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Summary

  1. Live updates for Tuesday 5 April
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our coverage across the day

That's the end of Local Live's updates today, but we'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday. 

Ticket restrictions lifted as rail delays continue

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Restrictions have been lifted on rail tickets after severe delays plagued thousands of commuters on the railways today.

The head of communications at London Midland says the company is now running reduced services between Birmingham and Coventry, as well as Virgin Trains.

Train companies have agreed to carry one another’s customers as Network Rail continues to repair the damaged overhead wires on the West Coast main line near Birmingham International station.  

View more on twitter

Celebrations for Shakespeare's 400-year legacy

Opera, hip hop and giant doodling form part of creative activities to mark the 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has planned an extra special programme of celebrations in the week leading up to 23 April

William Shakespeare
BBC

Watch: Rail passengers face 'nightmare' journey as services delayed

Thousands of rail passengers nationwide have had their journeys plagued by delays after the line between Birmingham and Coventry closed.  

Latest headlines: Some trains starting to run from Coventry; plans for Jimmy Hill memorial garden unveiled.

Alec Blackman

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

- Some trains between Coventry, Rugby and Birmingham are starting to run again after being cancelled for most of the day. Not all services are up and running, so replacement bus services persist

- Police are hunting a gang of knife-wielding robbers after a raid on a North Warwickshire travel agents

- A new memorial garden at the Ricoh Arena - along with a specially-carved headstone - will form part of the final resting place for Jimmy Hill

Rail disruption latest: Hourly train service to start between Birmingham and Coventry

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Train operator London Midland says a reduced, hourly service is now running between Birmingham and Coventry.

The line between the two cities had been closed since 06:30 after "an incident" involving an empty train carriage and overhead cables, causing nationwide disruption.

View more on twitter

Rail disruption latest: Some trains from Coventry to Birmingham have started to run - here's the first one.

Martin Winch

BBC Local Live

The delayed 16:22hrs Virgin service to Birmingham New Street has just arrived at Coventry railway station. It was 11 minutes late.

Replacement bus services are still in place as not every train is running.

Train
BBC

Travel update: Virgin Trains says some trains in Coventry could be running in an hour

Martin Winch

BBC Local Live

Matt Bradley, the Customer Experience Manager at Virgin Trains which operates Coventry Railway Station, has just told us that some trains could be running in an hour, although replacement buses for others would continue.

It's a capital idea, but do we Midlanders want a mayor?

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Barring some sort of bolt from the blue, in a little over a year from now, voters in a conurbation of more than three million people, from Wolverhampton to Coventry and from Sutton Coldfield to Solihull, will be preparing to elect their first 'metro mayor'.

Read my blog for more on the "devolution revolution".   

Watch: Why the railway line is closed between Birmingham and Coventry

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today

Liam Sumpter from Network Rail explains the damage that has been caused to overhead cables near Birmingham International:

Network Rail explains the damage done to overhead cables at Birmingham

Weather: Cloudy with a few showers around this afternoon with rain tonight

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It's cloudy and mild but we can expect a few showers this afternoon.

Tonight it's set to rain, 6C (43F)

Sara Blizzard with the afternoon's weather forecast for the West Midlands

Latest headlines: Rail disruption to last well into evening; campaigners say beauty spot isn't the right choice for travellers site

Alec Blackman

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Here are your headlines for Coventry and Warwickshire this afternoon:

- It's unlikely there will be any trains from Coventry or Rugby to Birmingham until at least 20:00 tonight, according to Network Rail.

- Putting a travellers camp on Leamington's highest point would have an "adverse effect" on the local area, campaigners say.

Delays expected until 20:00 at the earliest

David Lumb

BBC Midlands Today

The general manager for Virgin Trains has just told me the rail disruption will go on well into the evening rush hour. 

Francis Thomas says repairs won’t be complete until 20:00 at the earliest. 

Passengers are being reminded they can use their tickets on any train.

Deputy PCC's suspension discussed in public meeting

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

More than 100 people turned up for a public meeting last night to discuss the West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner's suspension amid allegations she broke protocol by visiting a murder victim's family.

Public meeting
bbc

Community campaigner Desmond Jadoo said the purpose of the meeting was to gather public opinion on Yvonne Mosquito's suspension "and take that forward".

He added an overview of discussions would be forwarded to the office of the PCC.

TRAVEL: Busy around the stonebridge island in Coventry

BBC Travel

It's congested on the A45 around the Stonebridge Island

Map
BBC

Rail disruption video: Bus replacement services in operation

Matt Bradle, general manager for Virgin Trains in the West Midlands, explains that bus replacement services are in operation. He refers to early estimates that disruption would ease by 17:30, although the projected time is now later in the evening.

Anyone wishing to travel is advised to check services via National Rail Enquiries.

Latest on the rail delays between Birmingham and Coventry

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Thousands of people travelling across the country by rail are being delayed after the line between Birmingham New Street and Coventry closed this morning due to overhead line problems at Birmingham International. Here's the latest details:

- Hundreds of commuters this morning queued for bus replacement services

- National Rail is currently advising that it expects delays until 18:30

- An Arriva service is now running between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International

- Train operators including Chiltern, Virgin, East Midlands & Cross Country Trains accepting tickets for disrupted journeys

- Network Rail staff carrying out overhead cable repairs

- Anyone wishing to travel is advised to visit the National Rail Enquiries website for full details

Campaigners say Leamington beauty spot not suitable for travellers site

Richard Williams

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Campaigners say plans to locate a travellers site on the highest spot in Leamington's Campion Hills would have an adverse impact on what`s a local beauty spot.

Campion Hills
BBC

Warwick district council is looking at creating 15 pitches on land it owns there.

The authority says that part of Campion Hills is under-used, adding the proposed camp would be landscaped.

Afternoon forecast for the West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

dry and bright day with some sunny spells, but there is the chance of the odd light shower later this afternoon. 

Feeling pleasant in the sunshine - highs of 13C (55F). 

Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Latest headlines: Train disruption set to last until 17:30; plans for Jimmy Hill memorial garden revealed

Alec Blackman

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Here are you headlines for Coventry and Warwickshire this lunchtime:

- Network Rail says it'll be another five hours at least before trains start running again between Coventry and Birmingham New Street

- Plans for a permanent memorial, where Jimmy Hill's ashes will be scattered, have been unveiled at Coventry's Ricoh Arena

- Campaigners say plans to put a travellers site on the highest spot in Leamington's Campion Hills would have an adverse impact on a local beauty spot

Passengers warned of travel chaos

BBC News England

Thousands of rail passengers are facing delays and cancellations after overhead electric wires at Birmingham International station stopped working.

Services across the country are affected, including routes to London, Edinburgh, Manchester, North Wales and Southampton.

Rail commuters warned of major disruption across country
BBC

Jimmy Hill's ashes to be scattered at a special memorial Garden at the Ricoh this month

Richard Williams

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

A new memorial garden will be created at the stadium to celebrate the life of Jimmy Hill.

His widow, Briony, has given some of his ashes to be scattered on the garden.

Former Sky Blues Chairman Joe Eliot at the Ricoh
BBC

The new garden and stone will be unveiled before the last home game, following a blessing by Rev John Whitcombe from Coventry cathedral. 

Delays between Birmingham and Coventry to last until 5.30pm

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The disruption between Coventry and Birmingham is now expected to last until 17:30, warns National Rail.

Network Rail staff are on site carrying out repairs to damaged overhead wires. The New Street team tweeted these photos....

View more on twitter

Arrest in Leamington over arson

A man has been arrested following vehicle fires at the weekend, Warwickshire police say.

The 21-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of two offences, arson and arson with intent to endanger life.

On Saturday, there was an incident involving two vehicles in the Chase Meadow area of Warwick at about 05:00. Police say there was another incident involving a vehicle fire in Stretton Crecent in Leamington Spa on the same day.

A 22 year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Warwickshire captain Ian Bell on the Bears' pre-season trip to Dubai

Ian Bell, in his first season as Warwickshire captain, has the rare luxury of a full-strength team to choose from.

Read more

Rail disruption: Buses 'will accept train tickets'

If you're stuck because no trains are running between Coventry and Birmingham at the moment, you can get the 900 bus service instead - and use your train ticket.

Here's National Express with the reminder:

View more on twitter

Watch: Latest forecast for the West Midlands

Dry and bright start to the day which is set to continue for all of us.

The odd light shower is possible through the afternoon but with some decent sunny spells too. Feeling pleasant in the sunshine with highs of 14C (57F).

Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Latest headlines: Severe rail disruption between Coventry and Birmingham; plans to put a travellers site on Leamington's highest point

Kevin Lee

Here are your headlines this morning from Coventry and Warwickshire:

- There are no trains running between Coventry and Birmingham New street stations because of overhead line problems. Some train journeys from Rugby station are also affected

- Campaigners are to fight council plans to locate 15 permanent travellers pitches on the highest spot in Leamington

- William Shakespeare's works will be honored with a special set of stamps marking the 400th anniversary of the bard's death

Coventry rail delays: Delay and repay

Chris Blakemore

BBC News reporter

Francis Thomas, head of communications at London Midland, has told us that the overhead power lines stopped working in the area around Birmingham International just after 06:00 this morning. 

There's still an empty stock train trapped down there. 

Sign warns commuters of delays
BBC

If you've had a terrible commute this morning, buses between Rugby and Birmingham are being provided.

Remember, if you're delayed by more than half an hour you can claim a reimbursement from train operators, including London Midland and Virgin Trains.

As You Lick It - new Shakespeare stamps released

A new set of stamps featuring lines from some of Shakespeare's best-known plays have gone on sale.

They've been released to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death.

Stamp with Shakespearean quote
Royal Mail

The stamps feature famous quotations from Shakespeare's plays, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and The Tempest.

Next week's post will also be printed with a special post mark, showing the dates that Shakespeare lived.

Photos: Queues for replacement bus service

Are you caught in the rail delays as passengers look for an alternative route while lines between Birmingham and Coventry remain closed?

Danielle Currie took this photo in Coventry as she queued to get on a replacement bus service to Birmingham New Street.

Queue for replacement buses
Danielle Currie

After much waiting she decided to head back to Rugby and work from home.

What's your journey been like? To get in touch you can emailtweet us on @Covwarks or message via Facebook.

'300 people queuing at Coventry railway station'

About 300 people are waiting for replacement buses at Coventry railway station.

This video was taken a short while ago.

View more on twitter

Trains disrupted until 3pm this afternoon, warns National Rail

If you're travelling between Birmingham New Street and Coventry today on the trains be prepared for severe delays. National Rail is now warning that disruption is likely until 15:00 this afternoon.

Engineers are on site as overhead line problems close the railway lines in both directions. 

Rail passengers face a day of disruption

Passengers are facing a morning - and possibly afternoon - of disruption following the rail problems we've been telling you about this morning.

This is the scene at Coventry railway station.

View more on twitter

'Please allow extra time,' warns Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport is warning people to allow enough time to make their flights today amid rail problems in the region.

The line between Birmingham New Street and Coventry is currently disrupted due to difficulties with overhead wires near Birmingham International.

National Rail says the disruption, expected to last until 10:00, means trains are also unable to run between Birmingham International and Birmingham New Street - and are expected to be cancelled, delayed or diverted where possible.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Railway line blocked between Birmingham and Coventry

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Trains between Birmingham New Street and Coventry are severely disrupted due to overhead line problems.

Chiltern Railways and Arriva Trains are both accepting London Midland and Virgin tickets.

For more updates follow National Rail.

View more on twitter

Travel latest: Roads

BBC Travel

There’s A45 congestion this morning, with slow traffic on Stonebridge Highway eastbound, Coventry, between Festival Island and Tollbar Island.

Good morning from today's Coventry and Warwickshire live page

Welcome to the Local Live service for Coventry and Warwickshire on Tuesday morning. 

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

If you'd like to get in touch you can email, tweet us on @Covwarks or message via Facebook.