. 

Hundreds of people are employed at the Middleport site and three years ago Steelite was given a Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Your pictures: Canal ducks in Stone and Rugeley rainbow

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

These ducks and their babies bobbing along the canal in Stone were photographed by Kath Dawson who kindly shared the picture with me.  

Stone canal ducks
Kath Dawson

Then this rainbow was seen by Matt Thomas in Rugeley.

Have you got a picture of Staffordshire or Cheshire to share? You can send it in on emailtweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram (with the tag #bbcstoke).

Rainbow in Rugeley
Matt Thomas

Charity on watch for hate crime following Leave vote

Sarah Robertson

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke-on-Trent Citizens' Advice Bureau says it is meeting today to discuss any local reports of hate crime following the EU referendum result last week.

David Cameron has condemned "despicable" incidents of hate crime reported in the wake of the UK's vote.

Cheshire Police said yesterday there had been "no upsurge in reported hate crimes" in the county in the past few days - but the Stoke-on-Trent charity says it's worried there could be cases in the city.

We have always found whenever there's been some kind of big national thing like a big demonstration or some kind of bombing, there's always been suddenly a bit of a backlash and people have suddenly got victimised and then it does hopefully fade off."

Jude HawesEqualities Team Manager at Stoke-on-Trent Citizens' Advice Bureau

American investor buys Stoke-on-Trent pottery company

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The Stoke on Trent pottery firm Steelite International has announced it's been bought by the company's American president and an investment group.  

Steelite International
Google

The tableware company in Middleport is a major supplier to the hospitality industry. 

As part of the takeover, former Steelite Chief Executive Officer Kevin Oakes is leaving the firm - the new owners say they're looking to bring in new ideas.  

Steelite International is known as the leader in the hospitality tableware industry and our goal is to continue that leadership through the introduction of new, creative and innovative products."

John MilesNew CEO of Steelite International

Football: Trio of Port Vale signings expected

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale are expected to complete the signing of up to three new players later this afternoon.

Port Vale ground
Getty Images

Confirmation was expected yesterday, but chairman Norman Smurthwaite tweeted that there had been a delay with their medicals. 

Latest: Pottery firm bought by American investors; HS2 'has unrealistic timetable'; Charity expecting rise in hate crime after EU vote

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Let's get you updated with this morning's headlines:

- The Stoke on Trent pottery firm Steelite International has announced it's been bought by the company's American president and an investment group

- The HS2 high-speed rail project, which is planned to run as far as Crewe, has an "unrealistic timetable", a report by the National Audit Office has said

- Stoke-on-Trent Citizens' Advice Bureau says it is meeting today to discuss any local reports of hate crime following the EU referendum result last week