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  1. Updates from across the West of England on Monday, 31 October 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Thick fog expected tonight, turning colder tomorrow

That's it from Local Live for the West of England for tonight.

We'll be back at 7am tomorrow morning with another full round-up of news, sport, travel and weather.

It looks as though it's going to start feeling wintry as we move into November.    

Watch: Ian Fergusson says there's a fog warning in force until early tomorrow

Charity accuses banks of neglecting older customers

Age UK says elderly people are being abandoned by their banks. 

HSBC is closing its branch in Shepton Mallet and another in Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset. 

A spokesman told the BBC customer numbers at its branches are continuing to fall.

More and more people are now using internet banking but questions are being asked about provision for customers who don't have computers.

Watch: Shirley and Terry Western learn their local HSBC bank is closing

Bat's the way to do it at Secret World

Teenage girl set to become professional racing driver

She's not yet old enough to take her driving test but a Bristol teenager is already forging a career as a professional racing driver. 

Shanel Drewe, who's 15, is also determined to become a role model, encouraging more young women to take up motorsport.

Watch: 15-year-old Shanel Drewe's obsession with racing cars

Stroke victim didn't know he had diabetes

Wiltshire has one of the highest rates of amputations caused by type 2 diabetes in the UK.

Peter Dodsley only found out he had the condition when he was in hospital recovering from a stroke.

He's managed to lose three to four stone on the advice of doctors.

Watch: 80-year-old Peter Dodsley explains what it's like to live with type 2 diabetes

School music teacher is secret pumpkin carver

His day job is teaching music at Clifton High School in Bristol but away from the classroom Andrew Cleaver enjoys carving pumpkins.

As it's Halloween he's finally decided to share his secret with staff and pupils. 

Watch: Andrew Cleaver comes clean about his special skills for Halloween

Severe accident: A433 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC Travel

A433 Gloucestershire both ways severe accident, at Oxleaze Road.

A433 Gloucestershire - A433 in Culkerton blocked in both directions at the Oxleaze Road junction, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Body discovered in River Avon

Emergency vehicles at the River Avon
Vicky Lorych

A body has been found in the River Avon in Bristol.

Police say they were called to a site near Baltic Wharf at 3.30pm by a member of the public.

Officers are working with Avon Fire and Rescue Service, the harbour master and other agencies to recover the body.

The two little trick or treaters (with a difference)

These young brothers from Thornbury don't ask for sweets when they go trick-or-treating for Halloween.

Instead they try to help feed others.

Watch: Two brothers from Thornbury use trick-or-treating to help others less fortunate than them

Yeovil Town Ladies promoted to the top-tier of English football

Yeovil Town Ladies are moving up to the top division of the Women's Super League, following a 2-0 victory against London Bees. 

The Lady Glovers will go up alongside Bristol City Women, who beat Everton on Saturday 

Watch: This is the moment Yeovil Town Ladies secured promotion

Body of man found near lakes in Swindon

Police car

Police looking for missing Wiltshire man, 45-year-old Mark McCarron, say they've found a body.

It was discovered by a member of the public near Taw Hill Lakes in Swindon yesterday.

Officers say they're not treating the death as suspicious.

Mr McCarron's family has been told. 

Disgraced ex-coach firm boss banned

Rikki Powell

A former coach firm boss from Wiltshire, who owes almost £130,000 to customers and contractors, has been disqualified from holding or obtaining a coach licence for two years.

A BBC investigation has revealed Rikki Lee Powell from Salisbury has 59 unpaid county court judgements against him and his companies since 2010. 

Some of his clients said they had booked coaches which never turned up.  

One in five leave front doors unlocked while on holiday

Police in Gloucestershire also say half of us still advertise our homes are empty on social media and three-quarters of us don't set house alarms when we go on holiday. 

The force's survey is part of a new campaign being launched to encourage people to do more to prevent being burgled.

Watch: Steve Knibbs reports on a new crime prevention campaign in Cheltenham

Halloween face painting tutorial live on Radio Bristol's Facebook now

Safety concerns over older nuclear reactors

Documents obtained by the BBC show the nuclear regulator has raised concerns with EDF Energy over the company possibly not being able to shut down its oldest reactors in an emergency. 

The watchdog said there might be more serious cracks at Hinkley B, after they were found at its sister station in Ayrshire. 

The nuclear regulator has since agreed the stations are safe to keep operating following more inspections and changes over the way they shut down reactors.

Watch: An exclusive report by the BBC's Matthew Hill

More on this story in tonight's Inside Out West on BBC 1 at 7.30pm.

Where are all the witches' marks?

Watch: See a selection of witches' marks across England

The public is being asked to help record strange carvings known as "witches' marks" found in medieval churches, houses and barns. 

The markings are ritual protection symbols dating from a time when belief in the supernatural was widespread. 

They can be found in historic places, including the Tithe Barn in Bradford-on-Avon.

Some have been found in caves such as the Witches' Chimney at Wookey Hole.

Severe disruption: M4 Wiltshire eastbound

BBC Travel

M4 Wiltshire eastbound severe disruption, between J15 for A346 Marlborough Road and J14 for A338.

M4 Wiltshire - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M4 eastbound between J15, A346 (Swindon East) and J14, A338 (Hungerford), because of a broken down military transporter.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Enjoy this dazzling photo of Clifton Suspension Bridge

We love a good photo - and this one does not disappoint.

Thanks to @NeilJamesB for his shot of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

View more on twitter

Two dead in car and van crash on A303

Police tape

Two people have died following a crash on the A303 near Buckland St. Michael in Somerset.

The collision involved a car and a van and happened at around 1pm this afternoon.

Police say a stretch of the road has been closed while an investigation into the cause of the crash takes place.   

PM shows support for West of England devolution deal

Budget speech March 2016

The Prime Minister has written to the Bath MP, Ben Howlett, assuring him of the Governments support for the West of England devolution deal. 

There had previously been speculation that Theresa May wasn't as keen on devolution as her predecessor.

But in a letter to the Conservative politician she expressed support for the deal which would see South Gloucestershire, Bath and Bristol councils getting devolved powers.

It's not clear if the full promised sum of £1bn will be given, as North Somerset rejected the deal.

The devolution deal was originally set out in the budget speech in March by then Chancellor George Osborne.

Bristol First Bus cash bus fares rise 'to speed boarding times'

Bus station

Some bus fares in Bristol have risen by 13% for customers paying by cash. 

First Bus says the time drivers spend taking cash has slowed services down and wants to encourage the use of prepaid cards or phone apps. 

It said if everyone on a double decker pays cash and needs change it takes 12 minutes to fill a bus compared with just under three for m-tickets. 

James Freeman, from First Bus, said "the faffing around" boarding people using cash "is a huge source of delay". 

But he added people using m-tickets would not face the increase. 

A single fare of up to three miles for people paying by cash will increase from £1.50 to £1.70; a journey over three miles in the inner zone will increase from £2.50 to £2.70. 

The company does not offer return fares but an inner zone day ticket remains at £4.

Three held after Halloween party fracas


Three men have been arrested after a man was seriously injured in a fracas at a restaurant. 

Wiltshire Police said officers were called to a Halloween party at Bottelinos in Swindon, in the early hours of Sunday. 

The victim was taken to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital where he remains in a "serious but stable" condition.

The three arrested are two men aged 28 and another aged 26 - all are from Swindon. There were a lot of people at the party so I believe somebody would have witnessed the assault.

Det Insp Steve KirbyWiltshire Police

Bronze statue of Wurzels frontman Adge Cutler is unveiled

Watch: See the sculpture of The Wurzels' frontman

A state of Adge Cutler was unveiled at its permanent home in Nailsea over the weekend.

The sculpture of the original Wurzels frontman had been touring with a tribute band in recent years.

Delays for Bristol trains this lunchtime

There could be hour-long delays if you're travelling in the Bristol area:

View more on twitter

Bristol family hands in petition protesting against their grandma's deportation

Desree Roberts and Irene Taylor

The family of an elderly South African woman living illegally in Britain has handed in a petition to Downing Street against her deportation.

Irene Nel, 73, came to visit family in Bristol on a tourist visa in 2012, but two weeks into her stay she fell ill and was diagnosed with kidney failure.

In South Africa the welfare system does not offer dialysis to over 60s, so her family says she will die if deported.

An independent tribunal has upheld the Home Office's decision to deport her.

Severe accident: A303 Devon both ways

BBC Travel

A303 Devon both ways severe accident, between B3170 and Stooper's Hill.

A303 Devon - A303 closed and queuing traffic in both directions between Stopgate Cross in Newcott and The Eagle Tavern in Buckland St Mary, because of a serious accident involving two vehicles. Diversion in operation - eastbound to follow the Solid Circle signs and westbound to follow the Hollow Square.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Attwood hails 'unbelievable' Rokoduguni

Semesa Rokoduguni
Rex Features

Bath's Semesa Rokoduguni is hailed as an "unbelievable talent" by teammate Dave Attwood after his winning try at Exeter.

England wing Rokoduguni, 29, skipped past the Chiefs defence in the last attack as Bath won Sunday's dramatic Premiership game 13-10 at Sandy Park.

Bath are third in the table after their sixth league win in seven games.

Mystery surrounds injured man found in showground car park


A 25-year-old man was found with serious head injuries in a car park at the Bath and West showground, early on Sunday.

He was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol where he remains in a life-threatening condition. 


Det Insp Lee Jones said the Slammin Vinyl event took place at the showground on Saturday and thousands of people were at the venue.

He added it was "unclear" how the man was hurt and appealed for witnesses to make contact.

Keynsham traffic delays due to an overturned lorry

Diversions are in in place through Ashmead Industrial Estate...

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Sunshine and ghouls on Halloween

We just spotted this lovely photo of Somerset taken this morning - one of the less foggy areas of the county:

View more on twitter

Medium disruption: Bristol both ways

BBC Travel

Bristol both ways medium disruption, at A4 Bath Road.

Bristol - Broadmead Lane in Keynsham blocked and slow traffic at Broadmead Roundabout, because of an overturned cement lorry and recovery work. Diversion in operation - through Ashmead Industrial Estate.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Listen: Fright night not fun for some people

Avon and Somerset Police are warning people to be careful who they choose to spook as it could be genuinely distressing for some.

This call was taken last year, from a woman who had stones thrown at her window:

Listen: Avon & Somerset Police are warning trick or treaters to be mindful of who they spook

Foggy weather delaying flights from Bristol Airport

Teenage boy hurt in bus collision at Park and Ride in Bath

Ambulance generic

Earlier police in Bath tweeted about a road closure on the A367 Wellsway in Bath.

Police were called to the Odd Down Park and Ride in Bath at 8.44am after a teenage boy was hit by a bus.

He's been taken to Southmead Hospital with head injuries and collision investigators are at the scene.

Road closures are in place for now.

Severe disruption: M4 Bristol westbound

BBC Travel

M4 Bristol westbound severe disruption, between J20 for M5 and J21 for M48.

M4 Bristol - One lane closed and slow traffic on M4 westbound between J20, M5 (Almondsbury Interchange) and J21 M48, because of a broken down lorry.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Reporter retraces romantic poet's steps in search of his inspiration


On Inside Out West tonight, 200 years on from the publication of Coleridge's poem Kubla Khan, Seb Choudhury asks whether the famous romantic poet was inspired by the rolling hills of West Somerset. 

He retraces the steps of Samuel Taylor Coleridge across the beautiful Quantock Hills in search of the inspiration for his poem. 

He meets expert authors along the way and asks why it took more than 20 years for Coleridge to publish the poem and how it almost never saw the light of day. 

Inside Out West is in BBC One (West) at 7.30pm.

Have you seen a 'witch' marking? (Cackle cackle)

Witch marking

Members of the public are being asked by Historic England to help create a record of ritual markings on buildings that were once believed to ward off evil spirits.

The "witches' marks" were often carved near entrances to buildings, including the house where Shakespeare was born and the Tower of London.

Other known examples have been recorded at the Tithe Barn in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, to protect crops, as well as the Witches' Chimney at Wookey Hole, Somerset.

Fears raised over nuclear reactor cracks

Hinkley Point, Somerset

Fears have been raised that two of the UK's nuclear reactors might not be able to shut down in an emergency. 

Documents show the nuclear regulator raised concerns over fractures in the keyways that lock together the core of Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire. 

They also show the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is also concerned that Hinkley B in Somerset might have similar problems.

Brian Cowell, director of nuclear operations at EDF, said: "We know... that having a small number of cracked bricks in this massive structure [of the core] is completely irrelevant to the safety function."

Yeovil Town Ladies promotion: Your tweets

Yeovil Town Ladies have secured promotion to the Women's Super League One - yay!

Here's a few tweets, including one from their manager Jamie Sherwood, reflecting their excellent performance on the pitch.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Stroud Journal: Car overturns in Painswick