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  1. Updates on Tuesday, 24 May 2016
  2. 70 jobs could be lost if a merger between two hospital trusts goes ahead
  3. Congestion charge for Cambridge ruled out, but further city parking measures proposed
  4. Peterborough to take in 100 Syrian refugees over the next five years
  5. Network Rail to close 33 level crossings in Cambridgeshire
  6. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Mark Williamson

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Thanks for joining us on today's Cambridgeshire Live, where today it was announced the full business case to merge two hospital trusts will be looked at - with potential job losses.

It was also confirmed Cambridge will not have a congestion charge to cut traffic, but other parking measures will be put in place.

And Peterborough is due to accept 100 Syrians fleeing from conflict.

We'll be back again tomorrow at 08:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

We'll see you then.

Posh's Alnwick enters talks over new deal

Peter Swan

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Ben Alnwick in 2014
Getty Images

Peterborough United goalkeeper Ben Alnwick has started talks over a new three-year deal.

The 29-year-old's current deal ends next summer.

Peterborough is the 12th club Alnwick has played for.

Weather: Cloudy, but mostly dry tonight

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It will be staying generally fine and dry overnight with clear spells, though there may be the odd spot of light rain or drizzle later around the coast. 

Minimum temperature: 8C (46F).

Weather for the East

It will be rather cloudy tomorrow with the odd spot of rain. Most parts staying dry though, with some brighter spells possible during the afternoon. Highs of 13C (55F).

Get the latest forecast for your city, town or village at BBC Weather.

Hospital merger plans: No switch in services

Concerns over hospital services being moved to different locations were raised during a meeting in Peterborough to discuss a proposed merger between two NHS trusts.

Last week it was reported £9m could be saved if Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Trust joined with Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Peterborough City Hospital

But the proposals have faced much criticism, with more than 400 people marching against the merger back in April.

The board of directors at Peterborough City Hospital (pictured), who today backed the full business case, said there were no plans to change the sites of services.

Headlines: 70 jobs could go in proposed hospital merger... Cambridge congestion charge no-go... Syrian refugees to resettle in county

Here's the news hitting the headlines this afternoon:

  • About 70 jobs could be lost as part of a proposed merger between the NHS trusts running Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke hospitals, a meeting has heard
  • A Cambridge congestion charge has been ruled out in favour of a possible workplace parking levy and other parking measures, under Greater Cambridge City Deal proposals
  • Peterborough is to take in 100 Syrian refugees, the city council has announced 

The day that death came screaming out of the sky

Cambridge News

It happened nearly 40 years ago, but there are many people in Cambridgeshire who still recall it with a shiver of horror.

Accident leads to A1 tailbacks

BBC Travel

An accident on the A605 at Alwalton, near Peterborough, has caused the A1 to be partly blocked and queuing traffic northbound at the village. Traffic has built up to the A1's J17.

For up-to-the-minute information go to BBC Travel.

Hospital merger plans: 70 jobs could go

We've now been told the figure - 70 back office and board member jobs could be lost in the proposed merger between Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke (pictured) hospitals.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital

About 50 people turned out for the public meeting at Peterborough City Hospital this afternoon to hear the proposals.

Further discussions are due to take place in September.

New Mayor of Peterborough installed for coming year

Peterborough Telegraph

The new Mayor of Peterborough has been installed for the next year.

David Sanders
Peterborough Telegraph

Watch: 'Making a Chelsea dream come true'

The Papworth Trust has produced this video showing the behind-the-scenes work that went into bringing its "acoustic garden" to Chelsea, where it has just won a silver-gilt award.

View more on youtube

Dame Evelyn Glennie will play a full performance at the garden on the final day of the show on Saturday.  

Hospital merger 'would mean job losses'

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

A board meeting at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Trust discussing a proposed merger with Hinchingbrooke Hospital has heard it would lead to some job losses.

Reporter Julia Greenaway is at the meeting, where Peterborough chief executive Stephen Graves said losses would mostly be among back office staff and board members.

View more on twitter

A joint business case, recommending merging from April 2017, was published by both parties last week. 

At today's meeting the Peterborough NHS trust agreed to look at the full business case of a merger, with further discussions due to take place in September.

Cambridgeshire 'acoustic garden' wins Chelsea silver-gilt

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

The Papworth Trust is celebrating after its "acoustic garden" won a silver-gilt award at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Here it is being "played" by world famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie.

The Cambridgeshire-based disability charity designed the garden to be enjoyed aurally as well as visually.

School bomb hoaxes 'not terror-related'

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

The National Police Chiefs' Council has issued a statement following a series of bomb hoaxes at schools across the country yesterday, which they say were not terror-related.

Pupils were evacuated at some schools in Cambridge and Peterborough.

Several police forces are investigating a series of malicious hoax communications to schools across the country yesterday. Forces are working together to investigate who is responsible and whether incidents are linked.

National Police Chiefs' Council

Congestion plans to include enhanced cycling infrastructure

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Perhaps not surprisingly in a city famous for its bikes, the measures being proposed to tackle congestion in Cambridge include enhancing the cycling infrastructure.

The Greater Cambridge City Deal says it wants a comprehensive city and south Cambridgeshire cycle network, linked to towns and villages.

Bike parking in Cambridge

Companies could be charged for parking spaces to tackle Cambridge congestion

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

One of the main points that sprung out from the announcement to tackle Cambridge's congestion was the proposed introduction of a "workplace parking levy".

It's based on a scheme in Nottingham and would see employers with lots of parking space for employees charged an annual fee for each commuter parking space they have.


According to officers for the Greater Cambridge City Deal, all funds raised would be used to encourage people to switch to other modes of transport, as well as create an "important new funding stream to invest in better local transport to ease commuter trips".

They say the annual charge per parking space in Nottingham is £375 (equivalent to £1.50 per working day). If this figure was applied to Cambridge, it could raise revenue in the order of £7m to £11m per annum.

Cambridge 'congestion-busting' proposals announced

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Here's the eight-point plan that's been proposed to tackle Cambridge's congestion:

  • Better public transport - investment by bus companies in new routes and services
  • Better cycling and walking - improving cycle routes and footpaths
  • Peak "congestion control points" - to stop cars driving on certain roads during busy periods
  • A "workplace parking levy" - so employers with lots of parking space would be charged, encouraging commuters to switch transport
  • On-street parking controls - including residents' parking zones
  • Smart technology - using intelligent traffic signals to improve flow and producing real-time traffic alerts
  • Travel planning - expansion of the existing advice service to help people make "optimum travel choices"
  • Public space and air quality - increasing landscaping and preventing traffic jams to improve air quality

The Greater Cambridge City Deal's report, published today, will be considered at a public meeting in June.

206,000 vehicles 'travel across city boundary each day'

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

More than 200,000 vehicles travel through Cambridge each day, according to the Greater Cambridge City Deal

Here's a video it produced explaining its aims to tackle congestion in the city.

View more on youtube

'Workplace levy' instead of congestion charge to tackle Cambridge traffic

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Officers reporting to the Greater Cambridge City Deal have ruled out a congestion charge in favour of proposing other measures to try and tackle transport issues in the city. 

They suggest improving public transport and introducing a "workplace parking levy" and new on-street parking controls. 

View more on twitter

The Greater Cambridge City Deal is a body given powers and funding from central government to make improvements to "secure future economic growth and quality of life" in the city.    

It is a partnership between various councils, enterprise partnerships and the University of Cambridge. 

BreakingCambridge congestion charge ruled out in City Deal plans

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

In the past few minutes it's been confirmed that a congestion charge for Cambridge has been ruled out as part of the Greater Cambridge City Deal proposals to tackle transport problems.

More updates shortly.

Picture: Sunrise in the Fens

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

There aren't many advantages to doing a night shift, but one is getting to enjoy a sunrise like this.  

Officers from Fenland Police stopped to photograph this scene at Rings End.

Dawn in the Rings End

Cambridge trying not to house Syrian refugees in council houses

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Lewis Herbert, the Labour leader of Cambridge City Council, has just been talking on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire about its efforts to help resettle Syrian refugees. 

The city has committed to taking 50 refugees and some families arrived in the city before Christmas.

Lewis Herbert

He said there had been "a lot of offers" from people in the city to help refugees: "Our aim this year is that almost everything we do will use other housing, not council houses."

"Of course we have people who need housing, and I'm thinking of them," he added.

Closing crossings will help improve rail services, says Network Rail

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Network Rail says plans to close 33 level crossings in the county will "help improve reliability and enable separate, potential future developments for faster and more frequent services". 

It has identified about 130 crossings it believes could be closed or modified across the region.

People are being invited to three consultation events in March, Ely and Cambridge to see Network Rail's plans

Plans to close level crossings in Cambridgeshire unveiled by Network Rail

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Network Rail has released proposals to close or change the use of 33 level crossings across Cambridgeshire.

Level Crossing
Network Rail

None of the crossings in this proposal are on public A or B roads.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail's route managing director for Anglia, said: "Our plans to close level crossings propose small changes to how people cross the railway, but the closures will help us reduce the risks that level crossings pose, improve safety and reliability of the railway for the future."

Weather Watchers: Large moon over Cambridgeshire

BBC Weather Watchers

Did you notice how big and bright the moon appeared above Cambridgeshire last night?

BBC Weather Watcher 'Fentiger' took this photograph of it over houses in Wisbech.

Moon over Wisbech

We love to see your pictures of Cambridgeshire. Send them to us via emailFacebook or Twitter.

Peterborough responding to a 'humanitarian disaster'

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Peterborough City Council's corporate director for people and communities says she "understands" if some people in the city feel Syrian refugees will be jumping to the top of the housing waiting list. 

Peterborough Cathedral Square

But Wendi-Ogle Welbourn told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire it was responding to a humanitarian disaster: "I think we have struck the right balance, other people are struggling in the city."

'Real community effort' to support Syrian refugees in Peterborough

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Wendi-Ogle Welbourn, corporate director for people and communities at Peterborough City Council, has been giving more details about the resettlement of Syrian families from refugee camps.

"We will be supported by members and organisations from the city's Diversity Forum - so it will be a real community effort," she said.

Travel: Frank Perkins Parkway partially blocked

BBC Travel

The A1139 Frank Perkins Parkway in Peterborough is partially blocked following an accident involving a motorcycle. Congestion back to junction three for Hampton Roundabout.

Peterborough's 'long and proud history' of helping refugees

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

"This city has a long and proud history ​of welcoming those that need our help," said John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, after the announcement 100 Syrians will be resettled in the city.

Syrian REfugees

The council says five families will resettle in the city every year for the next five years, and families will typically be two adults and two children.

"The government has confirmed we will receive appropriate levels of funding for these families... and over the next few months we will be making appropriate arrangements to prepare for their arrival," said Mr Holdich.

In the papers: Refugee deal and high profile resignation over Cambridge congestion plans

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

The local papers are leading with these stories this morning.

The Peterborough Telegraph also has coverage of plans to resettle 100 Syrian refugees in the city over the next five years.

Meanwhile, the Cambridge News is leading with a high-profile resignation from the City Deal board. 

It reports that Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce chairman John Bridge has quit over plans being proposed to tackle the city's congestion.

He's confirmed to us he's resigned, and we'll bring you more news on that story later.

Peterborough to take in Syrian refugee families

Hannah Olsson

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire political reporter

Peterborough will resettle 100 Syrian refugees over the next five years, the city council announced last night. 

Syrian refugees

Five families will resettle in the city every year, with the first families expected to arrived this autumn.

The government announced last year the UK would take in 20,000 Syrian refugees until 2020.

Weather: Fine and dry with sunny spells

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

It's a bright but chilly start to the day. There will be plenty of sunshine around throughout, although cloud will gradually begin to increase through this afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 16C (61F).  For more on the forecast for where you live, go to BBC Weather.

Welcome to Cambridgeshire Live

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Here we go once more with live news, sport, weather and travel updates for Cambridgeshire until 18:00 tonight.

We'll have more on the news that councillors in Peterborough have accepted to take in 100 Syrian refugees into the city over the next five years.

It looks like it's going to be a gorgeous day too - a full weather forecast is coming up next.

Plus, if you have any pictures, stories or comments you want us to feature, get in touch via emailFacebook or Twitter.