Road closed by Oxford 'fatberg' reopens

Oxford 'fatberg' Thames Water said clearing the blockage was vital to prevent sewage to backing up into roads and gardens

Related Stories

A road has reopened after a sewer pipe damaged by a "fatberg" was repaired earlier than planned.

Hollybush Row in Oxford was closed on 7 April because of damage caused by the fatberg, a large lump of congealed food fat mixed with wet wipes.

Thames Water said its team of "fatberg-fighters" had managed to blast it away using a high-pressure water jet.

The road had been expected to stay shut for two weeks but reopened earlier, the firm said.

The closure of the city centre road near the railway station from the A420, Park End Street, has caused long traffic delays.

Last year, Thames Water removed a 15-tonne "bus-sized lump" of food fat mixed with wet-wipes and other materials in a sewer under Kingston-upon-Thames.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Oxford



19 °C 13 °C

BBC Local Live

    Good evening 18:00:

    That's it for Local Live this Thursday. The team will be back at 08:00 tomorrow. In the meantime you can email us with your feedback by clicking here.

    Warm night 17:57: Alexis Green Weather presenter, BBC South Today

    Tonight most places will be dry and temperatures will stay in double figures, dropping to around 13C (55F).

    'Getting bogged down' 17:51: Nabil Hassan BBC Sport

    London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell has defended the number of signings the Premiership newcomers have made.

    Justin Burnell

    The Oxford-based club signed 25 new players for their return to the Premiership following promotion last season. But Burnell says too much is being made of their summer recruitment drive.

    "Everyone seems to be getting bogged down with the number," Burnell told BBC Sport. "We are no different to anyone else who has brought five or six players in."

    Philip the Sausage 17:43: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    Malcolm Boyden has been discussing the sale of a Superman comic for $3.2m, officially the most expensive comic book ever sold.

    He spoke to Neill Cameron, writer of How To Make Awesome Comics, and artist in residence at The Story Museum in Oxford.

    Malcolm's idea for a new superhero, Philip the Sausage, was brought to life via Neill's powerful pen.

    Philip the Sausage

    He tweeted that it was the "sensational character find of 2014".

    On the programme tonight 17:32: Geraldine Peers Presenter, BBC South Today

    On South Today tonight we'll have the latest developments from the Connor Tremble stabbing trial at Oxford Crown Court, news of the homeless man who pleaded guilty to setting fire to a series of cash machines in Banbury, and there's highlights from the Bucks County Show near Aylesbury.

    The show is on BBC One at 18:30.

    Kitten loses leg in trap 17:20: Alex Therrien BBC News Online

    A four-week-old kitten had to have its leg amputated after it got caught in a mousetrap.


    The kitten, named Babybell, was found in a garden in Oxfordshire with its front leg snared in the trap.

    She was taken to the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Lewknor before being rushed to an animal hospital, where vets examined her and gave her pain relief. But the damage was so severe, her leg had to be amputated.

    Slimy guest 17:08: Jamie Ryan Producer, BBC Radio Oxford

    Terry in Didcot found this gargantuan beast in his garden.

    Garden creature

    He said it was "about 4cm long and about 1cm wide". What do you think it is?

    News on the hour 16:55: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Will Blencowe, who murdered 17-year-old Connor Tremble, will be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court tomorrow after being found guilty. More at 17:00.

    ROYAL WELCOME from Royals 16:39: Oxford Times

    Royals fans in Oxford are counting down the days until the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the city.

    A34 BLOCKED 16:26: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    We have trouble on the A34 northbound on the slip at Kidlington. Callers are reporting that it's blocked and all traffic is being held due to an accident.

    Police and the ambulance service are on the scene. Get the latest here.

    ON AIR now 16:15: David Prever Drivetime presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    On today's show, we look at the potential vaccine for Ebola that will be trialled in Oxford next month.

    Dr Gabriel Fitzpatrick, Medecins Sans Frontieres

    Oxford's Jenner Institute will lead the study at the Oxford Vaccine Centre at the Churchill Hospital and it's looking for 60 healthy volunteers to take the drug.

    We'll also hear from Christian Guy, from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, whose study found that key UK institutions do not represent the public they serve.

    NEWS ON THE HOUR 16:00: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Will Blencowe has been found guilty of murdering 17-year-old Connor Tremble in Oxford.

    Oxford Crown Court was told Blencowe carried out the stabbing because he was jealous of Connor's relationship with his ex-girlfriend. The teenager was found with wounds to his torso, hands and legs and died two days later in hospital.

    More at 16:00 on BBC Radio Oxford.

    Man guilty of stab murder 15:44: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    A man has been found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend's partner.

    will blencowe

    Connor Tremble, 17, from Oxford, was stabbed in Fairacres Road in the city on 13 February. He died in hospital two days later. Will Blencowe (pictured), 21, of Oxford Road in Banbury, had denied murder but was convicted this afternoon.

    Grant Clemens, 24, of Stockwells, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, and Bradley Jones, 21, of Chipping Norton, were found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.

    Star players link up 15:32: Jerome Sale Sports editor, BBC Radio Oxford

    The Oxford City Stars have confirmed more players as their squad takes shape for the upcoming ice hockey season in National League One.

    The Stars have signed centre Jamie Newton from Bristol Pitbulls and agreed new deals with forwards Mason Wild and Jacob Smith. The new campaign gets under way on 13 September.

    RECOVERY BOOST 15:21: Witney Gazette

    A new report highlights Oxfordshire as a recovery success story.

    NEWS ON THE HOUR 15:00: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    A 49-year-old homeless man has pleaded guilty to setting fire to a series of cash machines in Banbury.

    Colin Aries set fire to three cashpoints in the high street in June - and also set fire to Freemasons Hall in the town. More with me at 15:00.

    Church Visit 14:56: Lilley Mitchell Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Today I was at St Mary the Virgin Church in Ewelme. Their flower festival starts tomorrow and they are also remembering their World War One fallen.

    Flowers at St Mary the Virgin Church in Ewelme

    Plus they have a new servery in the church - there will be a dedication of it by the Archdeacon of Dorchester on Sunday.

    Running out of time 14:22:

    Organisers of Vitality's Oxford Half Marathon expect the race to be full by the middle of September.

    More than 5,000 runners have signed up, with 6,000 spots left for the race, which takes place on 12 October.

    Vitality Oxford Half Marathon

    Entries are selling at "350 to 450 per week". Andrew Taylor, race director, said: "We are delighted to see that the race is growing in popularity."

    Festival fun 14:10: Thame Gazette

    Big crowds descended on Towersey Festival for the 50th year running to enjoy the famous folk vibe.

    NEWS ON THE HOUR 13:59: BBC Radio Oxford

    A 49-year-old homeless man has pleaded guilty to setting fire to a series of cash machines in Banbury.

    Colin Aries set fire to three ATMs in the high street in June, and also set fire to the Freemasons Hall in the town. Listen live.

    On the programme now 13:44: BBC South Today

    On South Today with Roger Finn right now, find out about the handguns, machetes and knives recovered by police in a pond, and watch as the Royal Navy says farewell to the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious after 32 years of service.

    HMS Illustrious decomissioned

    Plus we find out if a 94-year-old man has broken his own world record for wing walking. Tune in to BBC One.

    Pubs set for defibrillators 13:35: Oxford Mail

    A brewery is looking at where best to equip its Oxfordshire pubs with life-saving defibrillators.

    Sign up for the team 13:20:

    Oxfordshire FA tweets: #Chinnor Ladies FC are recruiting new players aged 16+. Come along and give it a try

    Chinnor Ladies FC
    HEALTH WARNING 13:06: Wantage Herald

    Asbestos deaths are set to reach a record high in Oxfordshire in the next six years, it has been warned.

    NEWS ON THE HOUR 12:55: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Britain remains "deeply elitist" with many of the country's top jobs being held by people who went to private schools and Oxbridge.

    It's the warning from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, which found that half of the members of the House of Lords and a third of the Cabinet went to fee-paying schools. I'll have more at 13:00.

    Jamie Anderson interview 12:40: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    On Kat Orman's show after 13:00, Jamie Anderson, the son of the late, great, Gerry Anderson, will be in to talk about the charity Dementia Friends and his father's battle with Alzheimer's.

    Jamie Anderson with Thunderbirds 2 model

    Gerry Anderson created the hit shows Thunderbirds, Stingray, Joe 90, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and Terrorhawks, to name just a few.

    He died in 2012 aged 83.


    Earlier Phil Gayle asked if you've ever been compensated for registering your dissatisfaction as a customer, and if so what did you get?

    David James Stuart Hall writes on Facebook: Train companies - I was delayed by 2 hours on the way back from the Lake District over the summer, got £100 in vouchers from them.

    Victoria Wills ‏tweets: nothing! Once waited 40 minutes for a prawn sandwich with hardly any prawns, not so much as a free glass of water!

    STATION UPGRADE 12:19: Oxford Times

    Completion of an £8m scheme to redevelop the forecourt at Didcot Parkway rail station is set to be completed in the next fortnight.

    ECO-TOWN APPLICATION 12:09: Alex Therrien BBC News Online

    The first of a series of planning applications have been submitted for a so-called "eco-town" in Oxfordshire.

    An artist's impression of how North West Bicester might look

    A2Dominion wants to build up to 6,000 energy-efficient homes on land north west of Bicester in the next 20 years. The site is one of four across England identified for potential "eco-towns".

    Outline planning permission is being sought for up to 2,600 zero-carbon homes, care apartments for elderly people and 4,700 sq m (50,590 sq ft) of commercial space.

    NEWS ON THE HOUR 11:58: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Long-running roadworks on the Wiltshire and Oxfordshire border have been a "nightmare" for people living nearby - according to the parish council. More at 12:00.

    MAKING UP TO DO 11:51:

    TVP Roads Policing tweets: Chk this AM, Abingdon. Driver stopped, compact in 1 hand, make up brush in other, no hands on wheel.

    CANCER PATIENTS WITH DEPRESSION 11:38: Smitha Mundasad Health reporter

    Oxford research suggests three quarters of cancer patients who are clinically depressed do not get the psychological therapy they need.

    Picture of woman with head in hands Some studies suggest depression can affect the chances of surviving cancer

    This "huge unmet need" is partly due to a focus on physical symptoms at the expense of good mental healthcare, researchers say.

    They argue depression is often overlooked but could be treated at a fraction of the cost of cancer drugs.

    Macmillan Cancer Support called the current situation "heartbreaking".

    'Medieval mash-up' 11:27:

    Dr Matthew Cheung Salisbury of Oxford University has been talking about working with dance music pioneer Goldie on bringing a piece of medieval music to life.

    He said: "Working with Goldie has been a fascinating process. When I played him the classical recordings of the medieval music, he immediately began to get a feel for individual motifs and strands of melody that he then knits together to form a song.

    "It is surely a first for a DJ to sequence and mash-up medieval music!"

    'We need you' 11:14: Danny Cox Presenter, BBC Oxford

    Oxford United's CEO has urged fans to replicate the atmosphere they created at West Brom for Saturday's League Two clash at home to Dagenham.

    Oxford United watch penalties

    A huge travelling contingent of more than 2,000 supporters were at the Hawthorns and they witnessed a battling display from the team which only saw them knocked out on penalties.

    Mark Ashton has asked for similar backing at the Kassam Stadium as United look for their first points, telling BBC Radio Oxford that the passion shown made a significant impact on their performance.

    NEWS ON THE HOUR 10:57: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    A two-year deadlock over rent rises at Oxford Covered Market could be broken if both sides agree to an increase of 16%.

    That was the suggestion at a public meeting last night. Traders want Oxford City Council to agree not to backdate the increase though. More with me at 11:00.

    OPEN ALL HOURS? 10:44: Phil Gayle Breakfast presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    The Sunday Trading Act came into force on this day 20 years ago in 1994, allowing all shops in England and Wales to open legally on a Sunday for the first time, but restricting opening times of larger stores.

    shopping bags

    This morning a new poll for Retail Week shows that two decades on, just over half of consumers believe further relaxation of the rules would benefit high streets. Would you like to see all shops open all the time on a Sunday? Is Sunday special any more for you? Email us and let us know.

    GOING FOR GOLDIE 10:35: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    Electronic music artist Goldie has been working with an Oxford University professor to give a piece of recently-discovered medieval music new life.


    The DJ's composition, which includes sampling, medieval chants and a cello, is inspired by the Hawick Missal Fragment, an extract reconstructed by Dr Matthew Cheung Salisbury of Oxford University's Music Faculty. It premieres on 30 August at Glasgow Cathedral.

    CONGESTION EASING 10:25: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Earlier temporary traffic lights caused congestion on the A4130 between the A34 at Milton and Didcot, but that's definitely easing now.

    It's also much better on the A34 southbound from Marcham to Milton, though still a bit heavy on all approaches to Milton Hill.

    Looking ahead 10:13: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    Our news team are looking ahead at the top prospects for Thursday.

    Adina, Liz and Ali

    Running through ideas for the day's programming are Adina Campbell (TV producer), Liz Green (mid-morning producer) and Ali Dawes (news editor).

    COMING UP today 09:59: Malcolm Boyden Mid-morning presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Yesterday I met a very inspiring little boy and his mum and dad, Andrew and Sally, in Abingdon.


    Skye is only five but a year ago he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. You might know him actually - he's turned a playground craze into a world famous charity campaign with his Loom to the Moon project.

    Boxes and boxes of loom bands kept arriving at the door while I was there! Hear more from 10:00.

    OXBRIDGE 'ELITISM' 09:54: Judith Burns Education reporter, BBC News

    The UK is "deeply elitist" according to new analysis of the backgrounds of more than 4,000 business, political, media and public sector leaders.

    Judges procession at Westminster marks start of legal year

    Small elites, educated at independent schools and Oxbridge, still dominate top roles, suggests the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission study. It says key institutions do not represent the public they serve.

    ON AIR 09:38: Phil Gayle Breakfast presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Our top story is a drop in hate crime in Oxfordshire. We're hearing from a victim about how her life was turned upside down by it.

    And a year's supply of fruit cake and a book of stamps are some of the things UK companies have offered people who've complained, according to a survey. What have you've been given when you've complained? Let me know.

    ARSON ATTACK on hay 09:20: Oxford Mail

    About £20,000 worth of hay has been burned in an arson attack near Wantage.

    As it happened
    • News, sport and weather for Thu 28 Aug
    • Join us again from 08:00 on Friday
    • Listen live: BBC Radio Oxford
    WANTAGE WALK 09:09:

    The Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage has arranged a guided health walk today.

    Walking for Health starts from the coffee shop at 10:00.

    NEWS ON THE HOUR 08:57: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    A jury in the trial of a man accused of stabbing a teenager to death in Oxford will continue its deliberations this morning.

    Connor Tremble, 17, suffered multiple stab wounds at his home in Fairacres Road in February. He died from his injuries two days later.

    Connor Tremble

    Will Blencowe, 21, from Banbury, denies murder. Two other men on trial accused of helping him deny perverting the course of justice. I'll have more at 09:00.

    Bridge reopens 08:42: BBC Radio Oxford

    The operator of the Whitchurch Bridge says it appreciates the impact the closure has had on people's lives.

    Whitchurch Bridge

    The toll bridge across the River Thames has been closed since October for major reconstruction work but is due to reopen next month.

    Geoff Weir from the Whitchurch Bridge Company said: "We'll all be very relieved when it reopens - we've always said we very much regret the inconvenience to people."

    POLICE ROADBLOCK 08:27: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    There are solid queues on the A34 southbound due to a reported rolling roadblock by police from the Marcham to the Milton Interchange.

    There are problems on the A4130 with temporary traffic lights between the A34 at Milton and Didcot. They weren't due to be there until 09:30 so it's being looked into. They are causing 25-minute delays both ways.

    DEVON BEAT OXFORDSHIRE 08:16: Danny Cox Presenter, BBC Oxford

    It was agony for Oxfordshire's cricketers after they lost by seven runs to Devon in the final of the Minor Counties Trophy.

    Devon win Minor Counties Trophy

    Set 204 to win at Wormsley, near Watlington, the game went the distance, but Oxfordshire were unable to collect the runs they needed and finished on 196-9 after their 50 overs.

    Oxfordshire captain Luke Ryan said: "It's the first time we've got here... It's fantastic we've been here, we've tasted [it], we've got very close to coming over the line, so we'll definitely come back."

    SOME SHOWERS later 08:07: Bee Tucker BBC Weather

    There's a bit of mist and low cloud at the moment. This should lift through the morning and we should start to see some sunny spells.

    As we go through the later part of the morning and into the afternoon, we'll also get some showers feeding in. There's going to be a fairly brisk southwesterly wind which will pick up through the course of the day.

    There will be the odd heavy burst of showers but I suspect most will be fairly light, and some of us should keep the dry and bright weather through the afternoon. Highest temperatures around 20C (68F).

    GOOD MORNING 08:00: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    Welcome to BBC Local Live, and a happy Thursday to you all. I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across Oxfordshire today.

    You can get in touch and tell us what you're up to via email, Facebook or Twitter.



  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814

  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea

  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?

  • Children testing a bridge at a model-making summer school in Crawley, West SussexSeeding science Watch

    The retired professor who turned village children into engineers

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.