England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

Businesses call for through trains to stay under new firm

Cumbria's chamber of commerce has asked the new West Coast Main Line train operator to make sure the county keeps through services to London.

The existing operator, Virgin West Coast, will hand over to First Trenitalia, in a change of franchises from December, and the same firm will also run HS2 trains from 2026, once a high speed line to Crew is complete.

HS2 artist's impression
HS2 Ltd

The chamber's concern is that the high-speed trains will only stop at Preston, with Cumbrian passengers having to change in Lancashire to catch services to London.

Rob Johnston, chief executive of the chamber of commerce, said: “There is a danger that Cumbria is left with a second-class rail service."

We’re doing our utmost to persuade First Trenitalia that it’s in their interests to ensure there isn’t any diminution of the rail service to Cumbria."

Rob Johnston

Six drivers banned as police roads crackdown gathers pace

Police say they have brought a number of drivers to book after starting a campaign in June called Operation Deadnought aimed at identifying the worst offenders on the county's highways.

Police car

Insp Steve Minikin said six drivers had been banned, three were awaiting trial, and a number had been written warning letters or been dealt with in other ways.

By identifying and targeting these dangerous drivers we can help those who show a desire to do so, change their on-road behaviour for the better."

Other drivers who cannot see the error of their ways and the risk they pose to themselves and others will be prosecuted for offences and brought before the courts."

Insp Steve Minikin

Police officer to face trial over dangerous driving

A Cumbria police officer is due to stand trial accused of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Sgt Graeme McCreadie, 54, was driving a police van which was deployed to Kendal on 6 May 2018 following reports of a domestic incident between a man and a woman.

It is alleged that the van mounted a pavement, hitting an officer who was on foot and then the woman.

She suffered serious injuries requiring hospital treatment. The officer, a special constable, suffered minor injuries.

The IOPC completed an investigation in November 2018 and the evidence was then sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who made the decision to charge Sgt McCreadie with causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He denies the charge. The trial is due to begin at Preston Crown Court on 27 August.

Man who knocked out stranger is jailed for 13 months

A man who punched a complete stranger to the ground in central Carlisle has been jailed for 13 months.

Carlisle Crown Court heard the victim lost consciousness, received hospital treatment and had since spent more than £10,000 on dental work while his quality of life had "greatly decreased".

Brady Wilson, 29, of Holywell Crescent, Carlisle, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

Judge James Adkin said Wilson had an unusual medical background but expert evidence had concluded he did not need to be detained in hospital, and that drug and alcohol misuse had tipped his mental state "towards symptoms suggesting a psychotic illness".

Cumbria's weather: Cloud and patchy rain later

BBC Weather

Although it may be dry for a time early tonight, some patchy rain and showers are likely to move in from the south-west later, with lowest temperatures from 6C to 9C (43F to 48F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, hour-by-hour, weather forecast for where you are, here.

Cumbrian rain gauges heading for August record heights

This August is already one of the wettest five on record in Cumbria, according to Meteogroup which provides weather forecasting services for the BBC.

Sapdeadam has already recorded the wettest August in 15 years with 251.2mm (9.8in), Carlisle has already had the fourth wettest August since 1962, with 147.6mm (5.8in), and Keswick, with 185.6mm (7.3in) has measured its third wettest August since records began in 1989.

Cloudy Langdales
Michael Roscamp

Mental health workers try to keep drop-in sessions going

Mental health workers in the area covered by the charity Mind in West Cumbria say they will try to keep some of its threatened services going.

The organisation says it will have to close to the end of September because it no longer has the resources to provide the services it wants to, or to meet the requirements of the national charity.

Wigton Methodist Church

Janet Morgan runs Mind drop-in sessions in Wigton Methodist Church and says some of those who've relied on the charity may turn instead to stretched NHS emergency services, or harm themselves.

I'm not letting this group go without a fight, and before the group had finished I had plans B and C in my head."

I'm not a quitter and I ain't going to let Wigton group go down the Swanee just like that."

Janet Morgan

Cumbria's police chief takes top post for women officers

Cumbria's Chief Constable, Michelle Skeer, has been appointed the new president of the British Association for Women in Policing.

Michelle Skeer
Cumbria Police

Chief Constable Skeer takes over from Chief Constable Dee Collins from West Yorkshire Police.

She said: "I have been passionate about making it easier for others who have followed me, so I have championed issues within the force, whether it be part-time working, job share, buddy schemes, mentoring/ coaching or uniform issues."

Cumbria's weather: Becoming dry and bright

BBC Weather

A few showers are possible this afternoon, but in general most places should become dry and bright with spells of sunshine.

There will be generally gentle winds and highest temperatures from 14C to 17C (57F to 63F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, detailed, BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Cumbria's weather: Cloudy and wet through the morning

BBC Weather

It will be a rather cloudy, wet morning with further outbreaks of rain, although these should break up to reveal some sunny spells and a few showers

Highest temperatures will be from 14C to 17C (57F to 63F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, hour-by-hour, BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Cumbria's weather: Cloud thickening in small hours

BBC Weather

Most of the showers will fade for a time this evening, with some late sunny spells.

Later in the evening and into the early hours, cloud will thicken again to bring showers or longer spells of rain, with lowest temperatures from 6C to 9C (43F to 48F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, detailed, BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Missing Maryport man is found

Thomas Johnson, reported missing from his Maryport home earlier, has been found.

Police put the squeeze on off-road bikes

West Cumbria police were out on a cycle path in Workington at the weekend, look for youngsters riding trail bikes, and taking a severe line with those breaking the law

View more on twitter

Maryport people asked for town improvement ideas

People in Maryport are being asked to share their ideas on how to regenerate parts of the town.

Maryport promenade and harbour

Allerdale Borough Council says a team has been set up to look at improving the promenade and harbourside as well as some of the older buildings in the town centre.

Earlier this year Allerdale council put a rough price tag of about £2.3m on the scheme and officials say they are in the process of securing the funding.

Cumbria's weather: More showers and sunny intervals

BBC Weather

It will be partly cloudy this afternoon with a mix of heavy showers and brighter interludes.

Some of the showers may turn thundery at times, but the fresh breeze will moderate later, with highest temperatures from 14C to 17C (57F to 63F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Abusive partner is jailed for 37 months

A man who beat his partner up "on a weekly basis", isolated her from friends and monitored who she was in contact with, has been jailed for more than three years at Carlisle Crown Court.

Joshua Williamson
Cumbria Police

Joshua Williamson, 22, of Rydal Avenue, Whitehaven, admitted three charges of assault causing actual bodily harm and one of coercive behaviour.

His partner told police how Williamson regularly assaulted her, "threatening to chew her nose off so no-one will ever look at her again".

Recorder Michael Murray jailed Williamson for 37 months and banned him from contacting his partner indefinitely.

You were possessive, jealous, controlling and violent throughout."

Recorder Michael Murray

Cumbria's weather: Partly cloudy with heavy showers

BBC Weather

A partly cloudy day is expected with a mix of heavy showers and brighter interludes, with some of the showers thundery at times.

The fresh breeze will moderate later this afternoon and temperatures should reach from 13C to 16C (55F to 61F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, hour by hour, BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Cumbria's weather: Scattered showers and windy

BBC Weather

A few scattered showers are possible, but on the whole it will be a largely dry night with clear spells and variable cloud.

It will be windy in places with lowest temperatures around 8C to 11C (46F to 52F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest detailed BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Ombudsman orders council to say sorry to family

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cumbria County Council has been ordered to apologise to a father and his children, and to pay them more than £1,000 in compensation, after a watchdog found failings in the way he was helped to care for his daughters.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman ruled that the authority’s mishandling of a children’s services complaint caused the family “distress, uncertainty and frustration”.

The council accepted that the service was not good enough but has now promised to act on the recommendations, stressing that “significant improvements” had been made.

The complainant, identified in the report only as Mr Q, asked the council for help in 2015 because he felt unable to cope with his two daughters, and the next year there was an allegation of physical assault by the father on one of his daughters.

He later claimed that the council had not provided him with adequate support, had not shown “empathy or sincerity” and failed to deal properly with his complaints.

Cumbria House, Carlisle

Work poised to start on new Pooley bridge

Cumbria County Council says it is now ready to start work on the new bridge at Pooley Bridge, and will start by removing the temporary crossing next month.

The three stone arches of the original historic bridge were swept away during Storm Desmond in 2015.

Pooley Bridge artist's impression
Cumbria County Council

It will mean no car access from the western side of the River Eamont and the steamer pier until next spring, although a footbridge will be put into place and parking will be provided.

This will take about a week, during which time a bus service will be provided to take visitors around the lengthy diversion.

The £5m project should be complete in time for next summer.

We appreciate there will be disruption for the local community, businesses and visitors while there’s no road crossing the river and I’d like to thank people for their patience and understanding during this period.”

Councillor Keith LittleCumbria County Council

Manager who stole £45,000 electronic goods is jailed

A Currys PC World account manager who stole more than £45,000 of high value goods from the firm's Kendal store has been jailed.

Joshua Charles Nicholson
Cumbria Police

Joshua Charles Nicholson, 25, exploited a loophole in the company's system to create bogus invoices and receipts which allowed him to take goods including iPhones, televisions and computers from the company's Kendal store..

Nicholson, of Low Biggins, Carnforth, said he had "no idea" why he had stolen around 100 items, and admitted theft and two charges of making a false representation.

Recorder Michael Murray jailed Nicholson, of Low Biggins, Carnforth, for 18 months.

Cumbria's weather: Rain edging away later

BBC Weather

Rain persisting at first this afternoon before edging away to the southeast, allowing more in the way of drier spells.

It will be rather windy throughout.

Maximum Temperature: 15 to 18C (59 to 64F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, detailed, BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Businesses angry as Kendal bridge shuts again

Businesses have been expressing their frustration over the latest closure of Victoria Bridge in Kendal, after divers discovered new damage cause by the River Kent when it was in spate earlier this week.

The bridge was first damaged by Storm Desmond, and temporary repairs were made, but since engineers began work to fix the structure permanently, it has been undermined and closed twice, and heavy rain today is expected to make matters worse.

Bridge closed signage
Cumbria County Council

Cumbria highways officials say the perfect solution would be a new bridge, but that would mean closing one of just five road crossings that connect the two halves of the town for many months and needs major capital investment.

Cumbria County Council officials say the latest closure is likely to last a week to 10 days, and they will have engineers working all the available hours to get the work done as soon as possible.

To get to work in the morning and for guests to get here it's just a nightmare for everybody."

Jennifer BoowGeneral manager, Riverside Hotel

Whatever they're trying to do obviously is not working so there has to be a plan B."

Patrick Brennandfuel station owner

Police step up patrols to deter 'loutish drunkeness'

Police in Allerdale say they are taking new measures to try to prevent "drunken, loutish behaviour" on the streets of Workington after three people were charged following an incident in the town centre last week.

Police stock picture
Cumbria Police

A no drinking zone was already in place but enforcement is being stepped up, including patrols by police officers and community support officers, and extra signs pointing out the restrictions on consuming alcohol in the street.

The partner agencies are determined to make this vital shopping area free from drunken loutish behaviour and from people causing anti-social behaviour. "

Sgt Mitchell FranksCumbria Police

More patients contacted over bogus psychiatrist

Health authorities in Scotland have started sending letters to patients treated by the bogus psychiatrist, Zholia Alemi, who was jailed last year by a Carlisle Crown Court judge for fraud and then turned out to be unqualified.

Zholia Alemi
Cumbria Police

Alemi had worked for 22 years all over the UK, despite her lack of qualifications, and just one Scottish health board has traced 395 patients she was involved with, 24 of whom she ordered detained under mental health legislation.

Now all Scottish health boards are reviewing their records and BBC Scotland understands the first letters are about to be sent, "to offer appropriate advice and support".

Police hunt man after racist abuse

Police in Carlisle are trying to trace a man who shouted racist abuse at another man in Fusehill Street in the city at about 05:00 on Wednesday morning.

Cumbria's weather: Wet all day

BBC Weather

It will be a wet start for many with outbreaks of rain spreading from the west, some heavy and thundery.

It will be rather breezy throughout, with highest temperatures from 15C to 18C (59F to 64F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, hour by hour, BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Travel: Kendal bridge closed in both directions

BBC News Travel

Victoria Bridge, which carries the A6 across the River Kent, was closed in both directions last night after an examination of new flood damage.

It's at least the second time rising river levels after heavy rain have undermined the bridge supports as engineers try to make permanent repairs to damage originally caused by Storm Desmond, almost four years ago.

BBC library picture
BBC library picture
View more on twitter

Cumbria's weather: Dry at first, turning cloud with rain

BBC Weather

It will be a largely dry and clear start to the night, but turning increasingly cloudy, with some patchy rain pushing in from the west by dawn.

Lowest temperatures will be from 7C to 10C (45F to 50F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, detailed, BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Project clears the view from lake to the Langdale Pikes

The steep path up to one of the lesser-known hilltops overlooking Windermere has been cleared and rebuilt by volunteers and council workers, with trees being cut back to make the most of spectacular views.

Biskey Howe

Local people from the Windermere and Bowness Civic Society worked with staff from South Lakeland Council's parks team to repair and install new steps up the path to Biskey Howe, clear rhododendron bushes and fell diseased trees.

This week staff from South Lakeland and members of the Civic Society gathered to see the results.

Cumbria sees sharp increase in drug deaths

Official figures show that drug deaths in Cumbria have risen by 40% in five years.

In 2013 there were 102 deaths from drug poisoning in the county, but by 2018 that number had risen to 142.

Heroin being heated

Across England and Wales, fatalities from drug-taking rose by 17% to reach record numbers last year, with the number of deaths passing 2,900.

One company dealing with addiction treatment, UKAT, said that in 2013, local authorities in the North West responding to a Freedom of Information request had spent £89m helping addicts, but in this financial year that sum had fallen to £73m.

Police find driver's drugs after passenger stops bus on M6

A coach driver who had taken drugs was driving so erratically that one passenger eventually pulled on the handbrake to bring him to a halt of the hard shoulder of the M6, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Stuart Jones
Craig McGlasson

Stuart John Jones, 42, seemed to be "in another world", and after police arrived at the bus near Burton-in-Kendal, he was found to be in possession of class A methylamphetamine and class C diazepam and lorazepam.

Jones, of Ffynnongroyw, Holywell, North Wales, admitted dangerous driving and possessing the three drugs.

Recorder Michael Murray suspended a 12-month prison term for two years, telling Jones to complete 200 hours' unpaid work, rehabilitation and a three-year driving ban.

You could have killed somebody because of this irresponsibility"

Recorder Michael Murray

Cumbria's weather: Sunnier, but still cool

BBC Weather

This afternoon should become increasingly dry, with clouds breaking up to reveal a good deal of sunny spells.

The odd shower may still be possible though, and highest temperatures will only be from 15C to 18C (59F to 64F)

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, hour-by-hour, forecast for where you are, here.

Cumbria's weather: Showers, then clouds breaking

BBC Weather

A few scattered showers are possible, but for most places it should be largely dry with clouds breaking through the morning to allow a good deal of sunshine and highest temperatures from 15C to 18C (59F to 64F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest detailed BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

CCTV image released in burglary investigation

People over the age of 70 have been targeted in a number of burglaries in west and south Cumbria, police say.

A similar method has been used in all of them with the offender or offenders getting in through an insecure door and searching the premises, apparently unconcerned if the occupants are inside.

Cumbria Police said the offender is always described as smartly dressed.

Among the areas targeted are Kendal, Askam-in-Furness, Dalton-in-Furness, Millom, Haverigg and Bootle.

A photo of a man police would like to speak to as part of their investigations has been released.

They say the burglaries may or may not be linked and people are being asked to keep their doors locked.

CCTV image in Cunbria burglaries investigation

Watch: Scotch argus butterflies in Cumbria

BBC Cumbria

Every year, clouds of Scotch argus butterflies put on an incredible display in Cumbria, the only place in England where they can be found.

View more on facebook

New operator for West Coast mainline

FirstGroup is to take over the running of the West Coast mainline which runs from London to Glasgow via Cumbria.

Along with Italian firm Trenitalia, FirstGroup said the route would pave the way for an era of high speed rail.

First Trenitalia replaces Virgin Trains, which was barred from bidding to keep the route.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the bid was part of a shift to a new model for rail.

West Coast mainline

Crash death man and teenager named

A man and teenager who died in a crash on a rural road in Cumbria have been named.

The collision involving a Vauxhall Astra and an HGV happened on the B5302 near Abbeytown on Monday lunchtime.

Andrew Frith, 58 and the driver of the Astra, was pronounced dead at the scene along with 15-year-old Jodie-Anne Frith. Both were from Silloth.

Cumbria Police has appealed for witnesses to the crash at about 13:30.

How can you cut the cost of school uniform

It's the time of year when many parents are buying their children's school uniform, which some say can cost more than £200. What can they do to make it cheaper?

Research by market analysts Mintel suggests British parents spend about £1.2bn on clothing and equipment for school.

The Department for Education (DfE) asked 1,183 parents about uniform costs in 2015 and found it came to almost £213 per child. Adjusting its figures for inflation, it would make the average cost of uniform in 2019 almost £230 per pupil.

Cumbria's one of the few councils in England still offering financial support to parents.

In England schools can use the funding they get from the DfE's pupil premium- money allocated for children from poorer backgrounds.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said funding cuts from central government had resulted in councils finding it "increasingly difficult" to provide grants for school uniforms.

school uniform
Getty Images

Woman's body found on Maryport shoreline

The death of a woman whose body was found on the shoreline at Maryport is being treated as unexplained, police said.

A member of the public found the body near the golf course shortly before 10:00.

Cumbria Police said formal identification has not yet taken place and inquiries are ongoing.

Serious two-vehicle collision closes road

The B5302 near Abbeytown has been closed after a serious two-vehicle collision, police say.

Cumbria Police said the road is likely to remain closed for some time and drivers are advised to choose alternative routes.

Impact of suicide on family and friends highlighted

BBC Cumbria

The impact of a suicide on the family and friends who are left behind is being highlighted by a local charity today.

Suicide Bereavement Support has been part of the national charity Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide for the last nine years.

But has now decided to operate independently. It says this will able it to target its support more effectively, and to help more people.

Cumbria flash flooding: Flood warning remain in place

Two flood warnings remain in place for Cumbria - at Keswick Campsite and River Eden in the Carlisle area.

There are also about 12 flood alerts for rivers across the county, that's the lowest level of alert issued by the Environment Agency.

Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service says it was called out to rescue people who had got stuck in water at Levens near Kendal yesterday morning.

Five engines were sent to the area, and crews worked with other rescue agencies on the search and rescue operation.

Warning about thunderstorms on Saturday

There is a yellow warning for thunderstorms throughout Saturday.

The Met Office says slow-moving thundery showers may produce some torrential downpours which could cause local flooding and disruption to travel. You can find more details here.

View more on twitter