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Severe accident: M4 Greater London eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Greater London eastbound severe accident, at J3 for A312 affecting J4B for .

M4 Greater London - M4 lane closed on exit slip road and queuing traffic eastbound at J3, A312 (Hayes), because of an accident involving a van and two cars. Congestion to J4b, M25 J15.

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

Mounted police patrolling

Thames Valley Police's mounted section is deployed to maintain public order at football matches and events.

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Samauri swords handed into Beds police

Three Samauri swords have been handed into Bedfordshire Police.

They were discovered when a weapons amnesty bin was emptied.

The bins have been set up across the county, as part of Operation Sceptre, a week-long operation dedicated to a clampdown on knife crime.

Samurai swords
Sgt Ben Dimmock

A gun was also recovered.

Gun
Sgt Ben Dimmock

Paula Radcliffe: The damage to my body

Colin Murray

BBC Radio 5 live

I've travelled to the south of France to visit the home of the three-time winner of the women's London Marathon, women’s marathon world record holder and former BBC Sports Personality of the Year - Bedford's very own Paula Radcliffe.

She revealed to me she tore her colon during her world-record breaking marathon run in 2002.

She also discusses the long term damage that running has caused to her body, and her very high pain threshold.

Paula Radcliffe
Getty Images

You can listen to At Home With Colin Murray by clicking on the following link.

Man charged with Bedford rape

A man has been charged with rape after a woman was attacked on Bedford's Embankment on 2 February.

He was arrested earlier in the week.

Bedford's Embankment
Google

Government funding to 'unlock land' for housing

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

Three local councils are due to benefit from government funding to help them build homes on land that's previously been unusable.

The Housing Minister has put aside £45m for 79 schemes across Britain including Wycombe, Luton and Stevenage.

Wycombe District Council has been allocated £500,000 to turn contaminated land at Bassetsbury allotments into housing. Campaigners near the site have previously had pleas to turn it into a visitors centre and heritage site rejected.

Elsewhere, Luton's Taylor Street will receive £855,000 and land in Stevenage around Kenilworth Close, Burwell Road and Gresley Way will get £900,000.

Shefford Town & Campton FC 'devastated' by vandalism

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A football clubhouse, which was renovated and refurbished by volunteers three years ago, has been vandalised.

The damage was caused to Shefford Town & Campton FC this week.

Sean Moore from the club said: "All the light fittings are broken, graffiti drawn on the walls and the showers pulled off the walls.

"For someone to go in and vandalise it as they have is shocking.

"Everyone is devastated. It's going to cost a lot of time, effort and money to put right."

Damage to Shefford Town Campton FC clubhouse
Shefford Town Campton FC

He says they have volunteers going to the clubhouse tomorrow to assess the damage, but if it can't be fixed quickly they might have to postpone future games.

Police have been informed, he says.

Will de Havilland in action for Wycombe

National League side Maidstone sign Wycombe Wanderers defender Will de Havilland on loan until the end of the season.

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Severe accident: M25 Buckinghamshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Buckinghamshire anti-clockwise severe accident, between J16 for M40 and J15 for M4 affecting J17 for A412.

M25 Buckinghamshire - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J16 M40 and J15 M4, because of an accident involving four cars. Congestion to J17, A412 (Maple Cross).

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

Family land included in Central Beds 'call for sites'

Dunstable Gazette

A farmer was shocked to find his fields have been included as possible development land in Central Bedfordshire Council’s Local Plan.

Britain's bus coverage hits 28-year low

Britain's bus network has shrunk to levels last seen in the late 1980s, BBC analysis has revealed.

Rising car use and cuts to public funding are being blamed for a loss of 134 million journey miles over the past decade alone.

In England, the scale of the bus network has fallen to levels last seen in 1991, even though passenger numbers are now 8% higher than they were then.

The figures show big regional variations, with Central Bedfordshire the second worst area for the number of bus journey miles lost over four years, although neighbouring Bedford, Luton, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire have gained miles.

A chart showing the top ten hardest hit transport authorities in England
BBC

The government has encouraged councils and bus companies to work together to halt the decline.

Friday fluff: Cop dogs salute their Chinese year

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, police have put together a parade of pooches.

Friday marks the start of the Year of the Dog, so what better excuse to look at pictures of "man's best friend"?

There are more than 40 dogs in the joint police unit covering Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

They're a skilled lot, doing everything from tracking suspects to sniffing out drugs and cash.

Happy pooch year to you all.

View more on twitter

Luton Borough Council’s budget blown by over £8m

Luton News

Luton Borough Council has projected it will have overspent £8.23m on its budget by the end of this financial year.

Severe accident: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe accident, between J26 for A121 and J25 for A10 affecting before J27 M11.

M25 Essex - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of an accident involving lorry and a car earlier on. Congestion to before J27 M11.

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

Severe accident: A41 Buckinghamshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A41 Buckinghamshire both ways severe accident, near Hilda Wharf.

A41 Buckinghamshire - A41 High Street in Aylesbury closed and slow traffic in both directions near the Hilda Wharf junction, because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, at J24 for A111.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked on M25 clockwise at J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of a broken down car.

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

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J24 for A111 and J23 for A1.

M25 Hertfordshire - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M25 anticlockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J23 A1(M), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Hertfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire northbound severe disruption, between J6A for M25 and J8 for A414.

M1 Hertfordshire - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M1 northbound between J6a M25 and J8, A414 (Hemel Hempstead), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Woburn Safari Park: Elephant Tarli survives deadly virus
Tarli, an endangered Asian elephant, has beaten the odds to overcome an Ebola-like virus.

Severe accident: M1 Hertfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire northbound severe accident, between J8 for A414 and J9 for A5183 affecting J6A for M25.

M1 Hertfordshire - Queuing traffic and three lanes closed on M1 northbound between J8, A414 (Hemel Hempstead) and J9, A5183 (Redbourn), because of a multi-vehicle accident. Congestion to J6a M25.

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

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, between J24 for A111 and J25 for A10 affecting J21A for A405.

M25 Hertfordshire - Delays on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of an earlier overturned car. All lanes have been re-opened. Travel time is around 60 minutes. Congestion to J21a, A405 (St Albans).

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

NME Awards: Blossoms, James Bay and Peace walk the walk and talk the talk

Abbie McCarthy

Abbie McCarthy

View more on twitter

Finally today, some more news and gossip from the NME Awards, with our BBC colleague Abbie McCarthy who was down there waving microphones under the noses of some of our favourite bands.

Bands like Stockport's Blossoms (above), who arrived in the capital early and stylishly clad as ever for the slowest of strolls down the red carpet.

They've been back in the studio recording the follow-up to their number one self-titled debut album.

Frontman Tom said they've come up with "some of the best songs we've ever written and recorded." But then he would wouldn't he?

Listen above.

View more on twitter

Sorry Blossoms but Peace won the award for best dressed male band for us this year after turning up in their PJs.

Singer Harry Koisser told us that "sleepovers are the new after-party".

Their recent single From Under Liquid Glass touches on the subject of mental health and Harry told Abbie it was the first time he'd put his "difficulties" into music.

"I've found comfort in the song and I'm kind of glad we went down that road in the end," he said.

View more on twitter

And last but not least in our collection of fine young gentlemen (scroll down to see how the ladies smashed it) is James Bay.

James is back with a forthcoming new album and a fresh look to boot.

He told our Abs all about his missing hat and the artists that have influenced JB v2018, from David Bowie to Frank Ocean, via Joni Mitchell.

Check it.

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe accident, between J24 for A111 and J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of an accident involving two lorries earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

Passengers evacuated from M25 coach fire

About 30 passengers were evacuated onto the M25 yesterday evening after the coach they were travelling on caught fire on the motorway.

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service was called at 19:10 and the fire was put out "relatively quickly".

Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance Service also attended "as a precaution".

All of those on board were accounted for.

M25 coach fire
PA/@Bucksfire
toiletries

Lauren Potts

BBC News

Journalist Sali Hughes hopes donating toiletries to Beauty Banks will help fight hygiene poverty.

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Luke Garrard watches his side take on Coventry City in the FA Cup

Boreham Wood manager Luke Garrard signs a new contract with the National League side until the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

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Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, between J11 for A505 Dunstable Road and J11A for A5 Dunstable Northern Bypass affecting J10 for A1081 Airport Way Luton Airport Spur.

M1 Bedfordshire - Very slow traffic and two lanes closed on M1 northbound between J11, A505 (Dunstable South) and J11a A5 Dunstable Northern Bypass, because of an accident involving a van and car. Congestion to J10 A1081 Airport Way (Luton Airport Spur.

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

Two knives found 'hidden' in undergrowth by Beds Police

Bedfordshire Police have found two knives which they believe were either discarded or "hidden for future use" during a clampdown on knife crime.

Operation Sceptre is a week-long campaign aiming to encourage people to not carry knives.

Knife in bush
Bedfordshire Police

A day of searching took place in Addison Howard Park in Kempston, and two knives were found in undergrowth and will now be destroyed.

Officers have also been at The Mall in Luton, the scene of a double stabbing in January, talking to the community about the crime.

Save 'vital' hospice help says Kempston mother

A Bedfordshire mother, whose daughter receives "vital" help from a hospice which is closing, wants the decision reversed.

Hayley Brown uses Douglas House in Oxford for respite care for her 22-year-old daughter, Charlotte, and has to travel 50 miles from their home in Kempston.

She said if it shuts in August the family will be left with "nothing" locally.

Nigel, Charlotte and Hayley Brown
Nigel Brown
Nigel, Charlotte and Hayley Brown

Hazel Bedford, from the hospice said the "difficult" decision to close the house was not "taken lightly" and was a "last resort", as they need millions of pounds every year to run the service, which is for 18 to 25-year- olds.

She said they will "work closely with the family to help them", but it all comes down to needing "more money".

Arrest after woman raped in Bedford

A man has been arrested on suspicion of rape, after a woman was attacked in Bedford on Friday, 2 February.

Bedfordshire Police received reports a woman was raped on the town's Embankment at about 18:30.

The Embankment
Google

Det Insp Jackie Dadd said: "We understand this is a concerning incident and we would like to reassure the public that we are following a number of lines of inquiry.

"We have also had additional high visibility patrols on duty in and around The Embankment and I would encourage anyone with concerns to speak to one of these officers or to give us a call."

Alas, no Jones in Bedford

The comedian Griff Rhys Jones has cancelled a show in Bedford tonight.

Griff Rhys Jones
Griff Rhys Jones

The TV star was due to perform "Griff Rhys Jones: Where Was I?" at the Quarry Theatre.

The venue says he's ill and he "apologises and we will endeavour to get back with a revised date for the performance".

Anyone with a ticket will be able to transfer their seats to a revised date or get a refund.