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  1. Updates on Thursday 17 November 2016

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


We've now finished updates for today, although we should remind you one more time that some roads in the county are affected by snow and ice.  

You can keep up with travel news for the county here.

We'll be back with the county's news of the day, more travel updates, a regular weather forecast and the odd snippet from the social networks from 08:00 tomorrow.

Have a very good evening.

Cumbria's weather: Showers continuing, snow on higher ground

The showers will continue tonight, mainly in the west and with some clear spells.

Snow is likely, especially over the hills, and it will be cold with a patchy frost possible and temperatures as low as 1C (34F).

Weather graphic

There are various warnings for icy roads, high river levels, and a coastal alert for the high tides around midnight. 

You can see the latest weather forecast for where you are, here.

Watch: Hundreds gather for memorial to cheerleading coach

About 200 people gathered for a memorial to a man, brought up in Barrow, who was killed as he cycled in Leeds.

John Harkins, 33, who lived in the Kirkstall area of Leeds, died at the scene on Kirkstall Road on Monday.

A VW Golf crashed into a parade of shops at about 23:30 GMT. The driver, a 22-year-old man, remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Martin Wan, who organised the memorial, said Mr Harkins, who was known as Tats, was part of a team who won bronze for England at the ICU World Cheerleading Championships last year.

Fatal cyclist crash victim memorial held

Environment agency posts flood warnings

The Environment agency says there's been heavy rain across Cumbria, and river levels are rising.

It's posted flood alerts, the lowest level of warning, for the Caldew and Petteril into Carlisle, The Kendal and Bela in south Cumbria, and the upper River Derwent, Stonethwaite Beck and Derwentwater.

You can check the latest river alerts from this page.

Four charged after Workington Trades Hall social club attack

Four men have been charged with affray, and one with assault causing grievous bodily harm, after a customer at the Trades Hall social club in Workington was attacked and badly injured at the weekend.

The victim's still being treated for serious head injuries in hospital in Newcastle.

Detectives say they'd still like to hear from anyone who was in or around the club in Brow Top at about 19:45 on Saturday evening.

Barrow allocated 1,700 seats for FA Cup tie

BBC Sport

Barrow have been allocated 1,150 standing and 550 seated tickets for the FA Cup second round tie at Bristol Rovers on 4 December.

Fellwalkers add £1 to bill to help fund path repairs

Guests at one Cumbrian bed and breakfast have raised £10,000 to help repair the wear and tear tourists caused on local footpaths.

Elder Grove B&B

The Elder Grove B&B in Ambleside is part of a long-running project called Fix the Fells, where tourists are asked to contribute to footpath repairs and similar work as part of the cost of their stay.

Its owner, Paul McDougall, says people are happy to take part when they see the difference it makes. 

Fix the Fells path repair
Fix the Fells

We can say, if you go Over Loughrigg, that's where our money was going to, we've got photographs to show that's what it was like, they appreciate where the money's going to."

Paul McDougallOwner, Elder Grove

Police warn businesses of 'distraction' phone thieves

Police say a number of small businesses have been hit by two thieves who distract receptionists or other staff and steal mobile telephones.

The two have been active in Ulverston, Barrow and Dalton.

One has spiky, ginger hair; the other is wearing bright red boxer-style shoes.

Jobs go as subsea firm blames oil industry slump

More that 50 jobs are going in Ulverston, with Siemens Subsea blaming the slump in the oil and gas industry for a global restructure of its business.

The company stresses it still sees a future for its factory in Ulverston which currently has 333 people on the payroll. 

Siemens in Ulverston

Siemens is closing a factory in Norway altogether and cutting staff in Aberdeen, and says the restructuring will leave it "appropriately sized for the current market situation". 

Volunteers for redundancy are being sought; staff also have the chance of redeployment within the Siemens Group, for example to a new factory opening next month in Hull. 

Baby, it's getting cold outside...

Martin Lewes


The wintry showers have arrived a little earlier than expected in parts of the county.

The local officers in Sedbergh are clearly hoping no one does anything daft that may mean they have to leave their nice warm community office!

View more on twitter

Travel: Hartside pass now 'just passable'

BBC Travel

The A686 between Melmerby and Alston over the Hartside Pass is now described as 'just passable'

The A684 is affected by snow at Garsdale Head, and the M6 between Shap and Kendal and the A66 from Brough to Hawes are both described as hazardous.

The latest updates are here.

Watch: Winter conditions arriving on the high roads

Paul Kingston is an award-winning photographer with a news agency whose pictures often make the national newspapers. 

Expect to see pictures of snowbound roads in Cumbria tomorrow morning.

View more on twitter

Grasmere youngsters win national art competition

Pupils from Grasmere school have won a national competition for art in religious education.

Grasmere pupils with their work of art.
Grasmere Primary School

Inspired by the plight of refugees, the youngsters created an installation in the village hall with an inflatable boat, lifejackets and cards with prayers on.

The competition is the NATRE Spirited Arts 2016, which involves hundreds of schools across Britain and others from as far afield as Australia.

Head teacher Jo Goode said: "We are, of course delighted, but also despairing as the city of Aleppo is once again in the news today."

Birds charity plans a forest to catch the floodwater

The RSPB is planning to plant 4,000 trees in a valley close to Haweswater reservoir.

Swindale Beck
United Utilities

The trees will be planted along Swindale Beck, a river that was straightened out 200 years ago to improve drainage, but was restored to its natural meanders earlier this year to try to slow the flow of floodwater downstream after heavy rain.

RSPB staff say the mix of native species such as willow and alder will provide shade for spawning fish, and they've appealed for volunteers to help plant them.

Travel: Snow causes problems on higher routes and a crash on the M6 southbound

BBC Travel

Snow is now said to be causing disruption on the M6 between Shap and junction 36 for Kendal, and on the A66 between Bowes and Brough.

There's been at least one accident, on the M6 southbound, south of Killington services.

The latest travel news is here.

Cumbria's weather: Wet and cold

A more organised band of heavy showers is crossing the county, bringing a risk of hail and thunder. 

It'll feel cold with brisk winds. Highs of 6C (43F).

Weather graphic

There's a warning of icy roads and snow on high ground this evening.  

You can find the latest forecast for where you are, here.

Guess where two of the "best places to live" in the UK are?

Martin Lewes


The annual survey by the property website Rightmove to find the most desirable place to live in Britain has included two places in Cumbria in its top 10.

Property prices graphic

The agency survey 24,000 people to ask where they would most like to live.

Mountains, seasides, and preferably the two together featured large in the replies. 

And some of the places (not the ones in Cumbria) had relatively low house prices, although the study didn't appear to have included the availability of jobs to pay for them.

Nowhere in London or the South East featured.

Pensioner died in hospital after Dalton accident

We've more details now of the accident in Dalton, in which a 76-year-old woman died.

Police say it happened at about 08:44 in Market Street and involved a white van.

The woman was taken to the Furness General hospital in Barrow, where she died from her injuries.

The van driver, who's 27 and from Dalton, wasn't hurt. Police say they've now finished their investigations on the scene, and Market Street has opened again.

Tributes paid to fatal crash cyclist

A cyclist who was killed when a car crashed into shops was a 'positive and inspiring' cheerleading coach, his friends have said.

John Harkins, 33, who lived in the Kirkstall area of Leeds, died at the scene on Kirkstall Road on Monday.

A VW Golf crashed into a parade of shops at about 23:30. The driver, a 22-year-old man, remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

About 200 people attended a memorial to Mr Harkins held last night.

Martin Wan, who organised the event and is programme director of Aviators Cheer, said Mr Harkins, who was known as Tats and originally from Barrow-in-Furness, was part of a team who won bronze for England at the ICU World Cheerleading Championships last year.

John Harkins
Aviators Cheer

BreakingPensioner killed in Dalton accident

A 76-year-old woman has died after an accident involving a white van in Dalton earlier today, police say.

She died after being taken to the Furness General Hospital in Barrow.

Generic pothole

Cumbria County Council must pay a bill of £5.4m after a dispute with a former contractor, the High Court rules

Read more

Town centre roads closed after accident

BBC Travel

Part of the town centre in Dalton in Furness has been closed off after a pedestrian was hit by a van this morning.

Police say the accident is "serious", but there's no word of the pedestrian's condition. 

People are being urged to avoid Market Street, which is closed between the Red Lion and Wellington pubs. The junctions at Wellington Street and Nelson Street, leading onto Market Street, are also closed.

You can find the latest travel reports here.

Drivers warned of ice and slush

A yellow warning of icy roads has been issued for tonight and early tomorrow morning by the Met Office.

Kendal car park closes early after 'vandalism and intimidation'

Kendal's main multi-storey car park is to close early because vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Vandalism in car park

The car park normally shuts overnight from 20:00, but it will now close at 18:30.

South Lakeland council says staff and car park customers have been intimidated and there's evidence of drug-taking, drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Ormsgill residents asked what the problems are

People living on Barrow's Ormsgill estate are expected to ask for a clamp down on antisocial behaviour and drug dealing, when officers, council officials and representatives from the fire service visit the area this afternoon.

Middlefield, Ormsgill

It's part of the Street Safe project , which will help the various agencies to prioritise the work they carry out over the next few months.

People on the estate say there are problems with drug dealers, and youngsters driving cars too fast.

With this door knocking, this is one way we can target these people. Sometimes people don't like to go to the police, but coming along and having a friendly chat, they can get these views from them.

Councillor Bill McEwanLabour county councillor for Ormsgill

Where Cumbrian football clubs stand in the price of a seat

BBC Sport

The BBC's Price of Football Study has found Premier League away tickets have dropped by 37%. 

Top flight clubs brought in a £30 cap on away tickets this season.

Price of Football 2016: How the Premier League are cutting the cost of tickets

Carlisle United's most expensive season ticket - at £400 - comes out just over the League Two average while their cheapest season ticket at £273 is right on the average. 

Barrow's cheapest and most expensive season ticket price both come out above the National League average at £252 and £340 respectively.

Weather on the felltops: High winds and temperature falling

  • Temperatures at 3,000 feet: - 1C falling to - 4C by evening. 
  • Winds: Gale or severe gale force west or southwesterly, gusts 55mph, easing fresh later. 
  • Cloud: Variable amounts around 2,000 feet (600m) with a few patches at lower levels. 
  • Visibility: Good, occasionally poor in showers and in hill fog. 
  • Freezing level: 2500 feet (750m) lowering to 1,500 feet (450m) later.

Travel: Accident blocks road in Dalton

BBC Travel

Market Street in Dalton-In-Furness is closed in both directions near the Barrow Road junction because of a serious accident.  

You can find the latest travel reports here.

Best foot forward by Lewis with shoes appeal for Syria

A pupil from Armathwaite School near Carlisle has collected more than 100 pairs of shoes for refugees in Syria. 

Simon with shoes

Lewis, who's 10, set up the scheme, after wondering what to do with an old pair of school shoes. 

 The project is part of a scheme called Child Initiated Learning which encourages children plan and review an idea. 

The shoes will be sent out through a charity called Edinburgh Cares at the end of this month. 

Mountain tribes gather for Kendal Festival

Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts from many countries are gathering in Kendal for the annual mountain festival.

The three days of exhibitions, talks and films by top explorers and mountaineers is seen as one of the top such events in the world.

View more on twitter

High tides and winds bring a Solway flood warning

The Environment Agency's put out a flood warning for the Solway from Gretna to Silloth for lunchtime today.

The agency says the 5.12m tide will have a surge on 40cm, (1ft 4in) on top, which with waves will mean some roads and possibly properties will be flooded.  

People have been urged to stay away from the coast between 12:39 and 14:39.

Court battle over road repairs ends with council told to pay £5m

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

Cumbria County Council has been ordered to pay a highways firm £5.4m after a court battle over a seven-year roads maintenance contract.


The High Court case came after the council failed to renew the contract with Amey in 2012.

It claimed the company had carried out substandard work. Amey for its part claimed it hadn't been paid for some work.

After considering Amey's claims for £30m, and the county's counter claim for £20m, Judge Stephen Davies decided the council owed Amey £3.7m, which with interest and another payment came to more than £5m. 

You can read the full 300-page judgement here.

Weather: Sunny spells with heavy cold showers

BBC Weather

There'll be sunny spells and blustery showers falling as snow over hills. 

A more organised band of heavy showers will cross the region during the day, bringing a risk of hail and thunder. 

It'll feel cold with brisk westerly winds and temperatures topping out at 6C (43F). 

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for where you are, here.

Travel: Trouble at Tebay on M6 and A685

BBC Travel

Reports are coming in of a crash on the M6 southbound at junction 38 for Tebay, and also of an accident on the A685 nearby.

You can find the latest travel news here.

Good morning and welcome: This is BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We'll have your news, travel, a regular weather forecast and general chatter from the county through until 18:00.

You can join in: If you've got a story we should know about or a picture to share, you can email ustweet us or get in touch through our Facebook page.