Stafford

England, United Kingdom

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Hitachi wins £350m Avanti West Coast Trains contract

A £350m contract to build new trains for Avanti West Coast, which replaces Virgin Trains on the west coast route from Sunday, has been awarded to Hitachi.

Avanti West Coast train
PA Media

Twenty-three new intercity trains are expected to enter service from 2022.

The trains will be a mix of 10-carriage electric trains and 13 five-carriage bi-mode trains, which will switch from electric to diesel power where the railway is not electrified, such as in North Wales.

The electric trains will run between London, the West Midlands and Liverpool, while the bi-modes will serve the London to North Wales route.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a wet start it will be a mainly dry morning with a few bright spells and highs of 12C (54F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Showers ahead tonight

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

The weather's continuing to be unsettled tonight as it's set to be cloudy and windy with blustery showers:

Rebecca Wood

You can get a latest forecast for your area at any other time by going to the BBC Weather website.

Moss Rose

Ian Dennis

BBC Radio 5 Live senior football reporter

The English Football League says Macclesfield Town will face disciplinary action if the club does not fulfil its fixture against Crewe on Saturday.

Read more

Warning issued over foggy roads

BBC News Travel

There's some thick fog around this morning, with motorists being advised to take care.

View more on twitter

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a chilly start it will be a cloudy day with the odd shower and highs of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Staying dry into tonight

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

There could be some patches of fog around tonight but it'll be mainly dry:

Rebecca Wood

You can stay up-to-date with the weather in your area by going to the BBC Weather website at any other time.

Christmas tree festival lights up town

BBC Radio Stoke

More than 100 Christmas trees have gone on show at a church to raise money for charity.

Some of the trees from last year
Visit Stafford

The annual Stafford Christmas Tree Festival sees different groups, companies and schools decorate them at St Mary's Church in the town centre.

The event's now open to the public until Sunday afternoon and donations will go towards the church and the local mayor's charities.

Some of the trees from last year
Visit Stafford

Terror attacker completed untested rehabilitation scheme

BBC News UK

London Bridge attacker Usman Khan attended two counter-terrorism programmes that had not been fully tested to see if they were effective, BBC News has discovered.

Flowers on London Bridge
Getty Images

Khan, who was convicted of a terrorism offence in 2012, killed Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, on Friday.

Born and raised in Stoke-on-Trent, he had completed two rehabilitation schemes during the eight years he spent in prison and following his release.

Since his release from prison in December 2018, Khan had been living in Stafford and was required to wear a GPS tag.

The government says such programmes are kept "under constant review".

A wrap up warm day

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

Cold, dry and cloudy to start today and but sunny spells later.

Rich Davis

You can get a latest update for the forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Thousands of children in temporary accommodation

Fourteen children become homeless every day across the region, the charity Shelter says.

Child
BBC

It said 7,370 children in the West Midlands are homeless and living in temporary accommodation.

The report looked at the impact of temporary accommodation like hostels and emergency bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) on families.

The charity's findings also suggest that homelessness is at its highest rate since 2006.

Shelter's findings only represent some of the children in Great Britain who are homeless. In England, there are thought to be a further 4470 homeless families who have found their own temporary accommodation.

Lagging for customers in pipe 'hotspot' areas

Severn Trent Water is to bring in extra resources to help repair leaks and burst pipes this winter.

Severn Trent sign
BBC

The company is providing free pipe lagging in areas of the region that it says are "hotspots" for leaky pipes.

It's also advising people to wrap pipework, fittings and storage tanks that are kept in unheated areas of the home .

London Bridge attack: Property searches complete

Searches of properties in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as part of the investigation into Friday's terror attack in London Bridge have been completed, police said.

Property in Stoke-on-Trent
PA Media

"Both of these searches are now complete and officers would like to thank the local community for their support whilst these enquiries were carried out," the Met Police said.

Forensic officers are continuing with their work at the scene of the attack, although the bridge was reopened to the public on Monday.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a misty start in some areas it will be a dry day with bright spells and highs of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

It will be a dry, cold night with some mist and fog with lows of 0C (32F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a cold start it will be a dry and bright day with highs of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Fog likely to cause travel disruption

Fog is likely to cause some travel disruption overnight and into Saturday morning, the Met Office is warning.

Weather map
Met Office

The yellow warning is in place from 01:00 to 11:00 on Saturday.

Watch out for the frost and ice

Icy roads and pavements are likely to cause travel disruption.

Weather map
Met Office

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for ice for the West Midlands until 10:00.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a cold dry day with plenty of sunshine and highs of 6C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Warning for ice issued

Icy roads and pavements are likely to cause travel disruption, the Met Office is warning.

Weather map
Met Office

Temperatures are set to drop overnight, with a yellow warning for ice in place for the whole of the West Midlands from 00:15 to 10:00 on Friday.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a dry day with some sunny spells and highs of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Wet start to Wednesday night

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

There'll showers around as we head into tonight but some areas should turn drier as the night goes on:

Rich Davis

Keep up-to-date with the latest forecast for your area by going to the BBC Weather website.

Gantry work finished on M6 smart motorway scheme

Photos have been released showing new gantries being installed on the M6 in Staffordshire as part of a £335m smart motorway scheme.

The work has been completed even as smart motorways come under fire over safety concerns.

Gantry being installed
Highways England

Highways England is currently making the changes to the route between J13, for Stafford, and J15, for Stoke-on-Trent.

Last night, it finished work to install new gantries to display electronic signs.

Gantry being installed
Highways England

The scheme could take until 2022 to finish with the next stage to see the current northbound contraflow switched to the southbound side in the new year.

Last month, the government said it would review smart motorways following concerns over driver safety.

BreakingTrains disrupted as station shuts

BBC News Travel

Trains aren't running through Wolverhampton Railway Station at the moment. It has been shut after a person was hit by a train, operator West Midlands Railways said.

All lines are closed, National Rail Enquiries said, with services between Birmingham New Street and Stafford/Shrewsbury either cancelled or amended.

It expects the disruption to last until at least 14:00.

Two-hour delays on M6 after shed load

BBC News Travel

There are still nine miles of queuing traffic on the M6 in Staffordshire after a lorry shed its load of laundry detergent.

The spill was in "several places" said Highways England, "but it doesn't appear to have gone into the tarmac itself," it added.

A sweeper was used to pick it up off the surface, said James Hawkes from the agency.

All lanes have just reopened.

View more on twitter

Major delays as lorry sheds cleaning products

BBC News Travel

A lorry has shed its load of cleaning products on the M6 southbound carriageway in Staffordshire.

The main carriageway is closed at J14 with eight miles of queuing traffic in the area.

Drivers are being warned to avoid the area.

View more on twitter

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

There will be some dry and clear spells later but feeling mild with lows of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

TSB to close more branches

BBC Business News

TSB has revealed it is to close 82 more branches next year with about 300-400 staff expected to be affected.

We don't know yet where those closures will be, but the details could be released as soon Thursday.

The Spanish-owned bank operates dozens of branches in the West Midlands, among 540 across the UK.

TSB branch
Getty Ima

Since 2015, it has closed eight branches in the region, five of them in Birmingham, alongside branches in Coventry, Wolverhampton and Walsall.

Birmingham's Priory branch is set to close next Monday.

However, unlike Birmingham, some smaller towns in the West Midlands have only one bank of any kind and small businesses have previously said losing services would have a huge impact.

The BBC understands those TSB branches that will close next year will be smaller and quieter ones.

The latest news is expected to save £100m by 2022 and TSB said it followed a trend of fewer customers using high street branches, and more using online - it said 2.5 million customers now use online banking.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

After a wet start it should be a dry and clear afternoon with highs of 11C (52F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Severe accident: A518 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A518 Staffordshire both ways severe accident, at Station Road.

A518 Staffordshire - A518 Newport Road in Stafford closed and it's heavy in both directions at the Station Road junction, because of an accident.

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

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It will be a blustery night with some rain and lows of 6C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands